Easy tips for playing your first online Poker as a beginner. Playing online Poker is both a contest of chance and skill. This article gives you the essential tricks you need before staking your money on the tables.
What is Poker?
It is a real game of chance, but its long-run outcome depends on a player’s moves, chosen based on psychology, probability, and theory.
It is any form of card contest in which a player bets on the best hand, depending on the game’s specific rules. As mentioned before, this contest has many variations, and each variant has its unique rules of play.
In this article, we focus mainly on the most popular variant, Texas Hold’Em Poker. It’s the most common type and most widely played in online casinos, tournaments, and many private homes.
Types of Poker
This contest has hundreds of variants. But luckily, they are generally classified into three types, and each variant falls under any one of the three classifications. The main categories are:
- Stud Poker – These are a variety of card games in which players get dealt a given number of cards (say five or seven), mostly face-up, and use the original cards to make the best hand. Examples of these contests include the Razz and the Seven Card Stud.
- Draw Poker – In this type, players are dealt hands face-down, and they can attempt to improve their hands by trading some of their cards to a maximum of three. Examples in this category include Badugi and Five Card Draw.
- Community Poker – In this category, players are dealt two cards face-down. They use them plus the shared (community) cards to make up their hands. The most common stakes in this category are Omaha and Texas Hold’em.
Alongside the ones named above, there are also two categories in which the card contest base rule— best hand wins doesn’t exist. These unique plays include the Lowball punts and the high-low split contests.
In the lowball contest, the lowest hand is always the winner. There are also exceptional rules on whether flushes and straights count, and whether an ace is a low or a high ranked card. Its examples include the Razz and the Deuce to Seven Triple Draw.
Games in the high-low category are some of the most complicated play types. Here, the pot is shared equally between the player having the lowest hand and the highest hand. In some cases, a single player can have both the highest hand and the lowest hand. Due to their complex nature, stakes in this category are not the best way to kick off your gaming career. A good example here is Omaha Hi/Lo.
How to play online Poker
Online Poker is a customary card contest played over the internet. The rules of the stakes remain the same. The only difference between the online version and traditional card contest is that you can play the online version anywhere provided that you have access to the internet. It’s faster and less risky since you can stake small.
To play on your computer or desktop, you’ll first need to download the online Poker software from your favorite site. The size of the software is relatively small and doesn’t require much memory to store. However, you can opt for the onsite play if you don’t wish to download software. The downside is that the onsite games don’t offer the same features and playability as when you install the software.
After installing the software, you will need to create a user account. There is a prerequisite that you must be 18 years and above, or as stipulated by your jurisdiction.
The next step is to make a deposit. Many sites allow for transactions from the major credit cards like Visa, MasterCard, American Express card, etc. Some sites accept e-wallets and cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.
After completing the two steps, the next step is choosing the card contest you would love to play. When you log into the software, you get access to various Poker games. Some even include a real life dealer.
Once the contest commences, your objective is to create a better hand than the other players on your table. I know your next question is what better hand means. To understand this, we give you a step-by-step illustration of the process and how hands are valued in the game.
How to play
In Texas Hold’em Poker, two or more players can play in each deal. The most popular type is the six-player card contest in which one player posts a small blind, and another player posts a big blind before the start of every round. It involves four betting rounds: the preflop, the flop, the turn, plus the river.
Blinds are compulsory bets that two players on the dealer’s immediate left have to post to keep the Poker game moving. To be fair, a button (round disc) is rotated one seat to the left and every player, and it dictates which player posts the small and big blinds in each round.
After blinds are posted, everyone on the table, starting from the dealer’s immediate left, is dealt two cards face-down. After everyone secretly looks at their cards, the first betting round begins.
The preflop round
In this round, the player sitting next to the big blind starts. He/she has three options, either to call (put in the big blind), raise (put in more money than the big blind) or to fold (throw cards away and lose the hand). The next player and the rest have the same options: either call, raise, or fold. Once everyone has contributed the same amount of money, the chips are moved to the table’s center. The next round begins.
The flop round
At this stage, three community cards are dealt face-up on the table. Every player can use his two private cards and the community cards to form a 5-card hand. Here, the small blind player is the first to go. He can choose to check (not bet anything) bet by putting an amount in the middle of the table that every player must match to stay in the game or fold. After that, the player on his left follows suit. If the first player stakes ten chips, he/she can choose to call (match the ten chips), raise (bet more than ten chips), or fold. The round ends after everyone has put in the same amount of bets, and the next begins.
The turn round
Another community card is dealt on the table in this round, meaning you have six cards (two private and four community) to form a hand. You can use any five of the six cards to create a five-card hand. The betting process is similar to the process in round two. The player left of the dealer starts and others follow suit. Once everyone has contributed the same amount, the round ends, and the next begins.
The river round
This round kicks off with a community card dealt face-up on the table. Now you have seven cards to make your strong hand. The fourth betting round follows suit in a way precisely similar to the second and the third rounds.
Once all rounds are over, a showdown occurs. In this step, all players reveal their cards, and the winner is determined. Many people love this punt because its winnings are relatively huge compared to the other gambling games. It’s also a winner takes it all activity, meaning that you take everything in the pot if you are the winner.
The highs and lows of a hand depending on the type of cards a hand makes.
- Raising rules – The amount you can grow depends on the game you are playing but starts at twice the big blind. If the match is no-limits, you can raise the amount between twice the big blind up to the full amount in the pot. If you are playing a limited game, you are restricted to only raise to twice the big blind.
- Check – You are only allowed to check if you are the first to bet or everyone before you checked. If everyone checks during a round, the round ends, and another begins.
- Fold – If you fold, you can’t join in the deal again. If everyone, except one player, folds in any round, the contest ends. The remaining player wins everything in the pot without showing his cards. You can fold if you believe your hand won’t rank well.
- Bluff – Is to make a bet or a raise when your hand is seemingly not the best. In most cases, the objective is to induce a fold from an opponent with a better hand.
Where Can I Play Online?
This is relatively easy, especially if you live in Canada. There are many legit sites licensed in Canada in which you can easily enjoy the game. Similarly, most global sites accept Canadian players to register and play on them.
We researched sites and compiled a list of the best places for you, whether you live in Canada or anywhere else in the world. The only limitation you may have is if your jurisdiction abolishes gambling activities. Some of the highest-ranking sites include:
- Bodog Poker
- 888 Poker
- Bet 365
- BetOnline Poker
- TigerGaming Poker
- Unibet Poker
Although luck plays a part in online Poker, it’s more of a skill game. Before registering to the online site, learn as much as you can, and start small. Another interesting fact is the rules of the card contest are straightforward to learn, but mastery plays a significant part. As a result, start small as you keep learning, then grow your knowledge. Don’t forget to keep your bankroll in check.
How to win online Poker
If you are the winner at your table, your money will be available in your account for cash out. The ease of cashing out depends on the site you’re using. An excellent pointer to the best place is if they accept the usual and accessible payment methods.
Can I play online Poker for free?
Absolutely. Many websites offer amazing bonuses that you can use to play your first rounds for free. You can also play free trials before spending money on the game.