.Poker… It’s one of the best known games on earth.
Millions of people will remember the legendary high-stakes poker game between James Bond and ‘Le Chiffre’ in Casino Royale. Though your bets will probably be not that high as 007’s, you will for sure experience the thrill of online poker tables!
Online poker tables
So let’s first have a closer look to the basics of the online poker game. Later on, we’ll give you a number of useful poker tips and trics.
Poker hand rankings
First of all you should get familiar with the basic poker hand rankings, which are quite simple:
- High Card: whatever your highest card is
- One Pair: any two cards of the same rank
- Two pair: any two cards of the same rank, together with another two cards of the same rank
- Three of a kind: any three cards of the same rank
- Straight: any five consecutive cards of different suits
- Flush: any five cards of the same suit (not consecutive)
- Full House: any three cards of the same rank, together with any two cards of the same rank
- Four of a Kind: any four cards of the same rank
- Straight Flush: any sequence of cards, all the same suit
- Royal Flush: A straight from a ten to an ace with all five cards of the same suit
Playing online poker tables
When playing the online poker game, every player is dealt two cards face down – these are called your ‘hole cards’. Then there is a round of betting where you can check, bet or fold. This stage of the game is known as pre-flop and what you should do is dependent on those hole cards, or starting hand.
When all the betting has finished three shared cards are dealt face up in the middle of the table. This is called the flop.
After this, there is another round of betting; next, a fourth shared card called the turn is dealt.
There is another round of betting, and then the final shared card called the river is dealt, followed by the final round of betting.
Your best hands will be made by using your hole cards and the five cards in the middle to make the best possible five card poker hand.
There are two ways a hand can end.
One is when the players in a hand turn over their hole cards and the player with the best hand wins. This is known as a showdown.
The other is that someone will bet enough that everyone else folds. This is how most hands end in poker; so, you don’t always need the best hand to win.
Some further explanation about the possible actions players can take when they play poker online:
- Bet – Players may bet if no other players have bet during the current round. Once a bet has been made, other players must ‘call’ by matching the amount bet, in order to remain in the hand.
- Call – Players can call if other players have bet during the current round; this requires the calling player to match the highest bet made.
- Raise – Players may raise if other players have bet during the current round; this requires the raising player to match the highest bet made, and then make a greater one. All subsequent players are required to call the raise or raise again (‘re-raise’) to stay in the hand.
- Fold – Players who fold forfeit their cards and cannot win or act again during the current hand.
- Check – To check is to decline the opportunity to open the betting. Players can only check when there is no bet during the current round, and the act of checking passes the action clockwise to the next person in the hand.
Top 5 tips to increase chances of winning online poker
Increase your chances of winning and read the tips below before joining the online poker tables for real money.
Practice makes perfect
When you play poker online, you get better the more often you play it. It is also important to know the combinations by heart when playing poker. Otherwise you don’t know which step to take if you have certain cards in your hands.
Stop at the right time
If after a few rounds you feel like you’ve only lost, you’d better stop playing. If you feel you are constantly having bad luck, this will get in your head and negatively influence your decisions in the game. Try to stay positive, because then you will see the most possibilities with your cards.
The guarantee of a good combination
You may have a promising hand at first, but this is no guarantee that you will take the win in the online poker game. There are certainly combinations that increase your chances of winning, but because of the important part of luck, success is never guaranteed. Therefore, try to assess whether your combination is actually as good as it seems at first.
Don’t bluff too much.
If you are a beginner, it is better to play your cards well rather than trying to bluff your opponents out of hands. It is good to try occasional bluffs, but really knowing when to bluff comes from knowledge and practice.
Good starting hands
Beginners often play far too many hands. But playing more doesn’t mean winning more. You should only play starting hands with potential. Before the flop, go ahead if you have pairs (for example: 9-9), two face cards (for example: K-Q) or cards that could make either a straight or a flush (for example: 6-7 of the same suit).
Frequently Asked Questions about online poker tables
Can I watch a game that I’m not playing in?
Yes, almost every site lets you do this. It’s a great way to watch how people play and perhaps add more to your game.
Are poker sites able to see what is on my computer?
Part of the user agreement with basically every poker site includes a bit about how they are allowed to monitor what is going on your computer while you’re playing. They are looking for applications that may be allowing you to cheat the game. If you are not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about.
Is poker hard to learn?
No, playing poker isn’t difficult. You only need to know the basic rules to start playing. Learning how to play well can be more challenging, but you don’t necessarily need to worry about that if you’re just playing for fun.
Can I win money playing poker?
Yes, anyone can win money, even if they’re not a particularly experienced or skilled player. You can improve your chances of winning by learning how to play the game better than your opponents, but there’s enough luck involved in poker that even a complete beginner has the potential to win.
What stakes can I play for online?
Most sites have a wide enough range of stakes to suit all players. You’ll find cash games starting at stakes as low as €0.05 blinds and tournaments that cost just €1 to enter.
Is it better to play tournaments or cash games?
Both have their own set of characteristics. You should try both styles, as you may be able to clearly see that you prefer one over the other. However, neither one could definitively be described as better than the other, as it’s completely based on a player’s preference.
A (very) short history of poker
The history of poker is hard to determine. It closely resembles the Persian game of ‘as nas’. Others claim that the name of the game descended from the French ‘poque’, which comes from the German ‘pochen’ (to knock). However, it is not clear whether the origins of poker itself lie with the games bearing these names.
French colonials imported the game to the new world. From the beginning of the 18th century, it spread from the state of Louisiana up the Mississippi river and then throughout the whole country.
Over the years, the 20-card deck was changed to a 52-card deck. During the American Civil War, many additions were made.
Nowadays, poker is played in more variations than probably any other game. Its phrases are part of our common speech. We even named a facial expression after it. Poker is bigger than it has ever been and with the advent of online poker it promises to still grow significantly.
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