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Poker Games

Poker is perhaps the first thing that comes to mind when you think of gambling. It comes as no surprise then, that poker made the transition to online casinos almost as soon as the technical capability was there. Online poker offers a platform for players from all over the globe to compete and connect.

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What is Online Poker?

Online Poker is a digital version of the traditional card game of poker. You can play and compete against other players in different kinds of poker games via the internet. The online aspect increases the availability of games and tournaments, letting players play anytime and anywhere. There is a wide range of games and stakes available. You can even play at more than one table at the same time. 

 

The Basics of Poker 

There are many variants of poker, but in most of them you combine your hidden cards (hole) with visible (community) cards to make the best possible five card hand. The cards are dealt from a single 52 card deck. 

Blinds and Antes are forced bets used to start the action and create a pot. In games like Texas Hold’Em and Omaha, there are typically two blinds (small and big), while some games use an ante, or both. 

Poker games usually include several betting rounds, where players can bet, call, raise, or fold. The goal is to get the best hand or bluff opponents into folding. After the final betting run, remaining players reveal their hands. The best hand wins the pot. 

 

Poker Hand Rankings 

From highest to lowest, the standard poker hand rankings are: 

  • Royal Flush: The highest possible hand, consisting of A, K, Q, J, and 10, all the same suit. 
  • Straight Flush: Five consecutive cards of the same suit. For example, 10-9-8-7-6 of spades. 
  • Four of a Kind: Four cards of the same value, like four Kings. 
  • Full House: A combination of a three of a kind and a pair. For example, three Jacks and two 7s. 
  • Flush: Five cards of the same suit but not in sequence. For example, K, J, 8, 3, and 2, all of hearts. 
  • Straight: Five consecutive cards of different suits. For example, 8 (hearts), 7 (spades), 6 (clubs), 5 (diamonds), 4 (hearts). 
  • Three of a kind: Three cards of the same value, like three 7s. 
  • Two Pair: Two different pairs. For example, two 9s and two 3s. 
  • One Pair: Two cards of the same value. 
  • High Card: When you don’t have any of the above combinations, your highest value card is your hand. For example, if your highest value card is a Queen, you have a “Queen high”. 

 

Common Poker Variants 

There are several different poker variants available, these are some of the most popular: 

  • Texas Hold’Em: Players receive two hidden cards and use up to five community cards to get the best hand. 
  • Omaha: Similar to Texas Hold’Em, but players are dealt four hidden cards and must use exactly two of them, along with three of the five community cards, to make their hand. 
  • Seven-Card Stud: Players are dealt a mix of face-down and face-up cards over multiple rounds, with the best five-card hand winning. 
  • Five-Card Draw: Players are dealt five private cards and can exchange some of them for new ones to improve their hand. 

 

Some Basic Strategy Tips 

Poker is somewhat easy to learn, but quite hard to master. Here are some basic strategy tips to make the most out of your poker sessions: 

  • Know the Rules: Each poker variant has slightly different rules. Understanding these is important. 
  • Starting Hand: Be selective about which hand you play. 
  • Position Matters: Your position relative to the dealer affects the information you have and can influence your play. 
  • Betting Patterns: Pay attention to how your opponents bet, and what it reveals about their hands. 
  • Bankroll Management: The size of your bankroll compared to your competitors can affect what decisions you take. 

 

Poker is a game of skill, strategy, and luck. Learning the basics and understanding the hand rankings are the first steps towards becoming a proficient player. The more time you spend playing, the better you will understand the nuances of the game. 

 

Tournaments and Cash Games 

There are two major ways to approach the organization of a poker game, Tournaments and Cash Games. In a tournament, players buy-in for a set amount and compete for a prize pool. Formats can differ between Sit & Go’s to large multi-table tournaments. In a Cash Game players can join and leave at any time. 

 

Responsible Gaming and Legislation 

For your safety it’s important to play on reputable sites that are licensed and regulated. The legality of online poker varies by country and region, so be sure to check your local laws. In Ontario poker is regulated by iGaming Ontario. 

It is recommended that you play responsibly and within your means. 

 

Conclusion 

Online poker is an accessible way to enjoy the game. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced player, there is a variant and a table waiting for you. 

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