A Beginner’s Guide To Online Poker


Over 100 million people play poker.  Online poker makes the popular card game even more accessible. No longer confined to poker tables, anyone with an electronic device can participate in the game. It caters to players of all levels, be it live tournaments or free games for casual players.

Online vs Live Poker

Though the rules remain the same for both online poker and live games, there are differences that arise from the two vastly different mediums. Poker is faster, more difficult, and more aggressive when played online, which may initially overwhelm some beginners. As a computer deals hands and calculates chips instantaneously, online poker is extremely fast-paced. An average player plays 100 hands per hour on online poker as opposed to 30 hands at live tables. While live poker is a social game, online poker is more technical.

Tells and bluffs are also harder to spot for online poker as it lacks the face-to-face element of live play. Physical tells such as speech patterns, as well as eye and hand movements are no longer applicable when the only thing you are privy to ar your opponents’ cards. However, you can still spot tells online by looking out for more technical aspects such as betting size, positions, and other patterns.

Different Types Of Poker

There are countless different variations of poker, though not all will be available depending on the poker site you use. Some of these variations include Chines Poker, Pot-Limit Omaha, and 7 Card Stud. Texas Hold’em is arguably the most popular variation. No-limit Texas Hold’em is played the most, with many seats running 24/7 games at various stakes. In no-limit Texas Hold’em, you have to get the best hand by combining five community cards with two hole cards.

Online Tournaments

Tournament poker is a good way to cash in big with very little initial investment. In tournament poker, you get a stack of chips when you pay ou buy-in. Players are eliminated when they run out of chips. There are a lot of poker games at Americas Cardroom with huge cash prizes for the champion for a mere $10 buy-in. These low buy-in tournaments are hosted every day and provide a great opportunity for you to practice before you participate in bigger buy-ins. Online tournaments with more generous awards are hosted during The weekends.

Sit & Go

If you are looking for even smaller tournaments, Sit & Gos are the perfect match for you. Sit & Gos start the moment there are sufficient players at a table. Though you stand to win less money with Sit & Gos, they are less time-consuming than bigger tournaments and are always running on poker sites.

Cash Games

For players who want more flexibility with regard to playtime, cash games, sometimes dubbed ring games,  are the way to go. Cash games allow you to cash ut any time, hence players can invest 15 minutes or multiple hours into the game. Mainstream tournaments require a lot more time if you want a cut of the pot. In cash games, players buy-in with cash, usually between $2 to $20,  and receive the equivalent value of chips. Each table has a fixed range of players. Cash games are played as table stakes, wherein the maximum betting size per hand is the number of chips on the table.

Getting Started

To play online poker, you must be the minimum legal age in your country, which is usually 18 years or older. There are checks to week out under-age players. The first step to playing online poker is to download the poker software or app. Although the app should not take up too much device memory, playing on poker websites is always an adoption for those who cannot or do not want to download the app. However, poker websites lack some features and are less user-friendly than apps.

To deposit money in online poker, you will usually need a credit card or e-wallet. Mos sites accept online payment methods such as MasterCard, Visa, Paypal, or Skrill.

Online poker requires very little, if any, financial capital to play.  There are plenty of games where you can play for free. If you are willing to spend a little bit of money, you can play for as little as a cent or two. Most players have an online poker bankroll of $50 to $200. You can make your bankroll last by starting with $50 and playing $1 tournaments until you win some money.

Best Poker Sites

As there are countless poker sites online, you might be at a loss when you are first joining. There are several factors that can help you narrow down your options, such as the size of the player base and the welcome bonus.

Player Base

The most well-known sites such as PokerStars and PartyPoker have the most running games and players. Moreover, these sites may not be available in some countries as online poker is often region-specific. Conversely, smaller poker sites in your region can be just as exciting, with a more tight-knit community and more generous welcome bonuses and other rewards.

Welcome Bonus

A welcome bonus is awarded to new players to almost any poker site. The bonuses range from a measly $10, which is acquired instantaneously, to a whopping $1000, which requires a lot of hands to be played before it can be unlocked. Bonuses are matched to your first deposit. For example, your bonus will be $50 if you drop $50 on a poker site. SInce welcome bonuses vary so greatly among different sites, it is best to do a little bit of research to find a site that has the best rewards, which includes big bonuses, free tournament tickets, and other enticing rewards. Sites such as PokerListings can help you identify the poker site best suited to your interests.


Starting out a beginner in poker can be quite daunting. It is even more so for online poker where the games are faster and there are an overwhelming variety of games and poker sites to choose from. Nevertheless, it is sure to be a worthy investment as poker is a thrilling game suitable for players of all levels, be it amateurs just playing for fun or tournament players chasing the pot. Who knows, you might even join the ranks of accomplished payers if you persevere long enough.

A Beginner’s Guide To Online Poker (2)


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