Reviews of reputable online poker websites. These are the safest and most popular online poker rooms. While many of them cater to poker players from Australia, Canada and Europe, only a small number of online poker rooms accept real money players from the United States.
Best Online Poker Rooms
- BetOnline Poker | Review
- Ignition Poker | Review
- Intertops Poker | Review
- 5Dimes Poker | Review
- Guts Poker | Review
The History of Poker
There is no one way to classify the history of Poker. Poker could have many origins. Some people believe that poker was first invented in Ancient China. Others say that it came from the Persians in the Middle Ages, and some feel as though the proper game of poker originated with the French game Poque, in the 1800s. The modern game of poker though, first really spread in the United States in the nineteenth century, particularly in the Wild West. Today, there are many types of poker games out there, but the vast majority of them, all have a similar gameplay and rules structure. Poker can be found today in casinos, online, on your mobile devices, in live dealer games and especially at home, and with just a deck or cards or two.
How to play Poker
There is no one set of rules for poker, since there are so many variants. However, there are some standard rules with generally appear in most poker games. For example, most poker games involve having cards dealt to both the dealer and the player. Similarly, most poker games involve the player having to better the dealer’s hand. Some poker games may contain community cards that both the dealer and player may use to add to their hand, although in many games, the cards that the player or dealer hold are the cards that their hand is constructed with. The objective in all pokers though, is the same: to simply hold a better hand than the dealer!
The value of the hands
The hands in poker are common to almost all the variants. Naturally when only three cards are used, you won’t be able to obtain some of the hands, but in most 5 card games, these are the ranking of the hands.
A pair is the lowest accepted hand, and usually you need a pair of Jacks or Better to qualify. A pair can be beaten by a two pair, which involves having two pairs of cards in your hand, (such as two 4s and two 7s). A two pair is bettered by a three of a kind, which will see all players having three cards of the same value (like three Kings, for instance).
A three of a kind is beaten by a straight, which is when a player has all of their cards in numerical order, but not in the same suit. This is beaten by a flush, which consists of all cards being in the same suit, but not in numerical order. A full house beats all of the hands we have previously described, and is obtained when a player has a three of a kind and a pair at once (three Jacks and two 3s, for instance).
Players can beat that with a four of a kind (four cards of the same value, such as four Queens), and this can beaten with a straight flush. A straight flush is acquired when a player has all 5 cards in the same suit and in numerical order. Finally, the royal flush is the highest hand in standard poker. A player has a royal flush if they hold a 10, Jack, Queen, King and Ace all in the same suit, in their hand.
Other poker hands that can exist include the five of a kind. This is only made possible by the use of wild cards (cards which substitute themselves for other cards), and is not considered a real poker hand. This and other non-standard poker hands are mostly found in variants.
Over the years, there have been so many poker variants developed, each with their own rules and way of playing, that it would be impossible to list them all here. If you want to experiment and try other ways to play poker though; 3 Card Poker, 5 or 7 Card Stud, Caribbean Stud Poker, Cyberstud Poker, Pai Gow Poker, Red Dog Poker, Texas Hold ’em, and Tequila Poker are all good and popular poker variants. The most basic poker game is known as 5 Card Draw, the rules of which we have essentially described above.
How to Play Online Poker
If you’re interested in learning how to play online poker, you’ll need to make sure you read this article first to get the basics right.
Online poker is the most enjoyable way of playing poker when compared with its traditional counterpart. The online version of the game is often chosen by the novice players as the stakes online are much smaller than what you will find at a land based casino, allowing players to get accustomed to the rules and strategies of a new poker game without burning through a bankroll in the process.
Online poker can be played in different ways that includes Texas Hold’em, Omaha, Seven Card Stud, Draw, Lowball, Razz, and more. Each game has a different betting structure (limit, pot limit and no limit) depending on the poker variant being played.
For those who are completely new to the game of online poker, however, they should bother with reading up on the basic rules. The most popular version of online poker is Hold’em so it is best to focus your learning on this game before branching out to other variants. But regardless of the variation being played, there will be similarities within every single poker game you play, whether it’s in cash games or tournament poker.
A dealer button is used to represent the dealer position for the current hand. In a home game the player indicated as the dealer would be responsible for dealing the cards but when playing online poker the dealing of the cards is automated. This button rotates in a clockwise direction around the table and the player in this position gets to act last in the hand for every betting round except the pre-flop one.
Each game will have mandatory blind bets which two players will have to post that includes the small blind and big blind in texas hold’em games. Then each player is dealt 2 cards face down which is only visible to them.
Betting in the game will start with the player sitting immediately to the left of the big blind and other players can fold, raise or call the big blind bet. In the preflop round of betting, all players must decide if they want to play the hand and once every player has acted the action continues.
The second betting round starts after 3 cards are dealt on the flop. These community cards are dealt face up and can be used by all the players in combination with their 2 hole cards to make the best 5 card poker hand.
Next, the third betting round starts after another card is dealt on the turn, and then finally a fourth and final round of betting begins after the last community card is dealt on the river. Players may only check if the action has been checked around to the, otherwise they must at least match the bet or can raise.
If all bets and raises are called, all cards must be disclosed by all the poker players still active in the hand and it is called a “showdown”. The player(s) with the best poker hand is determined as the winner of the pot. If two or more players share the same winning hand, the pot is split equally between the winners.
In poker the best hand you can have is a royal flush, which consists of a straight, 10 to Ace, all in the same suit. A straight flush is the second best hand, followed by a four of a kind, boat, flush, straight, three of a kind, two pairs, one pair, and last the best high card hand, which wins the pot when no player has at least a pair in their hand.
These poker hand rankings are the same for the majority of online poker games so it doesn’t take long learning other games once you have experience with playing hold’em poker. Some poker variants can be played with hi-lo rules, meaning in addition to trying to make the highest ranked poker hand, you want to also try and make the best low hand, as the pot is split between the high and low hands. A common variation of Omaha High is Omaha Hi/Low.