Finding a good online poker site can be a daunting task. On the web, scams abound, and unscrupulous operators compete with each other to lure naive or inexperienced Internet users into their nets. To save you hours of searching for a reliable poker site, we’ve made your job easier: our shock testers have tried dozens of sites for you, and have eliminated all the casinos that don’t meet their quality criteria. But before you will start to enjoy online poker check all the necessary information to become a pro.
History of Poker
The ancient origins of poker are not reliably identified. Some claim that the game originated in Iran, others that it is an adaptation of the French game called brelan, or prime, which was very successful in Europe in the 16th century. Sailors are said to have brought the game to America, where a more modern version of poker was invented.
In the 19th century, poker was played by cowboys and merchants, and the game is still directly associated with the image of the conquest of the West. It was also played on board steamboats, real floating casinos that floated down the Mississippi.
Today, poker has become an extremely popular game all over the world, with international tournaments and stars. Thanks to the internet, anyone can now play poker online and become a legend among the great players! So if you want to discover the best casinos with online poker, read this guide carefully!
There are now several variations of poker: some are played with all the hole cards and privative as the closed poker, the Badugi or the Baducey. Others with a few cards in common for all players like Hold’em poker or Omaha. And all these versions are available at the casino with online poker!
Online Poker: Basic Principles
As an example, let’s take the variant of online poker that is practiced today in online casinos: Hold’em Poker.
Each player will receive two cards. In total, five cards can be drawn and placed in the centre of the table. They are common to all participants. Each player must, with the common cards and those in his hand, make the best possible combination. Of course, at each stage of the game, for example, when a new common card is turned over, each player must bet to stay in the game. The winner is the one who, in the end, has the best hand or stays in the game.
The different poker combinations are as follows, in ascending order:
- first the high card,
- followed by the pair,
- the double pair,
- the inevitable three-of-a-kind,
- the interesting straight
- the flush,
- the full hand,
- the indispensable four-of-a-kind,
- the coveted straight flush,
- and finally the best hand of all: the royal flush.
All players receive chips and take turns dealing the cards. And the order of play depends on the dealer’s position: everyone will speak and act according to their place in the game, and this will change each time. This may sound complicated, but it really isn’t. And, anyway, if you feel lost, don’t panic: the online poker interfaces will guide you every step of the way.
To ensure that the stakes are never zero, the two players who speak first must bet. The person sitting to the left of the dealer must put in the small blind and the next one in the big blind. Other bets will be calculated according to the amount of the starting blinds, for example doubling or tripling the blind when you want to raise. To stay in the game, you must match the amount of the other players. When it’s your turn to talk, each player has the option of putting in the same amount as the others, or raising, or folding.
Once everyone has spoken, the dealer draws a card that no one will see and burns it. Then he draws three cards which he will turn over during the game. These cards are common to all. Each player can either pass again (i.e. not add money), raise (and force the others to pay to continue), or fold.
The dealer will burn a new card and draw a new one for all players still in the game.
The same procedure is followed for the next card.
The winner is the one with the best hand. He pockets all the bets. The small blind becomes the new dealer and cards are dealt again.
The final goal is to win all the chips from your opponents.
What Are the Odds of Winning in Poker?
Poker is not a game of pure chance, unlike craps, slots and baccarat. This means that it is difficult to determine exactly what your chances of winning are before the start of a game. This is because chance is not the only factor that comes into play: your knowledge, experience and skills, as well as those of your opponents, also play an important role in the outcome of a game.
However, there is another factor to consider: the payout rate charged by your operator. The higher the payout, the more money you can make playing poker. To give you an example, a site with a 97% payout gives back C$97 out of every C$100 to players. With a 90% payout rate, only C$90 goes back to the players, which means less money is won.
Online Poker Tips for Beginners
1) Bluffing is an essential part of this game. You can pay and even raise when you have nothing interesting in your hand, in order to scare your opponents into quitting. This way you can pocket all the winnings in play with a more than average hand. It’s a great thrill but don’t forget that you’re not the only one playing this game. Playing online poker at the casino allows you to not be confused by what’s being said around the real table. It’s an opportunity to really focus on your strategy.
2) Statistical studies allow you to know what your chances of winning are with a particular hand. Consult them, and learn them, it is essential to make good decisions throughout the game. Chance, bluffing… It helps you win from time to time. But what really makes the difference over time is concentration and statistics! So to play online poker well and bet real money, put all the chances on your side.
3) If you are new to online poker, more experienced players will quickly identify what kind of player you are and will be able to anticipate your reactions. So from time to time, be unpredictable, and don’t let anyone read you like a book. In poker, you can modify your behaviour and that’s the whole point of the game!
4) The free versions of online casinos are there to allow you to test your strategies without risking real money, so take advantage of them and practice! A reliable casino with online poker never hesitates to offer a free version!
Online Poker on Mobile
Turning your mobile or tablet into a miniature mobile casino is child’s play with poker apps! In just a few minutes, you can install an app on your smartphone and sit down at a cash game or tournament table: handy for playing on the train or in between meetings, in total discretion.
And if you don’t feel like installing an app on your phone, you should know that there are also mobile casinos that work with Flash software. How does it work? You access the games directly in your web browser. Ideal for poker enthusiasts who don’t want to miss out on any of the action!