Poker is undoubtedly one of the most popular casino games in the world in which you not only need luck but also skills to win. We are sure that many of you have had the chance to play poker with your friends at home or try online poker. Whether you have been playing poker for years or are new to this topic, it is good to know that you can now play online poker at many reputable online casino sites.
Where to play online poker?
Read our complete online poker guide to learn more about the rules of the game and see which trusted online casinos you can try your luck with poker today!
What Is Online Poker?
Online poker includes a number of games and poker variants that players can find at online casinos. Most online casinos provide their poker games in instant play mode, but there are also casinos that will require you to download software to enjoy poker. Blackjack and baccarat are other examples of casino games that players can play in the same way. In this section, we will focus on the differences between video poker in which players play against the computer and live poker in which players play against the dealer in real-time.
Live Casino Poker VS Video Poker
Most of the best online casinos offer a selection of video poker games as well as real-time poker games with croupiers located in the live casino section. There is one major difference between the two types of online poker games: in video poker games you can only play online poker against the machine. This means that no other player enters the game and you can enjoy poker at any time of the day or night. You can also try video poker for free to practice your strategy before confronting other players at a live table.
Live poker is run and managed by a gaming studio, involving a real dealer with whom players can interact online. In live poker, players place bets digitally and the dealer draws cards manually in real-time. By playing poker with a live dealer, players can experience almost the same experience as if they were playing in a real casino! There are many live poker options to try online today, which we’ll discuss later.
Jacks Or Better
Jacks Or Better is undoubtedly the most popular video poker game that can provide hours of fun. The goal of the game is to build the best possible poker hand. The game is won if the player’s hand contains at least a pair of jacks (hence the name of the game). At first, you get five cards and then choose which ones you want to keep before you discard and replace the other cards. You receive a salary depending on the strength of your hand. Before you start playing, you must first understand what all the different poker hands are. Here’s a quick guide:
- High card – this is a system in which 5 cards on the table have a different value but not in colour or in order.
- Pair – a pair of two cards of the same value and three other cards that do not match. Comparing two such hands, a hand with a higher pair is better – for example, 6-6-4-3-2 beats 5-5-A-K-Q.
- Three of a kind – a hand that has three matching cards. For example, two or three 2.
- Two pairs – a hand containing two pairs, for example, two 2 and two 4.
- Full (Full House) – this is a pair with three, for example, two tens and three kings. It doesn’t matter what colour their cards are, as long as they have the same value.
- Flush – this is a hand in which all cards have the same suit, for example, 4, 5, 7, K and A clubs.
- Straight – it is a hand with five cards in the sequence, for example, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. Once again, the colour does not matter, and an ace can be used at the beginning or end of the sequence.
- Poker (Straight Flush) – it is a hand that is both a straight and a flush. For example, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 spades.
- Royal Flush – This is simple poker with the highest cards, such as 10, J, Q, K, A. This is the strongest poker hand, and if you see it, you know that there will be a big payout.
Poker Game Rules
The basic idea of Jacks Or Better is the ability to play the highest hand that suits your cards. The following list shows which cards you should keep depending on what you have received.
- Full or better layout
- Cards that can bring a royal flush
- 4 cards with which you can get a straight
- Two pairs
- High pair
- Three cards you can use to get a royal flush
- 4 cards with which you can get a flush
- Low pair
- 2 cards of the same suit
- 3 cards with which you can get a flush
- 2 different high-value cards
- The same colour 10 / J, 10 / Q or 10 / K
- One high card
If your hand does not contain any of the above cards, replace all cards.
How Does Online Poker Work?
Online poker aims to transfer the classic poker game to the online casino arena, enabling players to play against the computer or against other players in a digital environment. If you are a beginner or just need to improve your poker strategy, Playstival.ie will introduce you to the basic rules of poker to help you get started.
First of all, players must be aware that there are different variants of online poker, all with slightly different rules. In all cases, however, the player with the best hand wins. By “hand” we mean the combination of cards that the player creates, which we discussed earlier.
Poker is not a complicated game. Learning the basic rules of poker and understanding which a handful of hands is the best can be grasped in a matter of minutes. This is the easy part. It is much harder to master the game and transform poker into a way to earn money – which can take a lifetime.
It is important for novice players to balance the fun and excitement of playing poker with high losses that you can quickly suffer if you don’t know what you are doing. So how do you get the position of the next big poker star? Here are some important elements about poker strategies that will help you get started.
Play with confidence
Betting is the only way to win at poker – and the only way to get big is to bet a lot. Poker is a game of targeted aggression. Once you have mastered the basics of the game, you’ll learn when you need to increase aggression at the table.
Many beginners are just too cautious for too long. They check when they should bet and check when they should raise. On solid starting systems, such as high pairs or A-K or A-Q, you should play more aggressively than you think. These are great cards to start with.
Then you need to make sure that in a full table game you push players with weaker cards – or force them to stay and make wrong decisions. There is nothing worse than underestimating a pair of kings just to be defeated by someone who called pre-flop with 8-4 and miraculously caught a straight. Make the other players pay to see the cards on the flop and push as many people out of the pot as early as possible. With six people in the pot, your basic chances of winning are only 17%. With only two players in the pot, your chances automatically increase to 50%.
Returning to the sharp game, it means that you are one of the weaker players at the table. If you rarely bet or raise, you’ll soon find out that stronger players know that you’ll be under pressure. When you place a large bet, other players will immediately realise that you have a strong hand and everyone will fold quickly, reducing the amount you receive.
Aggressive play does not mean throwing money at the wrong starting cards and entering all-in with the hope of catching a great card on the river. It’s a reliable way to quickly reduce the stack size.
One of the most basic smart tips in poker is to fold a lot more hands than you think. For many players, it’s an awfully boring way to spend an evening – just sitting at the table while everyone else is in the game, but believe us, patience pays off in this case.
Remember that based on statistics, most hands will be losers. If you don’t have a strong hand, it’s best to fold immediately. Take the time to watch other players at the table and study how they play. When you don’t have to worry about your own, you can focus more on everyone else.
Bottom line: Wait patiently for the situation where the odds are in your favour, then use your aggressive playstyle to follow the pot.
Bluffing requires you to be an aggressive player and usually, aggressive players win (this is because they can win the pot in one of two ways: (1) they have the best hand in a showdown or (2) everyone else folds or raises to increase the final pot).
That said, it’s not about using blind aggression, but about what is carefully chosen and applied at the right time. This strategy, however, requires not only courage but also common sense!
Your image at the poker table plays a big role in whether your bluff succeeds. You must be aware of what it is to make good use of it. If you are seen as a tight player, your bets are likely to be considered strong. Your bluffs will be successful most of the time.
On the other hand, if you are seen as a loose player – who throws his chips like a drunken sailor (or even better – if you are seen as a drunken sailor) – your bluffs will almost certainly fail because most players will probably check you. Consider your image and bluff accordingly. This might not be that necessary when playing online but surely can be useful when playing poker at the brick-and-mortar casino!
Are online poker games a scam?
Online poker tables, whether we are talking about video poker or poker against a live dealer, are definitely fair. As a rule, casinos do not even have the incentive to cheat, because the house edge is already recorded in games, which players also increase by playing incorrectly. So there is no reason to cheat. And if any game producer or casino tries to cheat - it will not be an easy task that they will get away with, because all casino games and services are constantly controlled by third parties.
Can I play poker for free?
You cannot play live poker for free at online casinos because the table requires at least a minimum bet per round. However, with virtual poker and video poker games, most casinos allow you to play them for free for as long as you want!
Is it worth playing poker online?
It is true that online poker cannot be played in exactly the same way as traditional poker at land-based casinos or at home, for the simple reason that it is much harder to rate other online players. Most video poker and live poker games are played against the casino, so you can completely forget about the value of betting and bluffing. It is definitely worth giving it a try as it’s easy, entertaining and also gives us a nice chance of winning some extra cash.
Is poker difficult?
No, it isn’t. All you need is to learn the basics and start practising. For this reason, we recommend that you stick to free poker options online and polish your strategies before you play for real money.
What is the best form of poker to play?
There are tens of different types of poker and it’s hard to answer which one is the best. Most of the beginners stick to Jacks or Better and Texas Hold’em. It’s one of the most popular variants and it’s definitely the easiest to learn.