Online Poker is 52 cards poker game played in online casinos. Unlike other card games where punters bet against dealer/house, in poker, they bet against each other. Players with better poker hand values bet against other players.
In land-based casinos, players are given dedicated rooms for playing pokers. These are known as poker rooms. The same concept is applied in the online casinos too. Especially, if you come across any online poker sites, they have several poker rooms dedicated to different poker games. Online poker rooms can be used to play both real money game as well as free games.
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If you’re a beginner and still not accustomed to rules of online poker games, then you can first try free money poker sites. On these sites, you can access the variants of poker room for practice. During your practice sessions, if you win the rounds, you do not get any cash here. This is because you are not playing here for real money. Consequently, you haven’t wagered any money during your gameplay.
In real money poker sites, you have to deposit your cash through payment options in your online casino account to play online poker games.
Now, since there are several online casinos that host poker games, it becomes difficult for new players to pick one to play. In this confusion, I hope you don’t end up picking an ill-reputed site. Therefore, in the next section, I will help you ease your search for the best Poker sites.
How to choose the Best Online Real Money Sites for Poker gaming?
It is critical that punters choose reputed and best poker sites for amazing online poker experience. This is because you are wagering your real money. It is imperative that the poker sites return your winnings promptly. So, you can know about the authenticity of these sites by reading my comprehensive reviews. As you know, I make researches most prompt and detailed online casino analysis for players to read and decide for themselves. Other ways to choose the best online real money poker sites include:
If you find more than one authentic online poker site from review analysis, you can narrow them down by the bonuses offered there. Some online sites offer bonuses more than others. Some even have dedicated promotional deals for online Poker games. I would suggest you make a wise move by choosing such casinos.
Dedicated Online Real Money Sites for Poker
There are some dedicated online poker sites which the players can look for enjoyable poker rooms. These poker sites offer variants of poker games along with explicit bonuses. Along with this, some even have dedicated tutorials for each variant and each of the poker rules. Some sites also teach you about different poker strategies, different hands in poker, game terminologies, calculation of odds, best reference books for this game, and such. They even guide on how to download & login at their casinos, about depositing & withdrawing options, bonuses & promotional deals and all such.
I also would like to mention that some poker casinos offer free poker practise games. So you can practise the Poker variants until you’re perfect for playing for real money. For experienced players, I would say the variants, bonuses and tournaments offered at the Poker site should be compelling enough. So go ahead and give it a try here!
Licensed and Regulated Online Poker sites
Whether it is a land-based casino or a dedicated online poker site, players must always look for their licenses to guarantee their security. A licensed and regulated online casino is way more reliable compared to the ones which are not. These licensing authorities are responsible for overseeing fair casino dealings. They set rules and regulations for the online casinos to abide by. They even conduct timely inspections and audits to assess the fair working of the casinos.
If the casinos don’t follow them, either they get blacklisted, or their license to run the casino will be suspended. If you experience any misdealing at any online poker room, you can even complain about it at the concerned licensing authority. They investigate your complaint and offer you solace accordingly. So make sure that you even check for casino licenses before settling for one.
Some of the trustworthy regulating bodies I often check for are the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA), the UK Gambling Commission, eCOGRA, GBGA, and such.
Security and Privacy at Real Money Poker Sites
Security is a chief prospect at any real money poker room. This is obvious since players are playing for real money here. They enter their transaction details to deposit and withdraw money from online casinos. Along with this, they even give their personal details for authentication. All this information can end up in the wrong hands without apt security. Hence, all the online casinos make it a point to include state-of-the-art encryption technology.
Most casinos make use of two types of major encryption technology. These are Transport Layer Security (TLS) and Secure Sockets Layer (SSL). Both are the latest of the global standard security technology. Not just casinos but all institutions and businesses that deal with online data management use these encryptions.
Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)
SSL is the encryption technology which facilitates secure data transmission between server and web browser. Through SSL, casinos encode individual details such personal info, date of birth, passwords, email id and passwords, credit or debit card numbers etc. Once encrypted, it is impossible for hackers or third parties to tamper with it. Thus, all the punters’ info remains safe.
Transport Layer Security (TLS)
TLS works similar to SSL encryption. It also cyphers communication between web servers and applications. If you find any online poker room with HTTPS in their link, it means that the casino is TLS encrypted.
You can find all the info regarding the casino’s security in their ‘About Us’ or ‘Home’ page section. Also, make sure to check the casino link if it has HTTPS included in the beginning.
New Online Poker Sites and Their Features
Every now and then new online poker sites are coming up. With various developments taking place in the digital world, these poker rooms are also getting upgraded accordingly. Not just new online casinos, but even the established ones are enhancing their site abilities using these developments. Some of these features which I observed are:
Payment through Cryptocurrencies
Players are allowed several online payment options like Credit/Debit cards, e-wallets and internet banking. Another option now found on new online poker sites is a cryptocurrency, which is a must for each poker site to provide. In the end, if you claim to be new and to bring innovation and offer a lot of goodies, crypto is something that comes in the first place.
There are various cryptocurrencies available in casinos for transactions. These include Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin, Dash, Monero, Ethereum, Litecoin, Dogecoin, Zcash, Ripple etc. However, you must know that not all casinos offer all cryptocurrencies. Some don’t even option this option. So, I would suggest you check the casino’s payment option availability before signing up to them.
Online Poker Tournaments
An online poker tournament is another awesome feature that any new online poker site must have in its inventory. Depending on the site, players can get a huge amount of rewards during these tournaments.
A poker tournament comes with a pre-set gaming format. All the aspects of the game, such as the structure of the game, stack sizes, buy-ins, antes, etc., are already fixed here. These tournaments are tricky, slightly complicated and hence come with fascinating prizes. So you must be perfect with the game before participating in one.
There are different types of online poker tournaments. These include Multi-buy, Freezeout, Freeroll, LiveSatellite, Rebuy, Guaranteed, multi-table, Sit & Go and Knockout, to name a few. Remember, the different casino offers different tournaments, and their names differ accordingly. I ask you to read all the terms concerning these tournaments and then participate in them.
Platforms to access poker
Most of the new online poker sites these days are accessible through just your mobile browsers. You do not require downloading or installing any app to play the game. Since different players use different devices, new online casinos have upgraded to avail themselves on all platforms. So you could be an Android user or iOS or Windows, almost all the casinos come compatible on these platforms. Furthermore, you don’t have to remain attached to your computer all the time to play poker. Instead, browse and access the game on the go using your smartphone, laptop or tablet.
Bonuses & Promotions at Best Poker Sites
Bonuses and promotions are one way for best online poker sites to keep the punters satisfied and loyal to them. Depending on the location of the casino access, punters can get various deals at poker sites. Some of the common bonuses include:
It all begins with signing up at the right online poker site. As a warm welcome offer, almost all the poker sites offer new players with welcome bonuses after sign up. Some casinos present ‘No Deposit bonus’ first while others award ‘Deposit bonuses’.
No Deposit bonus: As the name suggests, new players get no deposit bonus directly after signing up and requires no deposit to be made in their casino account. In this deal, the casino itself adds some bonus money to your account, and you can use the same to play your hand. The poker game selections, location on which the bonus applies, bonus amount, etc. varies from one casino to another.
Deposit bonus: These bonuses get applied on either first deposit or first few deposits new players make after signing up. Under this deal, punter receives 100% deposit match bonus on the first deposit they make. Further on, depending on second, third or even fourth deposits, they can also receive 50% and 25%, or maybe 200% deposit match.
Again, it all depends on casinos. Some casinos may just offer bonus on first deposit while others can go till fourth. And of course, there will be minimum deposit requirements along with varying bonus limits. Hence, I recommend punters to check all the deposits available and take advantage of them wherever possible.
Other Promotional Poker Room Deals
Apart from these standard deals for new players, the best poker sites also offer promotional deals for regular and loyal punters. These include special Monday offers, Weekdays offers, Weekends offers, Friday offers, Jackpot chances, festive deals and several such others. I will emphasise again that these promotional deals vary from one online poker site to another. So whichever site you opt, make sure to visit their bonus section to know all about their happening deals.
Online Poker Types
As I mentioned before, online poker comes with exciting variants, and each one of them is interesting. In this section, I will guide you on different types of online poker and how to play them. These are the most common games easily available on casinos.
Texas Hold ’em Poker
In Texas Hold ’em Poker, each punter receives 2 cards. You receive both of the cards face down. Next, the dealer places five cards (all face down) – first 3 cards, then the remaining 2 one after other. Players can pick any of these and make the best poker hand of 5 cards. Before and after picking a card, punters have to bet first. But you can also check or Fold. However, as always, the best poker hand in the game wins the amount.
Hold ’em Omaha
Omaha Poker is a derivative of Texas Hold ’em game. In Omaha Poker, each punter receives 4 cards face down. Then the dealer deals 5 community cards on the table all face-up. Each punter has to pick 3 of the community cards and also use 2 of their already dealt cards to make the best Poker hand of 5 cards.
Omaha Hi/Lo Poker
The gameplay of Omaha Hi/Lo Poker is similar to the Hold ’em Omaha. The only difference is the pot money. In Omaha Hi/Lo Poker, you will encounter high pot money. This pot money is split up in two and offered to the high best hand and the low best hand. Hence, the name Hi/Lo.
Five Cards Omaha
Five cards Omaha is a derivative of Omaha Poker game. Each punter gets 5 cards to face down. Next, 5 community cards are dealt, all face up. So again, you have to use 3 of your cards and 2 community cards to make the best Poker hand.
Also known as Seven Card Stud, it takes time and dedication to master it. As you guessed, each player gets a total of 7 cards during the game. They have to make the best poker hand of five cards to win the pot money.
Razz is also a 7 Card stud, but instead, it is played for low. Punters receive a total of 7 cards and are to make the best of five cards hand. The catch here is to make the best low hand. The winner gets to take the pot money home.
Different Poker Hands
‘Poker hands’ are a group of cards in a particular sequence which punters have to form during the game to win the pot. During the round, only the best poker hand wins and gets to take the reward. Nevertheless, the best poker hands more or less the same in every type of poker game. Therefore, knowing the best hands, in general, provides the players to have a good start. So, let me frankly explain some of the best hands that you can get in poker rooms.
Straight Flush is made up of five successive cards of the same suit. However, the best Straight Flush hand is known as Royal Flush. Royal Flush consists of Ace, King, Queen, Jack, and 10s, all made in a single suit. Royal Flush is considered as the top poker hand that players can get in the poker rooms.
After Royal Flush any other sequence formed as straight flush holds the strongest position. Example of Straight Flush is- 9 (Hearts)-8 (Hearts)-7 (Hearts)-6 (Hearts) -5 (Hearts). Here, you can see the all the cards belong to the same suit (Hearts) and also the number sequence is perfectly formed (9-8-7-6-5). Also, players can form a total of 36 Straight Flush combinations in a deck of 52 cards.
Four of a Kind
Four of a Kind involves four cards of the same rank. It is the next top poker hand in the game after Straight Flush. For example, K-K-K-K or 3-3-3-3 are different kinds of Four of a Kind. It is obvious that all four cards will be from different suits.
If there is a tie during the game, a punter with the highest set of Four of a Kind wins. Also, in community card games, there is a fifth card known as the kicker. Four of a Kind card along with the better kicker determines the winner. For instance, it could be 6-6-6-6-J. The first 4 cards represent four of a Kind while ‘J’ is the kicker. 624 Four of kind combinations can be made using 52 cards deck including the kicker card.
Full House is a five-card hand with 3 cards of same ranks and a pair which are also of the same rank. An example is 2-2-2-A-A or K-K-K-10-10. Consider the example (2-2-2-A-A). In this, 3 cards of a kind are represented by 2-2-2 while a pair is A-A. Full House bet comes with a higher rank than Flush but is below Four of a Kind. This is considered as the third best hand among poker hands. You can easily form around 3,744 different Full House combos through a deck of 52 cards.
A hand of Flush includes 5 cards coming from the same suit. In terms of the value, Flush ranks above Straight but is below Full House. The rank of the Flush hand formed by punters is decided through the highest card in that hand. So the strongest would an Ace-High Flush.
It could be a hand like this: Q (Spades) -8 (Spades) – 6 (Spades) -4 (Spades) -3(Spades). Here you can see all the 5 cards belong to the same suit.
Consider another example of K-7-4-3-2(Spades). Compared to Q-8-6-4-3(Spades), K-7-4-3-2(Spades) is a better hand. Also, if two players end up having the same hand, the tie is broken by considering the second card. You can form precisely 5,108 combos of Flush hand using 52 cards deck.
A hand of Straight forms sequence of five cards from any suit. An example of Straight hand is 8(Clubs)- 7 (Hearts)- 6 (Spades)- 5 (Hearts)- 4 (Diamonds). You will see the sequence is formed by the number (8-7-6-5-4), although the suits are different.
The highest-ranking Straight hand is known as “Broadway”. Broadway could be formed by A (Spades)-K (Clubs)-Queen (Hearts) – Jack (Spades) – 10 (Diamond). Using a 52 cards deck, players can form 10,200 different combos of Straight bet.
Three of a Kind
This is made up of 3 same rank cards (of different suits) and 2 side cards. This hand falls above Two Pair but is below than Straight. A massive combination of 52,912 Three of a Kind can be formed through a 52 cards deck.
You can make a hand of Three of a Kind with K (Hearts) –K (Clubs)-K (Diamonds) – 7- 5. K (Hearts) –K (Clubs)-K (Diamonds) is three of a kind made up of 3 same rank cards. 7- 5 are side cards.
This hand is formed by a pair of cards of the same rank along with another pair of cards of the same rank and 1 side card. Thus, you have 2 pairs and 1 side card.
Example is 10 (Diamonds) – 10 (Spades) – 5 (Clubs) – 5 (Hearts) – J. 10 (Diamonds) -10 (Spades) and 10s and 5s are two pair of the same rank. Meanwhile, J is the side card.
In case of a tie, the deciding card would be the pair. The first highest pair in the Two Pair hand wins. So, as you can guess, J-J-3-3-6 is better than 10-10-7-7-4. A tempting 123,552 combos can be formed of Two Pair using a 52 cards deck.
As the name suggests, you make a pair of cards of the same rank. This is joined by three side cards with no real links. Thus, five cards are formed.
For instance, A (Clubs) – A (Spades) – 4- 7- K. While the A (Clubs) – A (Spades) form the pair of the same rank, the remaining 3 are side cards.
The deciding factor here is the denomination of the pair cards. So the Ace will always be considered highest while 2 is the lowest. K-K-5-3-6 is greater than 10-10- J- 8- A, for example. During a game, players can combine 1,098,240 One pair hand combos in a 52 card deck.
Any hand that is not one of the above-mentioned hands is the high card. If no punter has a pair or better hand, then the high card is the winner. For instance, it could be K (Hearts)- J (Spades)- 10 (Diamonds)- 5 (clubs)- 2 (Hearts).
In the case of High Card, the deciding factor would be just a High Card. So, Q-8-6-3-7 beats J-2-7-6-5. Poker players can form 1,302,540 High Card combinations through a single deck of 52 cards.
Now that you’re accustomed to the online poker game and its variants, you can go ahead and try it out. If you are just a beginner, as I mentioned above, do check for free online poker sites first and practice the game. Once you are ready, start finding reliable real money poker sites online. Remember to check their licenses and reviews before signing up at one. I know this could be slightly time-consuming, but I assure you it will be worth it.
Also, the poker game is amazingly interesting and rewarding once you understand its rules and learn how to play. Of course, some amount of luck is involved here, but with dedication, you can master the game and bring that luck on your side! However, everything is exciting in moderation. So gamble responsibly for entertainment and don’t overdo it!
Instant Poker play is the term used by casinos which can be accessed through device browser itself. These casinos (whether they have their own app or not) do not require to download the app.
How do I know if a poker site is secure to access?
Try to look for poker sites which come with SSL security and have ‘https’ in their links. These are encrypted sites and are safe to access. Furthermore, if the site has a license from a reputable authority like the MGA or the UKGC, you can trust the site.
Is it legal to play online poker?
It depends on the country/region where you’re accessing the game from. Make sure to quickly go through the legality of online gambling in your country before playing the poker game.
Why can’t I access a particular poker bonus?
Generally, bonuses come with several terms & conditions. So, if you don’t meet even one of their requirements, you won’t be eligible for that particular bonus.
Can I play poker online with my friends?
Yes, some online poker sites have even included this option.