If you want to learn how to play poker online and know why these games are gaining so much popularity – you’ve come to the right place. Today, we’ll break down the basics of online poker, the variants you can play, and what you can get out of the game. So let’s get into it.
What Is Online Poker?
Online poker is a traditional card game, only one that’s played over the internet. Online casinos offer a wide variety of variants that can be played, as well as stake limits. Due to the fast-paced nature and accessibility of the game, many players are starting to learn how to play poker online.
Online vs. Live Poker
The rules of poker are identical, no matter if you’re playing in a brick-and-mortar casino or an online one. It is you, against other players, trying to get the best hand.
With that said, there are some differences.
Poker online tends to be more fast-paced and there is little downtime between hands. Not only that, but it’s much more accessible, and anyone in the world can play. There’s also the fact that online poker offers players games with lower stakes. That means that newcomers and those looking to build their bankroll can even start playing with micro stakes.
Another difference between online and live poker is the ability to try out variants you might not have otherwise. In addition to Texas Hold’Em and Omaha, players can also take part in games like Open Face Chinese Poker.
What You Need to Start Playing Poker Online
If you want to learn how to play poker online, you’ll need only a few things. An internet connection and a device that connects to it. Nowadays, most online casinos support playing from phones, tablets, laptops, or computers. That means you can most likely play from whatever device you’re reading this on.
You’ll also need a bankroll – but not even a sizable one. As we mentioned earlier, online casinos allow games with micro stakes, which means you can play for very little. In fact, some casinos have cash games that allow you to play for as low as $.01/$.02, and all you might need is money to deposit.
But if you’re still just learning the game, you can even find free online poker sites. They don’t require any deposits or real money to play, making them a great choice for beginners.
The Games You Can Play
Earlier on, we talked about the poker variety that’s available on online sites. Of course, as it is in live casinos, Texas Hold’Em is the most popular variant and that’s what you can find in almost every casino.
But if you want to learn how to play other poker variants and see if they better suit your style, you can have your pick. Depending on the online casino, you’ll be able to play Pot-Limit Omaha, Omaha Hi-Lo, Razz, Chinese Open Face Poker, 7-Card Stud, or 5-Card Draw.
Another benefit of playing online is the ability to participate in tournaments, which can even have free buy-ins. They’re one of the cheapest ways to potentially win a lot of money and increase your bankroll in poker.
How to Play Poker Online
Now, to learn how to play poker online, and do it properly, you’ll need to arm yourself with strategies and knowledge. Here’s what to know before sitting down at your first table.
Know Your Hand Rankings
Knowing your hand rankings might sound obvious, but if you’re a beginner, you might be still struggling with this. The only way to ensure your chances of a good game is if you know the hand rankings for the variant you’re playing.
If you need some help remembering, you can check out this full guide on poker hand rankings. And if you want to learn by playing, make sure to find games with micro stakes or free ones.
Use Strategy to Your Advantage
Once you have a firm grasp on poker hand rankings, the next step is to make a decision on which hole cards to play. However, one common mistake new players make is getting involved in too many boards. So knowing the win probability of hole cards without reference to your opponents is going to be crucial.
The strategy here, for a new player, is to make the first decision using a tight but aggressive strategy. No matter if it’s two-face cards or a pocket pair, playing aggressively is going to be key. Especially when, as a beginner, you should only be seeing 10%–15% of flops.
Find an Online Casino You Can Trust
This is a tricky one, but perhaps the most important step when you start playing online. When online casinos started gaining popularity, so did the less reputable ones. So if you’re playing for cash, make sure that the casino you choose is established and trusted in the industry, like CoinPoker, for example.
Another thing to consider when choosing a site to play on is what you want to get out of the experience. Do you want to play in big tournaments or are cash games with lots of players more important? Do you prefer to get a welcome bonus or are frequent promotions on your list?
Freerolls in Online Poker
One of the worst-kept secrets in poker (and thankfully so) is the ability to win real money with no upfront investment. And that is the beauty of freerolls.
Freerolls started as promotions for casinos to attract new players and have more people playing tournaments. So now, poker sites have tournaments that are completely free to enter but carry some real-life prizes. These prizes will depend on the site itself, but they can feature cash, tickets to a different tournament, etc.
Players who want to try out what freerolls really are and how they work can do so in places like CoinPoker.
To Sum Up: How to Play Poker Online
Hopefully, we’ve got you on a better start toward your online poker future. As you can see, it’s beginner-friendly, but there are also lots of virtual rooms perfect for heavy hitters, and everyone in between. Just remember to find an online casino that you trust, know your rules and strategies, and you’ll be well on your way to mastering the game.