Best Online Casino Guide


Online Poker

Unless you’ve been living in a cave on the Moon these last few years, you’ll have noticed at least peripherally the Poker boom of recent years.

The WSOP, WPT, EPT and other championships, names like Phil Ivey, Annette Obrestad, Liv Boree and others have virtually become household names, and even ‘amateurs’ like journalist Victoria Coren have scooped huge wins.

There is also plenty of crossover from other disciplines, with not only sportspeople making the move to the card game, but also video gaming fanatics having transferred their skills from games like StarCraft.

This brings us to an important dimension of the Poker world which perhaps has been the driving force behind all of this, which is that of the online game.

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This can be broken down into 2 categories: games against the house, and online Poker rooms.

We will take a short look at each of them, before turning to a couple of online Poker tips and tricks.

How to play online Poker?

As noted, there are 2 essential categories where you can play casino Poker online.

With the first variant, you play against the house, ie. the casino. Once you’ve opened up an account with a site, you’ll find a whole host of Poker games like Video Poker, Caribbean Stud, Oasis and others, which are essentially programmed games where you don’t need other players to participate.

There are also some options here to play live Poker online, which is still against the house, but the dealer is a real live person connected via a direct video link, which some people prefer.

The second category is a more involved kind perhaps for beginners, but online Poker rooms are exactly as their name suggests – you get to play against other players!

Texas Hold ‘em is the predominant type here but you can find any of the HORSE variants (an acronym referring to as well as Hold ‘em, Omaha, Razz, Seven Card Stud and Seven Card hi-low Split Eight or Better (don’t worry about the details of these games right now!).

The basic online Poker rules common to all games is the ranking of hands, which is as follows (from highest to lowest):

- Royal Flush (sequence of 10 through to Ace, all same suit)
- Straight Flush (any consecutive sequence, all same suit)
- 4 of a kind (all 4 cards of same value, eg. 4 eights)
- Full House (3 of a kind plus pair)
- Flush (any cards from same suit)
- Straight (consecutive cards of any suits)
- 3 of a Kind (self-explanatory)
- 2 Pair
- Pair
- High card (eg. an Ace, King etc.)

Differences come in things like how and when you bet, whether you can draw cards or not, even how many cards you will be dealt (the clue is in the name – guess how many cards you will be dealt in three card brag?).

Please check our items on some of the other variants of the game for more details.

Best online Poker strategy

There are volumes and volumes of books written about just one type of Poker; indeed this author was browsing some weighty tomes about Omaha strategies in a bookshop the other day, so naturally there is no space to incorporate anything other than the briefest of hints and tips here, which are as follows.

A good approach is to play Poker online free, which you can do in one of two ways.

First, casinos and online Poker rooms often allow you to use ‘play money’ where you can practice without having to make a commitment. Naturally any winnings you make, you won’t actually get to take home with you, and there may be limits to how long you can play for free in this way.

On the other hand there are so many sites out there where you can play online Poker free, you just need to choose the one that appeals to you most.

The second way of effectively getting access to free online Poker games is to take advantage of Welcome Bonus money which they offer, and indeed any other promos.

On the other hand, you may find a specific online Poker bonus offered for players opening an account specifically to play the game.

One caveat here, though is that there may be wagering requirements attached to the bonus, meaning that you would have to play through the bonus money a set number of times (for instance x32) before you can claim winnings. So check the small print with any casino site.

And if you’re an absolute beginner, fear not – the best online Poker sites will have the rules and paytables clearly set out, player history, which allows you to get a measure of who you’re playing against, odds of various outcomes, a reminder of the online casino poker hands ranking and much more.

In fact, many online casinos offer a ‘Poker school’ where you can effectively learn to play the game from scratch – what a great grass-roots approach to the world of this wonderful game.



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