Online Poker needs almost no introduction and has been the active driving force behind the growing number of poker players around the world. Unlike Video Poker, Online Poker is played against other players, allowing them to test their skills against real people in real time. Online Poker games often share a basic set of rules but may differ in terms of the number of cards each player receives, the permitted number of betting rounds and whether the high or low hand wins the pot.
How to Play Poker
Although a basic understanding of the rules of Online Poker is required, most variants follow the same basic betting structure. Play typically starts with the player to the left of the ‘dealer button’ and proceeds in a clockwise direction. The position of the ‘dealer button’ determines the order of betting as well as the players that are required to place a mandatory bet, namely, the big blind and small blind.
At the start of each online poker hand, every player receives a predetermined number of cards. These can be dealt face up or face down, depending on the particular variant of online poker being played. Once each player has had a chance to look at their cards, a series of betting rounds begin. During each betting round, several community cards are dealt to the table. These can be combined with hole cards to complete winning hands.
If more than one player remains at the end of the final round, there is a showdown in which players are required to reveal their hands with the best hand winning the pot.
Online Poker Betting Options
During a poker game, players have a selection of betting options to choose from. Players typically act in a clockwise direction and, depending on their cards, may choose to:
Check: If none of the players have opened the betting round, the player may choose to 'check', which means to not make a bet at the current time.
Call: To match the minimum required bet.
Raise: To 'Raise' is to increase the minimum required bet, forcing all other players to match the bet or forfeit their cards.
Fold: To forfeit the hand and not participate in the remaining betting rounds.
Online Poker Games
Texas Hold'em Poker: As perhaps the most popular variant of online poker, Texas Hold'em consists of four betting rounds. Each hand begins with every player receiving two cards that are dealt face down. Another five community cards are added during the following four betting rounds. These are dealt face up and can be used by all players to complete the strongest possible 5-card hand.
Omaha Hi: Omaha Hi is similar to Texas Hold'em and consists of four betting rounds in which each player is required to combine their two hole cards with three community cards in order to complete the strongest possible 5-card hand. Other variations of Omaha include Omaha Hi-Lo and Omaha 8.
7-Card Stud: Instead of blinds, players are required to pay a mandatory bet in the form of an Ante. This is followed by 5 betting rounds in which players need to try and get the best possible five-card hand from their 3 hole cards and four community cards.
5-Card Draw: As the oldest known variation of online poker, 5-Card Draw also requires a mandatory bet in the form of an Ante. This is followed by two rounds of betting in which players are required to complete the strongest hand possible from their five hole cards. Players may additionally choose to discard or draw up as many as five cards after the first round of betting.