Poker is the only casino game you don’t play against the house but other players. As a result, it’s possible to affect the outcome and take control over the game. Check out the top online casinos where you can enjoy poker for real money or free.
Even though poker isn’t a mere game of chance, you’d need some amount of luck to win. However, it all comes down to your ability to make a suitable decision at the given moment. Thus, you may win even with a poor hand or lose when you think you’re about to grab those chips. For that reason, it’s critical to learn the game’s basics and practice it to gain skills.
What Is Poker?
Poker is a straightforward card game that requires both skills and luck. Simultaneously, it’s highly engaging and exciting, despite being simple, which is why so many players love it. But even though it won’t take you long to get the rules, you’ll need a lot of time to learn how to play the game successfully.
Furthermore, there are multiple poker versions, and each one is played differently. They can be divided into three poker game categories:
- Draw poker,
- Stud poker,
- Community card poker.
At the beginning of the game, each player gets the whole hand right away. In most draw poker games, all the cards players receive should be hidden from their opponents. Later, they discard some of them and draw the same number of cards they got rid of. As a result, they will lose the cards they don’t like and get the chance to improve their hands.
When it comes to stud poker, players receive some cards turned face-up and the others face-down. Hence, others will have some idea about the hand they got. Unlike in the case of draw poker, they don’t get the whole hand in the beginning but receive more of them later. And as the game goes on, each player forms the best hand with the cards they got.
Community Card Poker
In community card poker, there are some cards placed face-up on the table every player can see. Simultaneously, they receive some cards initially and try to form a strong hand with “shared” cards and the hidden ones. The most popular community card poker game is Texas Hold’em.
How to Play Poker?
Even though there are numerous poker variations, some things are pretty much the same in almost any version. In most cases, the goal is to get the strongest hand and, as a result, win the money. Moreover, the hand ranking is usually the same.
|High card||The best-ranking card you have|
|Pair||Two cards of the same kind|
|Two pairs||Two pairs of matching cards|
|Three-of-a-kind||Three matching cards|
|Straight||Five differently-suited consecutive cards|
|Flush||Five same-suited cards|
|Full House||Two matching cards and three-of-a-kind|
|Four-of-a-kind||Four cards of the same kind|
|Straight Flush||Five same-suited consecutive cards|
|Royal Flush||Cards ranging from 10 and an Ace of the same suit|
As for the moves to make, players can either:
Once the game has started, everyone can bet or check – pass the action to the next player. However, if someone raises the bet, you have to either match the amount (call) or give up a hand (fold). You can also re-raise or bring even more in this situation, and your opponents again need to follow up or fold.
Poker Winning Tips
Excellent poker players (like the legendary Billy Walters, for example) understand that this game isn’t all about cards and getting lucky. It has a lot to do with psychology. Thus, they developed the crucial skill necessary for surviving the poker game – the ability to fold.
Generally, new players aren’t much fond of giving up a hand. It’s natural to be curious and try to make it to the end, even if it means losing all the money. However, avoiding folding at all costs is the worst possible thing you can do. Simply put, this is the easiest way to lose your money.
Moreover, professional players are well familiar with the poker strategy chart. And even though you’ll take forever to learn it, you should – if you want to play poker seriously. Nonetheless, relying only on the strategy chart is also a mistake. During the poker game, intuition is your best friend.
Simply put, you need to make a suitable decision while keeping various factors in mind. Things such as experience and intuition are critical. However, you should also know the best moves to make according to the poker strategy chart.
Why Play Poker for Free?
As a poker player, you’d need to gain much experience before being able to beat your opponents. Thus, playing poker for free is an excellent choice for newbies. Even though it’s more exciting to play it for real money, it’s crucial to gain skills and experience before going down that road.
So, if you want to become a decent player and, as a result, enhance your odds of winning, remember that practice makes it perfect. Luckily, many online casinos offer free play options and provide you with the possibility to gain experience and simultaneously browse through the game library.
Playing poker for real money is as exciting as it is challenging. As you can imagine, every beginner’s mistake can get you into trouble and cost you a lot of money. Hence, new players shouldn’t rush into it but take their time to practice and gain skills instead.
Moreover, it’s critical to choose a suitable online casino to play at. When it comes to online gambling, safety comes first. But other than a valid license, it should have an excellent reputation, lucrative bonuses, and quality games on offer.
Today’s online casinos should have mobile-responsive websites or applications. Every quality venue provides the possibility of on-the-go gaming. It opens new doors for players and enables them to enjoy their favorite games wherever they are.
And poker is an exciting game to play on a mobile phone, simply because it feels different from a desktop. However, some players don’t like mobile gaming and prefer to play on larger-screened devices – but you can’t know unless you try it. If you want to check mobile poker out, search for up-to-date online casinos that are mobile-optimized.
Difference between Poker and Blackjack
Even though both require cards, poker and blackjack are entirely diverse games. When you play poker, you play against other gamblers. On the other hand, blackjack is played against the dealer – or the casino.
However, blackjack also demands specific skills, such as decision making. It also has a basic strategy chart that shows you when to make a particular move. Furthermore, card counting can affect the winning odds, which is why casinos aren’t fond of it. And lastly, blackjack doesn’t have a fixed house edge. Thus, a skilled player has a solid chance to beat the dealer, even though “the house always wins”.
All said and done, poker has less to do with luck than blackjack. You don’t play it against the house, and the things you need to rely on are your intuition, knowledge, ability to read the opponents, and such.
Poker is a simple and unique game that brings much excitement (and preferably a profit). However, just like all other casino games, it doesn’t come without risks. Choosing a safe venue that holds poker games is mandatory for getting a quality experience. Besides understanding the rules and gaining some skills, it’s also critical to control your money spending. So, poker and responsible gaming are primarily about fun and excitement.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, everyone can play poker for real money at online casinos. However, not all virtual venues hold poker games. Thus, you’d need to find a reputable online casino that offers poker.
The gambling laws differ from one state to another. So, before registering with a specific online casino, learn about the laws in your country residence.
Numerous online casinos provide demo game versions so that players can check them out for free. If you want to play online poker for free, search for the casino that offers this possibility.