Poker is one of those games that has been designed to keep players of all calibres entertained. No matter who you are, where you come from or what the size of your bankroll is, you can enjoy a game of Poker. And with online poker, you are not required to visit a land-based casino to do so either.
With all the top recommended online casinos found here at Handpicked Casinos, you will get access to the best variants of poker. Whether you prefer video poker, challenging variants of poker such as Texas Hold’em or live dealer poker. There’s a poker variant available online for every player.
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Getting Started At An Online Poker Casino
Before you jump right into playing online poker, you first need to find the right online poker casino. Each casino has some checks they are required to fulfil before they are considered safe to play at.
These include being licensed and regulated, offering fast and trusted payment methods as well as superb bonus promotions and the best games. Of course, you want to make sure the casino you end up playing at has the best range of poker variants or it won’t be of any value to you.
The top online poker casinos will have a large range of poker games and poker rooms for you to choose from. Another thing to consider is your gameplay level as some of these casinos are better suited for pro players than beginners. You could always opt to check out the reviews of these casinos before attempting to sing up and play.
Pick the Right Game for You
When you’ve chosen the right online casino, it’s time to start your gaming journey. Before you can play, you will need to make a deposit and decide which poker variant you wish to play. Don’t let the casino lights and offerings confuse you or push you towards playing a game that isn’t quite up your alley.
If you’re new to online poker, it’s best to start with the lower stakes game variants. If you’re on the tournament level you can opt for games with low buy-in options where other casual players are also just looking to have a great time.
Finding the right game variants will ensure you have the best and least stressful gaming experience.
Get better with Freerolls
Another great way to explore the casinos and poker variants available online is through freeroll offers. If you head to the Handpicked Casinos list of recommended online casinos, you’ll find many regular freerolls promotions where points and extra cash are offered.
With these you don’t need to pay entrance fees, all you have to do is enter for a chance to learnt he ins and outs of the online poker games and sites you wish to explore.
Pro tip: Never use the freeroll tournaments for profits, rather use them as a way to increase your skills and practice playing with other players.
Familiarize yourself with the setup
As soon as you’ve decided which poker variant you wish to play it’s time to find your center. Online poker tables can often be busy which can make it seem cluttered and confusing. If you get to know the games from the different software developers you will have a clear picture of what to expect and things won’t seem so confusing.
The majority of Poker variants come with a chat box allowing you to chat with other players. And while the software for the poker variants might differ, the games are generally created with a similar layout. Poker games will allow you to easily find accessible links to the cashier and your hand history at the top of the page. Most games will also provide you with a bet adjuster at the bottom of the page.
Take the time to get familiar with the game setup and the table layout before just jumping into the game. This will make it easier to play comfortably later on especially when you want to take actions such as checking the hand history tab to see which hands have failed and won in past rounds.
Learn the Basic Rules of Texas Hold’em
You don’t need to become a World Series champ to get ahead in online poker, but it is good to learn a few moves like decent hand selection, bluffs and continuation bets.
Texas Hold’em is certainly the most popular poker choice the world over. It’s fast, fun and easy to get the hang of.
We all need a few pointers:
- Hold’em is a variant played with anywhere from 2 to 10 players at a table.
- Each player gets 2 cards in the hold that are hidden from everyone else’s eyes.
- The aim is to make the best 5-card hand formed with any of the 5 two-hole cards and 5 community cards that are dealt face up and placed in the middle of the table.
- Betting rounds happen before the first 3 cards are deal – called a pre-flop, and then after flop (post-flop).
- More betting takes place after the fourth card is dealt (the turn) and also after the fifth card has been dealt (the river) which is the final round of betting.
- If there are 2 or more players still in the game at the end, a showdown happens, and the best hand takes the prize. Overall, the bets run from the dealer in a clockwise rotation.
- The first two rounds of betting are called forced bets, or the Small Blind and the Big Blind. The blinds increase during the tournament to bring the game to a conclusion.
Betting Size and Hand Selection
The next thing to learn is how to gauge your bets. There’s usually a bar at the bottom of the screen to size your bets. Some online casinos will let you program automatic bets to ease the decision-making process, and also helpful when playing multiple tables at a time.
With the basic Hold’em version, you should stick to betting amounts. It makes it harder for opponents to gauge you and makes your decisions easier.
A good play to opt for is a raise of 3 times the game’s big blind if you have a strong hand. It’s not particularly high to force you to make a decision for all your remaining chips, but also not so low as to attract attention. This move often forces out most players in a hand so you can concentrate on taking on just one or two players after the flop.
One of the most important things in any online poker game is to know when to fold. If you think you’re beaten, toss in those cards. Patience always pays out.
Hand selection is another important poker element, especially when you’re first learning to play.
In a game of Hold’em, you need to raise with strong pairs, like pairs of 10s, Kings, Queens, Jacks or Aces along with suited connectors like Ace-King or King-Queen.
Play Multiple Tables
Poker is one of those fascinating games that allow you to play at a single table or multiple tables. If you are new to the game it is strongly recommended to stick with a single table gameplay.
However, once you get a hang of the basics and you’re comfortable enough you can start experimenting with playing multiple tables at a time.
All the top online casinos will allow you to play more that one table at a time. The fact of the matter is that in order to make long-term profits in poker you need to have volume. The more hands you manage to fit into an hour, the more cash you’ll be able to make.
Try a Sit’N’Go
Before you jump right in at the deep end, try a Sit ‘n’ Go, which is ideal for getting a feel for the game. With this kind of tournament, you will experience around an hour of intense competitive poker play to see whether or not you’ll enjoy the game.
Take It Slow
Online poker is no casual game. You need to decide on bets on the fly and under pressure. Pace yourself. Work your way up to tournaments with dozens of hands by starting in practice mode with low limit games. In fact, we recommend playing free games while you hone your skills.
Know the Ranks
To win at poker, you need certain ranks. These include:
- Four of a kind
- Straight flush – five cards in a row of the same suit
- Full house – 3 cards of a kind plus two of another kind
- Flush – 5 cards from the same suit
- Straight – five cards in a row but not of the same suit
- Two pairs – two of one kind and two of another
- A pair
If a player has hands of the same type, the player with higher card rank wins the round.
Types of Online Poker Games
Online poker comes in an abundance of variants. Common online poker games include:
- Limit vs. No Limit
- Seven Card Stud
- Tournament Poker
- Live Dealer Poker
- Video Poker
- Sit ‘n’ Go tournaments
- Single player games
- Multiple tables
- Texas Hold’em
- 2-7 Triple Draw
- Chinese Poker
The Bottom Line
If you take advantage of the tips we’ve provided and ease into playing online poker, you will become an online Poker master in no time. It’s important to know that trial and error is part of figuring out which variety of poker will suit your style and bankroll. A great way to learn is by trying the poker variants in free play/ practice mode before attempting to play in real money mode.
The minute you are comfortable and sure you’ve got the hang of the games you can find a top online casino and start playing. Choose from the Handpicked Casinos list of recommended Online Poker Casinos to play at a secure casino with premium quality welcome bonuses.
And when you feel the time has come you can opt into the casino tournaments and live dealer games for an even more thrilling and immersive gaming experience. Before doing any of this, play around to find your optimal poker variant, bankroll size and player preference.
Find the right online poker casino with a credible reputation and remember to never place wagers above your limits.