Poker is one of the easiest games to master because the way to win isn’t necessarily in the cards, it’s much more in the strategy.
With online poker, you can learn to play in your own space and familiarize yourself with the rules and how it works without worrying about putting on your straight face. Here is the ultimate guide you need to get started!
The next thing you’ll want to do before anything else is familiarize yourself with the game’s format and how to play. There are different types of poker, so make sure you know which one you choose.
For beginners, we recommend Texas Hold’em as it is the most common format and easy to understand. If you’re looking to change things up later, however, there are other poker variations to try.
For Texas Hold’em, you will be dealt two cards. You will then be asked to bet before three cards (known as a “flop”) are placed in the middle for everyone to see. Your objective is to find patterns in your cards and the flop in order to have the best hand – you can learn more about these patterns later.
Once these three cards are placed in the middle, another round of betting takes place. Another ‘turn’ card is then added to the flop, before another round of betting and finally a ‘river’ card. By the river, you should be able to see if you have a good five-card hand or a bad five-card hand.
Be smart with money
Once you have an idea of the format, it’s time to start playing, but even from the start, you have to choose carefully where you play. Many sites offer deals and bets, so whether it’s a pokerstars deposit bonus or a free game, it’s worth shopping around to find the best bet for your money.
Once you’re in the game, it’s worth thinking about how you’re going to bet. There’s a strategy to betting, and in online poker it’s best to start aggressively. You won’t get far by betting low, but you also need to bet smart.
This means avoid wasting money on hands that you know won’t do you any good, but once you have a good hand, you bet aggressively. Your goal is to get the other players to fold, especially if you decide to bluff and pretend to have a good hand.
However, there is nothing wrong with encouraging a player to bet a little more than he would like. Just be careful that they don’t have anything stronger than you.
Bluffing is a risky game, but one of the best ways to succeed in online poker. Not every hand you have will be good, but by playing aggressively and forcing other players to fold, they don’t need to be – few players will be confident enough to call your bluff. Don’t get carried away.
What to look for
It’s all well and good to discuss how to play, but what are you really looking for in a game? Here is a list of key hands in order from best to worst:
Royal flush – 10, jack, queen, king and ace of the same suit
straight flush – a consecutive series of five cards of the same suit
Square – four cards of the same value (like four kings)
Full house – a set and a pair together (as a detailed move)
Flush – any five cards of the same suit
Right – a consecutive run of five cards of any suit
A set – three cards of the same value
two pairs – two pairs of cards
Pair – two cards of the same value
High card – the highest card wins
Your goal is to get as high a hand as possible, but the higher the rank, the lower the probability. You generally want to get to this hand as soon as possible – although you may want to bet to the river and see if you can get the Jack you need for your straight; it rarely pays off, and you could be left out if there are other players left with better hands.
So. All the information you need to get started with online poker. Good luck!