Best Online Poker Bonuses
Poker online is a card game of chance, choice, and skill played by millions of people around the world. It is estimated that the worldwide gambling industry is worth in excess of $800 billion, with online gambling services representing the greatest revenue generator, and with poker at the fore-front.
Since the emergence of online poker in the 90’s, its popularity has increased rapidly as a result of internet accessibility, as well as becoming a televised spectator sport that turns professional players into the household names.
How to play online poker?
There are many reputable poker sites that are free to join. Deciding which ones to try depends on the personal preferences in terms of website popularity, game variety, house rules, upcoming promotions and site reputation.
Once a site has been chosen; the poker client (software) needs to be downloaded onto a PC or mobile device. Next, a free account is created by registering a screen name, password and e-mail address. Most sites offer gaming guides and comprehensive step-by-step instructions on how to download the software.
Variations of online poker games
There is an extensive choice of poker games on offer. The following list briefly describes the top 6 most widely available and popular games offered.
- Texas Hold’em (Hold’em) – The most popular and well-known poker game today. In this game, the players are dealt two cards (hole), and five community cards are dealt on the table. There are four rounds of betting. The winner is the player who has the best five-card hand out of the seven available cards. There are four major variations of this game that are distinguished by the betting limits.
- Omaha Hi– Another popular high action fast-paced poker game where pots are greater and players are more liberal with their chips. The winner needs to achieve the highest five card hand using exactly 2 of the four hole cards, and the remaining three must come from the five community cards.
- Omaha Hi/Lo – As Omaha Hi, but the pot is split between the highest and lowest hands.
- Seven Card Stud – One of the oldest poker games with major variations called Razz and Seven-card stud high-low. Situational rules vary slightly depending on the house rules of the casino or online room.
- Razz Poker – The same rules as Seven Card Stud, however, the lowest hand wins.
- Draw Poker– Any poker variant in which each player is dealt a complete five card hand before the first round of betting begin. Players develop their hand at each round by replacing or “drawing” cards.
Play money versus real money
First-time online players may benefit from play-money tables and participating in freerolls. This allows you to learn the basic flow of the game and betting structure, as well as to feel the software. Once you are ready to start playing with real-money a minimum deposit of around $10 or $20 is required and in most cases, funds are available instantaneously. This deposit is called your bankroll. Real-money games offer tables with stakes as low as $0.01/$0.02 and up to $3/$6 for tournament buy-ins.
Deposits can be made using all major credit cards, NETeller account, wire transfer and many other viable options. Remember, poker is a game of risk and losing real money is a part of that risk. It is important to find and set the limit you can afford. There have been instances where US credit card companies have not allowed payments to online gambling sites, so the players from the US will have to read the terms and conditions. As with all online transactions, always use a well-known, reputable poker site. Always do your research before making any online transactions. Do take advantage of a site’s customer services to answer any questions you may have. Spinland casino is a very good example of website where you can deposit and withdraw money with Neteller within few minutes.
Tournaments versus ring games
Tournaments are further divided into single-table or multi-table, and into scheduled events or so-called “sit-and-go” events. One rule that applies to all tournaments games is once play has begun you cannot cash out. You must either lose all your chips or win everybody else’s.
A ring game also know as “live game”, “Hold’em” or “Omaha”, is a single game table where players can sit, buy chips, play and cash out at any point during the play.
There is a vast number of poker variant games with own unique rules. However, two conditions never change. First, the object of the game is to win the pot. Secondly, the card ranking values do not change. Therefore, a player new to a variant will always be able to know the value of their hand.
The game itself involves consecutive rounds of betting and card play between 2-7 players, more in some variants. The deal and play action always moves clockwise around the ‘table’. Players establish hand by using a combination of hole and community cards.
During betting rounds, a player may call, check, raise or fold. If, on any round all players fold except 1, that individual collects the pot and may choose to show his cards or not. If, there are more than one player still active, cards have to be revealed and the highest and lowest cards take or split the pot.
To win a player have to make the highest or lowest hand possible from a combination of hole and community cards. The winner collects the pot.
In many variants of poker joker is not used. Following are the cards ranked from lowest to highest value cards “2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, J, Q, K, A. In some variants the A can be lower than 2.
- Royal Flush – Ace, King, Queen, Jack, 10 of the same suit.
- Straight Flush – 5 sequential cards of the same suit; if, tied the higher Straight Flush wins.
- Four of a Kind – 4 cards same values; if, tied the higher value 4 of a kind wins.
- Full House – 3 of a kind and a pair; if, tied the highest 3 of a kind wins.
- Flush – 5 cards of the same suite.
- Straight – 5 cards in sequential order, but different suits.
- Three of a Kind – 3 cards of the same value.
- Two Pair – 2 sets of cards of the same value.
- Pair – 2 cards of the same value.
- High Card – the highest value hole or community card in play.
Online poker odds
Odds are simply the probability of winning the pot. So, if your odds are “five to one” (5:1), this means that for every $1 you bet you will receive 5 times more if you win. So, if you bet $10 and win, you will receive a payout of $50. Your initial stake is included in the odds.
In poker terms, in order to work out your odds, first you need to know your poker “out”.
This is done by working out what cards are needed to help improve your hand against your opponent. By working out your “outs” you will be able to decide what your next move maybe.
For example, your hand consists of 6 and 7. The flop consists of 8, 9, 2, K. You have to hope that at the next deal a 4, 5 or 10 are dealt. As, the 4, 5 or 10 improve your hand they are called “outs”.
Next, calculating your odds from “outs” can be done using this generic formula:
52 (cards in deck) – 2 (cards in hand) = 50
50 – 4 (flop cards) = 46. Ignore the cards held by your opponent.
46 remaining cards – 3 outs = 43
43/3 = 14.4
The odds of the “out” cards being drawn are 14.4 : 1. In other words, you are 14 times more likely to lose than to win.
As with everything in life, practice makes perfect, and this applies to poker strategy too. Becoming an expert poker player is a realistic ambition for those who are willing to put in the effort to really learn the game. To make up a working poker strategy, you need to understand the interaction between the gamblers, the odds and the advantages of the table position. There are six main types of poker: Texas Hold’em (Hold’em), Omaha Hi, Omaha Hi/Lo, Seven Card Stud and Draw Poker and a lot of strategies for each one. But despite the differences some strategies are very similar. When you build your own one you always need:
- Keep in mind the position at the table
- Understand when to narrow the field and to raise
- When to go all in and when to call
- What is very important to calculate the odds.
It is good to start developing your own unique winning strategy. Furthermore, it is essential to hone your ability to make judgments about other players’ mannerisms, planning your next move and to be a disciplined better in order to reach the ultimate goal of winning the pot.
Online poker tips
Poker is a multifaceted, complex game full of variables and subtleties. A right approach to win more would be:
- Initially take part in a few play-money games in order to become familiar with the gaming client
- Think carefully about the strategy
- Remember that every bet counts, so, be consistent with your betting strategy
- Always choose the right game for your bankroll and skill level
- Be a humble winner and take losing in its stride
- Analyzing both your winning and losing games; it will help you to improve your overall poker-playing prowess.
Ante – Similar to a blind, however, all players must place a bet before a hand is dealt.
All-in – A single player has placed all their chips into the pot.
Big Blind – Initial forced bet required from the 2nd player left of the dealer button.
Board -The community cards dealt by the dealer. Everyone can use these cards in combination with their own to form the best hand.
Active – A player still involved in some form of betting, including any side pots and all-in pots.
Burn – The dealer discards the top card from the pack before each betting round.
Button – The button denotes the dealer for that hand. After each hand the button moves around the table clockwise.
Buy-in – The cost to join a tournament. Typically 20 times the value of the big blind.
Check – If a player does not want to bet, they call “check.” However, if subsequent players place a bet, then you will have to call, fold or raise.
Clock – If a player has taken a long time to “think”. Dealer will call “clock” to continue to keep the game going.
Commynity cards – Cards dealt by the dealer face up on the table for all players to use.
Fold – A player calls “fold” when they believe they have a weak or losing hand. The player places their cards face-down on the table to exit this round of play.
Hand – A player uses a combination of pocket cards and the community cards to make up their best hand.
Hole – Also known as Pocket Cards, these cards are dealt with a player and kept face-down. These cards should not be seen by others at the table.
Limit – Before a poker game commences a limit is set, in which raises and bets are set to a fixed amount.
Muck – The pile of cards that have been discarded during a hand. Cards that have been folded are also put into the muck.
No-limit – A betting system where there is no maximum limit to what a player can bet. However, there is a minimum.
Pot – The collection of chips made during a round of betting by various players.
Rake – The sum of money the house takes out of each poker hand.
Raise – A player puts in more chips than the required minimum to call, thus forcing other players to wager more money to stay in this round.
Ring game – A ring game also know as “live game”, “Hold’em” or “Omaha”, is a single game table where players can sit, buy chips, play and cash out at any point during the play.
Sattelite – A smaller buy-in tournament that offers winners a seat or placing at a higher-buy in tournaments without additional cost.
Sit-and-Go – Poker tournament game where players register ‘sit’ at the table. Once there are enough players sitting the game commences ‘go’.
Small blind – Initial forced bet required from the 1st player left of the dealer button. Valued at half of the Big Blind.
Split pot – The pot is split between two hands of equal value or in a Hi/Lo game.
Straight – 5 sequential cards of different suits.
Straight flush – 5 sequential cards of the same suit.
Tell – A unique mannerism either physical or a betting pattern that suggests if an opponent’s hand is strong or weak.
Time – A player asking for more time to think before dealer ends the hand.
Tournament – Tournaments are further divided into single-table or multi-table, and into scheduled events or so-called “sit-and-go” events. One rule that applies to all tournaments games is once play has begun you cannot cash out. You must either lose all your chips or win everybody else’s.
Online poker is the world’s most extensively played and televised gambling game today. Poker players come from all walks of life and have invested a lot of time and money honing their skills and improving their strategy. So, if you read up on the poker theory and play wisely, a lot of cash from the tournaments will be achievable.
Are there differences between Live and Online Poker?
The main differences are the speed of play that is much faster at the online game, and the ability to play multiple tables at once. Otherwise the game rules, cards dealt, betting limits and players winning or losing are the same.
Do I need special hardware and software to start playing poker online?
No, so long as you have a PC or laptop with a decent internet connection, you can start playing poker online. As for the first step, it will be good to find out which poker websites are popular and offer the poker games you want to play. Next, you have to download the client and register there. It is advisable to start with play-money games first to get used to the overall experience before depositing any real money.