How to Play Poker Online

Poker is quite an amazing game that has instilled entertainment among the masses, from friendly games to competitive high stakes competitions; but it has not always been what we know it as today. The earliest of poker games weren’t even played with a 52 card deck believe it or not. In the mid 1800’s poker was played primarily on Mississippi riverboats. This got the ball rolling on what we know today as poker. From 1850 – 1900 is when a lot of the modern poker advances were made. Such as 5 card stud, games involving a wild card, or split-pot style games. The modern tournament style of poker playing started raising in popularity in American casinos in the early 1970’s shortly after the word series of poker started.

It wasn’t too long after that, that people started putting real thought into the strategy behind poker, so much so that books began coming out about it. By the 1980’s poker had become entertaining to the masses. It began appearing in television programs and movies much more frequently than in the past, and generally just became more a commonplace activity. By the 1990’s poker was everywhere, gambling in a poker game at a casino was now easier than ever, with casinos becoming a more popularized activity.

This was right around the time that Atlantic city began to be a note-worthy gambling location nationwide. Can we attribute that to poker? Perhaps, perhaps not, what we can defiantly agree on is that poker, in its many forms, Is one of the most entertaining and famous card games in the world to date.

Online Poker The Rules

Most important to poker players, of course, are the rules. Most forms of poker are all played with a 52 card deck, of which I’m sure you are familiar. In most poker games the process is relatively similar. At the beginning of each hand all players place their original bet , or ante, into the ‘pot’ which is a collection of bets throughout the hand to be given to the winner at the end. Next the dealer deals all cards, and the players determine how to raise their bets based on the cards they have.

If someone bets, all others must match that bet, raise that bet or ‘fold’ , thus forfeiting any chips they previously put into the pot, and removes themselves from the rest of the hand. When all players have placed equal bets the betting round is over. Depending on the variation being played this would be the time to exchange cards out for replacements from the dealer. Then another betting round takes place. After that concludes there is a show of hands to determine the winner of the hand. This entire process repeats till one person has all the chips on the table, or when all other players but one forfeits.

Who wins a hand is a simple successive chain of winning hand possibilities, the person at the table with the highest of which becomes the winner of that hand. That succession is as follows, from highest to lowest. Five of a kind (only possible if a wild card is used) , Royal Flush, Strait flush, Four of a kind, Full House, Flush, Strait, Three of a kind, Two Pair, A Pair, Highest Card.

Online Poker Variations

Over the years poker has been an ever changing tapestry of rules and play-styles. People all across the world play poker, and we are an imaginative race, so multiple variations of the game were destined to happen. Poker is played in countries all across the globe; Europe, The US, Japan, Peru, Germany and the Netherlands to name a few.

A common variation to the standard Texas hold-um style tournament that you see in casinos today, is draw poker. Most note-worthy being 5 card draw, in which all 5 cards in the hand are kept hidden, and some will be replaced after the first betting round.

Then of course you have you’re stud pokers, 5 and 7 card respectively. In which a player is given a combination of face up and face down cards that they bet with throughout the betting rounds. Similar to Omaha and Texas hold’em, the huge difference is the face up cards that are on the table are all shared among the players instead of each individual having their own face up cards. These are the main variations, but many other rules can apply in different places and play-styles. Such as Lowball where the lowest hand wins, or High-Low split where the highest and lowest hands split the pot. Then we have the games that people choose to add wild cards to.

Across Europe, a popular style is double flip, and a stripped deck variant is popular in Spain with only 8-Ace Honoring the 20 card decks on which poker originated. Similar to that are royal deck games, which is 9-ace or 8-ace, but out of two decks , leaving the deck 48, or 56 cards deep. Some styles of poker even leave people the option of purchasing a card from the deck by adding to the pot.

Online Poker Strategy

Anyone who has played poker can tell you, It’s a game of luck. There is no denying that fact. However this does not change the fact that poker has quite a bit of strategy involved as well. The obvious thing people will say is you need to be able to read people. This is true, but there is a lot more to it than that. You need to get inside your opponents head, the goal is to make him act in such a way that is different from how he would act if he could see the cards in your hand. If you can do this you’re doing a good job, and likely have gained.

Bluffing is a huge part of that. Betting high and warding off other bets when you have nothing can net you large results for little to nothing for cards in your hand. It also carries a considerable amount of risk, so choose your bluffs carefully; there are defiantly people out there who will call your bluff.

Something also is to be said about your position at the table, if you’re early in rotation, to bet high you need a better hand in most cases, than a person at the end who has already seen everyone else bet, pass, raise, or fold. This also lets you get an eye for the pot-odds. I’ll explain. The pot-odds ratio is an important tool one can use to help decide if a bet is worth it or not. Say the pot is $50 and you need to call $10 for a chance at it. This gives you 5 to 1 pot-odds. You want your odds of winning to outweigh the pot-odds, in such a case as 6 people are playing, the pot is 50, you need to call 10 to win it, but 3 have already folded. Your odds of winning are 3 to 1, with 5 to 1 pot-odds. So that would be favorable. Keep all in mind while playing. What cards have come up, how much others have bet people’s behavior on losing hands compared to winning (pre winning or losing the hand in question). Play smart and you will rise in poker greatness.