Poker and online poker have become increasingly popular over the last few years. With most people having access to broadband and the internet, betting has never been easier. In fact, you don’t even need a PC as you can access casinos on your smartphone or tablet without any difficulty.
All that choice means you can step away from sportsbetting and into something new – like online poker – with a click of your mouse. Now before you think poker sounds complicated, we’ve prepared a short guide that will help you get your feet wet, without swimming with the poker sharks.
First of all – where do you play? There are lots of poker sites – and you could search around for hours – or just hit up one of the good poker comparison websites out there. They recommend reputable and legitimate sites, so you know that your data is safe with them. And if you win any money at poker, these sites will pay out your winnings.
Next is what to play.
Texas Hold’em is the most popular poker game and it’s easy to learn the basics. There are a huge number of places you can learn, but essentially the rules can be distilled in to a few quick points:
- You get dealt two cards
- There is a round of betting
- Three cards get dealt face up and you must use these “community cards”, as well as the two cards in your hand, to make the best poker hand
- Another round of betting occurs
- Another community card is dealt, giving you more options
- Another round of betting
- A final community card is dealt, with a last round of betting
That’s it. That’s the basic game.
You can also search YouTube where you will find an excellent selection of Texas Hold’em tutorial videos.
To start playing you will need to register with a poker site. Don’t worry, you won’t have to deposit any money – but if you do you’ll get many of the same welcome bonuses you would get from a sportsbetting site. You can also practice your poker play at no cost using play money.
On some sites, you may have to download the poker software, on others you can play in your browser window. In either case, the gaming software is free to use.
Poker is classed as a game of chance, but tactics and strategy also play an important part in winning. You can find a lot of literature on poker strategies in soft or hard copy, but you will learn most from just playing the game. Just like in sportsbetting – experience is everything.
Have you heard that you need to be good at maths in order to play poker? Is that the reason you have shied away from playing the game? – Don’t worry. Again, you can read up on calculating the odds, but to start with, you should just learn to play. At first, you will obviously make mistakes and play a hand that has little chance of winning, or you might fold because another player appears to have a good hand – only to find out that he was merely bluffing.
Poker is actually about playing people, rather than cards. After playing the same opponents, if you are observant, you will notice that some of the other players will always use the same tactics. You can use this to your advantage and increase your own chance of winning.
Once you feel confident about the game, you may want to try out playing for real money. Nothing could be simpler as you will have already registered with an online casino of your choice. All online poker rooms offer fantastic bonuses for new players which become available to you once you have made your first deposit. These bonuses can be a real help when you first start playing for money as you will get “more bang for your buck”.
You don’t have to play for large amounts of money. Have a good look around the site before you decide on the table you want to play at. You can start playing for very small amounts of money. Even when you become more experienced, you should never play for amounts that you cannot afford to lose. Even famous poker stars lose tournaments as there is always an element of chance involved with playing this game.
One of the golden rules of poker is:
Don’t play every hand. After you have played poker for a while, you will get a better idea of which hand has a chance of winning and which one does not. Even if you think that your opponent is bluffing, don’t try to outdo him unless you have a good hand. Sit it out and wait for a playable hand. This will increase your chance of winning and save you money in the long run.
Enjoy your game and good luck!