Online Poker Guide for Beginners

Published: 24 February 2020

Written by: BrianL

When one thinks of casinos and card games, probably the most vivid image that comes to mind is that of the game of poker.  And rightfully so, since poker has grown to become the most popular casino card game of all time.  The game itself is a combination of skill, strategy and luck, with many poker experts making the game their profession, based on the high value of takings that can be won.  

online poker guideHistory of Poker

Poker is an all-American game, having been first developed in New England at the beginning of the 19th century.  While some gambling historians have linked modern poker to the ancient Persian game of as-nas, others have challenged this notion by elaborating that it is wholly a product of the new world.  Either way, by 1970s, the popularity of poker had skyrocketed, with modern casino poker tournaments like the World Series of Poker commencing in 1970.

Glossary of Poker Terms

Here are some of the jargon terms you might come across during a game of poker:

  • Bet – Wager put down by the first player during a round. After that, other players need to call to stay in the game.
  • Call – Placing a wager of the same size as the bet, by the remaining players.
  • Check- Should you not wish to bet first during a round, you can check (i.e. decline). This allows another player to bet, following which you can call.
  • Raise – If you wish to match the initial bet and then place a larger one, you can raise – subsequently, all players after you need to match your higher wager.
  • Fold: Should you wish to forfeit a round, you can fold.

Different Types of Poker Play

Different poker variations can be played with either a high or a low hand.  The four fundamental poker variants are:

  • Straight – A full hand is dealt out to each player, after which they place their bets in a single round, with raising and re-raising being allowed. There’s also the possibility to use a straight hand of five cards in the final showdown, although more complex gameplay is preferred. 
  • Stud – Cards are dealt in a predetermined combination of faceup or facedown rounds/streets, each being followed by a round of betting.
  • Draw – After a full facedown hand is dealt to each player, the players are allowed to change their hand by discarding unfavourable cards and asking to be dealt new ones.
  • Community card – Players are dealt an incomplete facedown hand of cards, with several community cards being dealt to the centre of the table, which can be used to create a five-card set by the players.

How to Win a Hand in Poker

There are many ways that a winning hand can be dealt in poker.  In certain situations, every player around a table might have a combination that can bring a win.  In such a case, the winning combinations are ranked amongst the players, to see who has the strongest one.  These hands include (from the lowest to the highest-ranking):

  • High card
  • One pair
  • Two pairs
  • Three of a kind
  • Straight
  • Flush
  • Full house
  • Four of a kind
  • Straight flush
  • Royal flush

Best Way to Play Online Poker

Playing poker online does not differ that much from an in-house casino experience.  To start, you can select a more straightforward form of the game, such as the three-card poker, and place your bets before the cards get dealt.  Once you have all your cards, you can decide whether to place another bet, raise or fold.  In such a game, you will either play alone against a dealer, or you will have your hand compared with the table.

Should you choose to play the Texas Hold’em variation of poker, you are required to place an initial bet, after which you will be dealt two cards.  Following this, the initial community card, which is called a flop, will be dealt.  In the instance that you carry on calling or raising, a second community card, called the river, is dealt.  Should a third raise or call take place, the last community card, known as the turn, is dealt.  After this, the dealer’s two facedown cards are turned around, and the winner is determined.

Although not the most complex of games, poker does depend a lot on strategising and calling bluffs.  Monitoring your opponent’s demeanour could be just as important as what cards you get dealt.  In the end, both your skill and your stint of luck will combine to determine the overall winner. 

For more gambling tips and tricks, be sure to check out our online casino advice and news section.