Getting started with poker online

Those interested in getting into online poker may be reluctant to do so because they are unclear exactly how to go about it. They may be under the misapprehension that it is a simplistic version of the game, which basically involves playing a slot machine.

The reality is somewhat different as anyone who has played poker online will know. Though it does not involve actually leaving the house and physically going into a casino, it is an online version of that and, is as close to that reality as it is possible to get without actually going into a casino.

The poker website that you sign onto will have a game server which hosts the game to take place and this will, as well as ensuring that all the rules are followed correctly, act also as a dealer, shuffling and dealing the cards as well as being a cashier who handles the chips and the cash. The game server also applies the rules, makes sure they are applied correctly by the players and acts as the central point through which all communications between the players are entered into. Users can choose between many different variations of the game, the most important of which we have listed below.

Texas Hold’em

This is recognised as the most popular poker game, both in live casinos and in online versions. Part of the reason for its success is its relative simplicity. It may only take a short time to learn but it can take an awfully long time to master and with more media coverage of tournaments such as the European Poker Tour, the game has attracted players throughout the world.

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Each player is dealt two cards face down and the first betting round takes place when players can choose to call, raise or fold, dependent on their hand. After this round, the dealer then deals the next three “community” cards face up on the table. A total of five of these cards will be dealt and players can use a combination of these and their own two cards for the best five-card poker hand.

Omaha

Omaha poker is a variant of Hold ‘em which is played using four “hole” cards rather than two. The eventual five-card hand must use two of these cards and three of the “community” cards, not any combination of them, as is the case with Hold ‘em.

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Seven-card stud

This version which was around well before Hold ‘em gained in popularity, sees players dealt two hole cards along with an upcard with three more rounds of upcards, betting rounds in-between and a final card, dealt faced down. So each player is left with a seven-card hand, three of which are faced down and the rest facing up. The player then chooses between the best of those seven cards to create his best five-card poker hand.

Razz

The aim of this stud variation is to create the best low hand from seven cards and sees players begin with two hole cards and one faced up. Three more cards are dealt up followed with individual betting rounds between and then a final card faced down. The player who has the best low hand with five of his seven cards wins the pot, with aces being low.

This gives just the briefest of glimpses into the world of online poker but demonstrates a little of the range of options, the improvements in technology and how the game has developed since its earliest days.

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