What is poker?
Poker is one of the oldest and the most popular card games where the players can win or lose money according to the definite rules for the cards they hold and the cards on the table. Thanks to technology and its constant rise, players can now play poker online on various online casino sites and experience some exciting games.
For as long as poker exists, the debate will continue about whether it is a skill or luck game. Poker is a gambling game, and luck plays a crucial role, especially in the short run. The cards on the table are picked randomly, so they can be the best fit for the cards in your hand to win the game. There is a difference between poker and any other form of gambling. It is one of the most skill-based games on a casino floor, and the world’s best players make money by being the best.
Among all casino games, this card game is the only one in which players are pitted against one another. In all other online casino games, players compete against the casino house. The casino has a mathematical advantage in games like blackjack, baccarat, roulette, and slots, especially if you play online. On the other hand, players compete against each other. In some cases, the casino charges players for time spent at the table or entering the game online. The casino may cut some fees, and this is known as rakes. Besides winning money from your opponents, you have to win enough to cover the rake to make a profit, whether you play online poker in top online casinos or in a land-based casino.
How to play?
Today, poker is usually played with a standard deck of 32, 40 or 48 cards rather than the earliest form of just 20 cards. Various sites offer poker games that have different deck configurations, card counts, face-up and face-down cards, and a shared number among all players with betting rounds that are part of the rules.
Almost all modern poker games begin with some form of a forced bet (the blind or ante) as the first round of betting begins. As a rule, players place their bets based on their perception of how much their hand is worth compared to other players’ hands. Next, each player must either match (or “call”) the maximum previous bet or fold, losing the amount bet so far. Matching a bet allows a player to “raise” it too, which means putting on the table a bigger bet that other players should match and continue the hand.
All players must call or fold their last bet for the betting round to end. On any round in which all players except one fold, the remaining player collects the pot without revealing their hand. If more than one player remains in contention after the final betting round, a showdown occurs where the hands are revealed, and the player with the winning hand takes the pot.
Main types of poker
Poker comes in different forms and types, making the players excited in many ways. There are thrilling games that make all the online poker experience unforgettable, depending on the countries the players are based in. Right below, we will mention the most popular variants, so make sure to find some details for your favourite one:
Texas Hold ’em
The most popular variation is Texas Hold ’em, is a game commonly spotted in movies and other TV series. With two hidden hole cards and five community cards face-up, Texas Hold ’em is packed with action and strategy. Whatever your level of knowledge or skill, there is a game version that fits your skills, like online Texas Hold ’em poker, video poker, etc. If you are a beginner at the game of Texas Hold ’em, know that there are live poker events where you can attend and buy tournament tickets for various competitions.
Pot Limit Omaha
Pot Limit Omaha goes beyond Texas Hold ’em regarding action and game features. With its similar rules and betting options to Texas Hold ’em, Omaha has gained increasing popularity in recent years. Compared to Texas Hold ’em, Omaha starts with four-hole cards, whereas Texas Hold ’em begins with two. In the end, only two cards are available for creating your final hand. In this game, there are four-hole cards instead of two, so variables and hand combinations are different. Every river in Omaha is filled with action.
Caribbean Stud Poker
How does Caribbean Stud Poker differ from other poker variations? Since you are playing against the dealer rather than other players, the game is a little more exciting. This game is similar to a 5-card stud, except the dealer must show one card throughout the game.
There are five cards dealt to both the player and the dealer. A player wins 1:1 if his hand beats a qualifying dealer’s hand. Next, the stake is returned to the player if the dealer’s hand doesn’t qualify at the beginning of the game. In addition, a progressive knockout jackpot is available, so everyone is guaranteed prize pools.
Online poker games such as video poker can be played in the regular version or variations such as jokers wild and deuces wild. The card combinations are also determined by a Random Number Generator. Video poker, however, requires some skills and strategies, which makes the whole experience of online gambling more enjoyable.
Once you have chosen your bet, you have to press the deal button. Each player will receive five face-up cards, and you can exchange them for new ones from the virtual deck. It is all about getting the best combination of hands. There are no other players in this game, so the goal is to find the best winning hand that boosts the payer’s excitement.
Best sites to play online
Online poker sites are constantly competing with each other and trying to bring a better poker experience for all the players that step in. They do their best to offer attractive bonuses to all new players and boost their start. But what makes one online poker site better than the other? Some poker sites attract players with a big welcome deposit bonus or a vast range of features. You should go for the online poker sites that offer an excellent variety for players, so they will keep coming back to play their favourite real-money poker games.
Here is a short list of the most popular poker sites where you can try your luck on various tournaments:
- GGPoker – €100 in rewards for the new players and matched deposit for up to €250. There is a Honeymoon challenge for the players, where they should complete daily missions for a total monthly reward of €350. The most popular poker games you can find here are All-in or Fold, Battle Royale, Flip & Go, etc. Also, there are many cash games, like Texas Hold ’em, 6+ Short Deck and Omaha.
- PokerStars – 100% welcome bonus for up to €600 with a bonus code STARS600. Newcomers can also claim €30 free play and have a good time with their friends on the website. PokerStars is an organizer of the major online poker tournaments where the pool prizes count millions of dollars. This is not just a poker room – you can find different casino games and a sportsbook for regulated sports betting activities.
- 888Casino – As a newcomer, you can claim 2 welcome offers. The first one is €20 free play with no deposit bonus just for creating an account. The second one is a 100% welcome bonus of up to €500 on your first deposit. Many other bonuses can be claimed as tournament tickets gradually after a week of the claiming period. The most popular poker games you can find here are Texas Hold ’em, Casino War, Joker’s Wild, Game King Video Poker, etc. You can join one of the world’s famous poker tournaments MTT, like Sit and Go, Multi Flight, SNAP, etc.
Real money poker sites vs. free poker sites
Both free and real money poker sites offer excellent features for the players to start their journey and join any poker event. Many online poker sites offer free demo play that allows all interested players to try some specific poker games and explore the in-game features like cash prizes. To pick the right online poker platform, here are some pros and cons of playing it for free or in real money:
Real money poker:
- You can win real cash
- Real money games help players improve their skills faster
- There are first-time cash deposit bonuses and rewarding tournaments
- Attractive loyalty programs and bonuses for VIP players
- Real money bankroll boosters for extra profit
Free money poker:
- Free and secure gameplay
- No risk of losing money
- New poker players can quickly build some skills
- You can play free poker variations
- Not complicated to start, even for the non-tech-savvy players
Make sure you pick the best fit for yourself and enjoy poker night like never before.