Gamblers love poker for multiple reasons. Among others, it’s the only casino game that has no house edge. Thus, you can take control of the game if you have enough skills and experience. The element of luck, even though present, isn’t mandatory.
However, playing poker online is different from in a real brick-and-mortar casino. For example, online operators, unlike land-based casinos, offer various poker games, such as video poker or Texas Hold’em. Simultaneously, you can enjoy any poker game you wish from the comfort of your home or, in the case of mobile poker, on the go.
On the other hand, it’s harder to bluff and use other psychological weapons when playing poker at a virtual casino. Hence, online poker has both its downsides and advantages. And if you’re not sure if it’s your cup of tea, read on to learn more about its rules, types, etc.
What Is Online Poker?
Poker is a card game you can play at an online casino, in a brick-and-mortar venue, at a house party with friends, and in various other places and situations. Since the rules are easy to comprehend, anyone can learn them and enjoy the game – at least on a basic level.
The goal of every poker game is to beat your opponents and, as a result, win money. To do so, you need to get the highest-ranking hand or to make your opponents believe you did. The hand ranking in almost every poker game goes like this:
- High card (the highest card you have),
- A pair (pair of cards of the same rank),
- Two pairs,
- Three-of-a-kind (three same-ranked cards),
- Straight (five consecutive cards of any suit),
- Flush (five same-suited cards),
- Full house (one pair and three same-ranked cards),
- Four-of-a-kind (four cards of the same rank),
- Straight flush (five same-suited consecutive cards),
- Royal flush (five same-suited consecutive cards from an Ace to ten).
Generally, the course of the game depends on the exact poker type. Sometimes, you’ll receive the whole hand at the beginning. In other games, you’ll use community cards (cards presented face-up on the table that all players can use) to form the best possible hand.
Either way, the goal is always the same – to be better than other players at the table.
Types of Online Poker
Overall, there are three general types of online poker:
- Draw Poker,
- Stud Poker,
- Community Card Poker.
They are all similar to one another in terms of the goal, betting possibilities, and moves. However, there are several crucial differences to keep in mind.
Firstly, in the case of the draw poker, players receive the complete hand at the start. Then, they get to discard some cards and draw others to get a better hand. However, when it comes to stud and community card poker, players get more cards as the game goes on.
Simultaneously, in stud poker, you’ll have some cards hidden from your opponents and others turned face-up. The same goes for community card poker games, such as Texas Hold’em. Nonetheless, when it comes to community card poker, cards turned face-up are available for all players. This isn’t the case in stud poker games.
How to Play Poker Online?
Once you picked a suitable online poker game, you should decide how much money you want to bring in. If you’re going to play responsibly, you should set a specific limit and stick to it. Otherwise, you’ll get a frustrating experience, especially if you’re new to the game.
The next logical step is to start the game. When you get your cards, you can make some of the following moves:
Naturally, there’s a specific amount you need to bring in to start playing. Then, you can bet more as the game continues. Simultaneously, you can avoid raising bets by checking (passing the action to the player next to you). However, the moment someone raises the bet, you have to call (match the bet) or fold.
Of course, the decisions you make are supposed to be based on the ranking of your hand. Nevertheless, when playing with professionals, this often isn’t the case. Experienced players tend to bluff and make moves to trick their opponents. Thus, this simple card game often becomes a psychological one when playing at an actual table.
What’s the Difference Between Live and Online Poker?
Both online poker and the “real” one have their drawbacks but are, at the same time, beneficial and possibly profitable.
For instance, playing poker at a casino is more demanding, considering it comes down to psychological games. On the other hand, online poker leaves less room for the psychological element of the game. As a result, it sometimes involves a stronger element of luck than a real poker game.
However, poker games at a land-based casino may be overwhelming to beginners. So, if you’re new to the game, it’s better to start by playing it online. And if you pick a reliable online casino that holds numerous poker games, you’ll get a first-class experience.
As expected, many casino games are now available on different devices, including poker. Online casinos are normally mobile-friendly, meaning players can reach them via a browser on a phone or tablet. Simultaneously, many of them offer a downloadable app that ensures a more quality mobile gaming experience.
What’s more, mobile casinos don’t lack products you’d have at your disposal when playing on a PC. Hence, you’ll surely find many suitable poker games. In addition, just like regular ones, mobile-friendly operators allow access to information, tournaments, and bonuses.
Aside from online casinos that are reachable across devices, there are particular poker apps you can download. Many of them even offer a “play for free” option, which is ideal for beginners. However, you can also play poker for real money via your cell phone or tablet. You only need a stable internet connection to enjoy on-the-go gambling. So, you’ll find poker apps extremely convenient if you prefer gaming on your mobile devices.
What Are Online Poker Bonuses?
Given poker’s popularity, it comes as no surprise casinos usually offer some bonuses you can use on this exciting card game. All cash bonuses should be available for various games, including poker. Hence, poker fans can claim the bonus in question and use this opportunity to enhance their profit (if possible) and boost the entire experience.
On top of that, many online casinos offer online poker bonuses for live dealer games. So, if you never tried the live game version, that would be an excellent chance to do so. Luckily, claiming casino bonuses is simple so that even newbies can complete the procedure quickly.
How to Get Poker Welcome Offers?
Once you find a reliable online casino and sign up, you can claim the welcome offer reserved for newcomers. In most cases, you’d need to make a specific amount of deposit and simply claim the bonus. Sometimes, you may have to enter a code required for getting the poker welcome offer or contact customer support to finish the procedure. Every decent online casino will outline all the steps necessary for claiming the welcome offer.
Speaking of which, casino bonuses are usually accompanied by terms, requirements, and conditions. They, too, are supposed to be transparent on the platform. So, make sure to check out all the poker bonus rules first. In the majority of cases, every game contributes toward the wagering requirement differently. For example, online poker may contribute 100% or 5%, depending on the casino in question. So, by getting informed, you’ll ensure a more quality experience for yourself.