Thanks to the growing popularity of online gaming, poker online is fast becoming one of the most popular card games in the world. There are so many variations of the poker game that a beginner may find it daunting to learn. While each variation has its set of rules, the game’s basic rules remain common to all. Once you master the basic rules, certain tips, and tricks, you can soon develop your winning strategy. A lot of luck is involved in poker card games, but it also demands a certain level of skill and expertise. This blog walks you through all the rules, tips, and strategies needed to play online free poker and ace it.
Common Poker Concepts You Must Know
- Hand Rankings
All poker games online are based on hand rankings that decide which player’s hand is the winner in the poker game. Different poker games use the hand ranking rule in different ways. For instance, the lowest value hand is the most desirable in low-ball poker.
Bluffing is a technique used in poker to win hands even without having the best hand. You can bluff your opponents by projecting confidence in your hand. You can bet in a manner that suggests that your hand is better than it is. This can make your opponents believe you and make them fold rather than take you on in the showdown.
- Forced bets
All forms of the poker game require some form of mandatory bet at the beginning of a hand, referred to as the ante or the blind. Most poker games typically feature a small blind and a big blind.
- The Dealer
Whether playing physical poker at a casino or online poker, the dealer determines the order in which the blinds are put up, and players place their bets. The game usually begins in a clockwise direction beginning with the dealer.
Know About: Different Types of Poker Games Played Online
The first round takes place after the forced bets. Players typically have the following betting options to choose from depending upon their hand strength:
- Call- This means matching another player’s raise or bet.
- Raise- This means increasing the size of your current bet in the same round of betting.
- Fold- Fold means withdrawing from the hand by sacrificing any bets made already.
- Check- The poker game players can choose to check (or decline a bet and reserve the right to bet later) until the first bet in a round of betting.
- All-in When a player does not have enough chips left to make a bet, they can play all their leftover chips. Subsequent bets happen in a side pot, and the “all-in” player can only win the number of chips when they went all-in in any following showdown.
In the poker game, every round of betting provides the opportunity to use the betting options stated above depending upon the confidence in your hand and the strength of your opponent’s hands. The opponent’s hand quality can be judged by seeing how much they are raising or betting. While most types of poker feature at least two rounds of betting, all types of poker games feature at least one betting round.
These betting rounds generally occur before or after game events, such as dealing of the flop in Texas HoldEm. They allow a certain degree of strategizing for the players as the hands progress. Omaha and Texas HoldEm, community card games, can feature up to four betting rounds.
How to play poker – Basic Steps
Given below are the basic steps to playing a game of poker online. These steps are for playing one of the most popular types of poker, Texas HoldEm.
- The dealer deals with two cards each to the players.
- First, the small blind is displayed, followed by the big blind.
- The first betting round begins, and players bet according to the quality of their hands.
- The dealer then deals three community cards face up.
- The second betting round then ensues.
- The dealer then deals with the fourth community card called the “river.”
- Then the final round of betting begins.
- By now, if two or more players haven’t folded, all the other players show their cards.
- The winner of the poker game is the one with the best hand as per the poker hand ranking rules.
Betting Structure and Limits
There are various ways in which betting can be structured in the poker game. However, the most commonly used three structures when you play poker online are:
- Pot Limit – A poker player may or may not raise the amount to the size of the total pot limit.
- Fixed Limit – The fixed limit determines the amount to which betting and raising must be done.
- No Limit – In the No limit structure, the players can bet all their chips at once when it is their turn to bet.
There are different types of poker games, but all of them fall under any one of the various categories given below:
- Community Poker
In this category, the number of cards dealt with the player is less than a complete 5-card poker hand. Then many community cards are dealt with so that players can form the best 5-card hand with a combination of their cards and community cards. E.g: Omaha, Texas HoldEm
- Straight Poker
This is the oldest form of poker game where the player is dealt all 5 cards. A round of betting continues where players can raise and reraise until the game concludes. E.g: 3-card brag, 5-card brag.
- Draw Poker
In this, the players get all 5 cards at the beginning of the game. Then they can improve their hand by discarding and replacing cards. E.g., a 5-card draw.
- Stud Poker
In this, cards are dealt with players one by one, in a combination of face-up or face-down. E.g., 7-card stud.
If you play poker online or at a casino, it is necessary to understand the rules and specifics of each type of poker game. In addition, all players must adhere to the time limit and basic game ethics to make poker playing card games fun and exciting for all.