5 Things to Know Before Playing Poker Online!

Playing poker online

The popularity of online poker shows no sign of slowing down. With the advent of the app era and advances in mobile technology, millions of us now turn to playing poker online as a hobby for online entertainment

But with such a saturated market, hundreds of providers and thousands of experienced players it can be daunting for those on the outside to make the right decisions when wanting to take their first steps into the online poker sphere.

If you’re wanting an insight into the poker hype, we’ve put together a checklist of five things you should know, to make sure you get the most from your first online poker experience.

1. Learn the Rules

It might sound obvious but the biggest mistake beginners make is jumping head first into a real money game of poker without fully understanding the nuances of the game. There are dozens of poker variations to choose from – from the simplest form ‘straight poker’ to community games like Omaha – and while based on the same principles can be wildly different in practice.

Texas hold ‘em is arguably the most popular format worldwide and would be our suggestion for learning first since you’ll never be short of some worthy opposition. But once you’ve learned one game, it’s quite easy to transfer your knowledge to other variations.

The basics of Texas Hold ‘em:

  • Each player is dealt two ‘hole’ cards which they must look at but keep concealed from other players.
  • A round of betting takes place.
  • The first three community cards, the ‘flop’, are dealt into the centre of the table.
  • Another round of betting takes place.
  • The fourth community card, the ‘turn’, is dealt.
  • A further round of betting is completed.
  • The final community card, the ‘river’ is dealt.
  • The final round of betting is completed and anyone remaining must show their cards.
  • The player with the strongest five card hand made up of their ‘hole’ cards and the five community cards wins the pot.

2. Memorise the Poker Hand Rankings

The strength of each poker hand remains the same in most variants of the game. Knowing if your hand is strong will determine how aggressively you will want to bet, unless bluffing. The ranking of these hands from highest to lowest is as follows:

  • Royal Flush – A, K, Q, J, 10 all in the same suit.
  • Straight Flush – five cards in sequence all in the same suit.
  • Four of a Kind – all four cards of the same rank e.g. J, J, J, J.
  • Full House – three cards of one rank and two of another e.g. A, A, A, 4, 4.
  • Flush – five cards of the same suit but not in order.
  • Straight – five cards in sequence but not in the same suit.
  • Three of a Kind – three cards of the same rank.
  • Two Pair – two sets of two cards of the same rank.
  • Pair – two cards of the same rank.
  • High Card – failing all of the above, the highest card held (ace is high).

In a game of hold ‘em, suits have no value but in games like 7 card stud they are often sequenced in alphabetical order; clubs being the lowest, then diamonds, hearts and spades being the highest.

3. Brush Up on Your Poker Jargon

Poker terminology goes far too deep to cover everything in one online article and thankfully when playing online things get a little simpler but there are still some essentials you should have figured out before you start playing.

  • Call – to bet the minimum amount to continue your inclusion in the hand.
  • Fold – to discard your hand face down and declare yourself out of the round.
  • Check – to pass on betting if a call is not necessary.
  • Bluff – to bet/act in a way that suggests your cards are stronger (or weaker) than they actually are.
  • Tell – a physical action or change in demeanour that reveals something about the strength of a player’s hand.

4. Choose a Reputable Provider

Online poker really is a player’s market. The past decade has seen an explosion in new providers, all of whom are keen to win over your custom and create a regular player out of you.

You can use this to your advantage to shop around and find a site or app that appeals to you. Do your research before sharing any of your details or making a deposit and see if the site has a good reputation. Online resources like TrustPilot are a sensible place to start where you can check the veracity of many online businesses.

Normally you should also be able to find a choice of deals as a new user to increase your balance or include you in paid tournaments at no extra cost, so make sure to take advantage of them.

5. Start Small

Once you’ve made a decision, start off in the free lobbies to become accustomed to the controls and pace of the game before wagering any real money. We recommend starting off in this way before every session, regardless of how experienced you are.

When graduating to the paid tables, set limits for your sessions and stick to them, this way you can ensure the games remain fun.

Although daunting at first, the world of online poker is a great hobby that can reward you with hours of entertainment. Make use of the tips for playing poker online within this article and take the first steps in your online poker experience today.

Playing poker online article and permission to publish here provided by Jessica Foreman. Originally written for Supply Chain Game Changer and published on August 13, 2022.