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How to play online poker
Playing poker online is very similar to playing it in a brick-and-mortar casino. If you’ve never played online poker before or need a refresher, here’s our guide how to play online poker. Since there are lots of poker variants out there, we’ll cover the most popular one in detail. You only need to master one variant before you can access online poker. In our guide, we’ll cover:
- The step-by-step rules on how to play
- The different poker combinations that make up a hand
- Some key terminology for playing poker online
Each variant of poker has its own quirks and rules, but the basic gameplay is quite straightforward. In almost every game type, the objective is the same: get a stronger combination in your hand than other people’s.
One of the most popular and common poker variants is Texas Hold’em. It’s also one of the most straightforward games. For those who have previously played and need a refresher, here are the basic steps to playing Hold’em poker:
Two cards are dealt to each player. These are dealt face down and called the ‘hole cards’. Bets are made. The community cards (five more) are dealt face up in the center of the table after a few rounds of betting.
Players can use these community cards and combine them with their own two to make a combination.
We’ll now take a look at each of these steps in more detail for beginners. Although these steps are based on Texas Hold’em, they can usually be applied to other types of poker too but it’s worth checking for specific rules before playing.
STEP ONE – Placing bets Before there are any cards dealt, players place bets. You can place different types of bets including an ante bet or a blind bet. The former is when all players bet the same amount, while the latter involves the player to the dealer’s left placing a small bet and the player to their left placing a bigger one. After bets have been placed, players receive two cards face down. These are called ‘hole cards’. Once everyone has received their cards, players have three options@ Check – this means they decide not to start off the betting Bet – matching someone else’s bet Fold – give in if their hand is weak Every time a player chooses to check, the next person clockwise chooses to check or bet. As soon as a player decided to place a bet, everyone else must bet that amount.
STEP TWO – The Community Cards When the round of betting has concluded, the dealer deals the Flop. This is comprised of three cards placed face up in the center of the table. After seeing the flop, players will know if their hand is stronger or not. After the flop is dealt, there is another betting round.
STEP THREE – The Turn After the previous betting round has concluded, the dealer lays a fourth card face up in the center. This is called the Turn. Players can use the Turn to make their hand better. Remember, you only use five cards for a hand combination. After the turn is dealt, there is another betting round.
STEP FOUR – The River After the last betting round, a fifth card is dealt face up. This is called the River. Any player who is still in the game will be able to see how strong their hand combination is. There is one final found of betting before the showdown.
STEP FIVE – The Showdown When all of the betting has concluded, it’s showdown time. This means all players will reveal their combinations to see who the winner is. If there is a tie, the highest card (the kicker) is the decider.
Now you know how to play, you’ll need to know that constitutes a winning hand or a good hand. Let’s explore the different combinations that you might get to win the game.
The Royal Flush
A Royal Flush is comprised of an A K Q J 10 all of the same suit. As you’d expect, it’s quite rare to have this and so it is the most powerful combination of all. You might never see this.
The Straight Flush
After the Royal Flush, a Straight Flush is the next strongest hand. For a Straight Flush, you need five same-suit cards in a numerical sequence. There are different values of Straight Flush and the value is given by the highest card. For example, with a “Nine High Straight Flush”, the highest card would be a 9. If there are two players with a Straight Flush, the highest value one will win. For example, a Nine High Straight Flush will beat an Eight High Straight
An ace can be high or low.
Four of a Kind
As the name suggests, you need four cards of equal value – so four jacks, for example. The fifth card isn’t counted in the hand.
To have a Full House combination, you need three cards of equal value (e.g., three 10s), then two other cards that are of equal value (e.g., two 9s). If two players both have a Full House, the winner is the player whose three of a kind ranks higher.
If you have any five cards that belong to the same suit, you’ve got a Flush. If two players both have a Flush, the one with the highest card in their combination wins. If they have the same highest card, the next highest cards are taken into account, and so on until the winner is found.
A Straight is comprised of five cards in numerical order. They are not of the same suit. An ace can be high or low.
Three of a Kind
As the name suggests, you need three cards of equal value – so three jacks, for example, to make a Three of a Kind combination. The fourth and fifth cards are unmatched and are not counted in the hand. These combinations are often called Trip combinations. For example, if the Three of a Kind was three 8s, you would call this Trip Eights.
When you have two pairs (i.e., two pairs of equal-value cards) and an unmatched card, you have a Two Pair hand. If you have 8 8 4 4 3, this would be called “Eights over Fours”, while 9 9 2 2 A would be “Nines over Twos”.
When you have two cards of equal value then three unmatched cars, you have a Pair. This combination is ranked aces to deuces. When there are two players who have the same pair, it is the highest card in their unmatched cards that decides the winner. This can go right to the last card if needed.
When your hand has five unmatched cards and doesn’t have any of the combinations above, it will be determined by the highest card. If two players have the same highest card, the hand who has the next highest wins. This can go right to the last card if needed.
Poker Game and Variations
There are four main Texas Hold’em variations, and they’re distinguished by how you bet.
- With Limit Texas Hold’em, there will be a betting limit that is pre-determined on each round.
- With No Limit Texas Hold’em, players can bet as much as they want up to the limit of their chips.
- With Pot Limit Texas Hold’em, players can bet as much as they want up to the pot size.
- With Mixed Texas Hold’em, players will experience switches between Limit Texas Hold’em and No Limit Texas Hold’em in different rounds.
- iDeal provide secure, simple transfers from your bank to the site
- There are no fees to pay
- You’ll see your deposit arrive almost instantly so you can start playing right away
- You can also use iDeal to make withdrawals
- It’s easy to make a deposit via mobile
- You don’t need an eWallet or credit card
- There is no need to create an account or password, you just use your existing online banking.
The best online poker sites offer all of these variations.
The Best Poker Tournaments
For anyone who’s never taken part in a poker tournament, read on. These online poker tournaments are now somewhat of a trend and more and more online poker casinos are setting up tournaments. Here are some of the best online poker real money tournaments.
PokerStars This online tournament has existed for around two decades and it attracts lots of great players from all over the world. In 2011, a Canadian player called Kyle Weir set a record by winning 12 million dollars, which shows that if you work hard to develop this skill, you can make a lot of money indeed.
Cake Poker If big poker tournaments aren’t your thing, then Cake Poker just might be. This tournament is great because it is mid-sized, and people tend not to risk a lot. There are different overlay types each day and there are guaranteed schedules.
WCOOP WCOOP means World Championship of Online Poker and it is sponsored by PokerStars. This is an annual event that takes place each September. There are huge prizes on offer. Fifteen years ago, you could win 13 million dollars if you came first. Now, the prize pool is around the 70-million-dollar mark. You should probably only enter this tournament if you’re very experienced otherwise you’ll probably lose a lot of money (and you’ll need a lot to be able to place the high bets in the first place).
The PokerStars Sunday Million PokerStars also runs a weekly tournament when there is a prize pool of one million dollars. This tournament has been running for around five years, but thousands of people access it to try and win.
The Spring Championship of Online Poker Every spring there is a competition with a 75-million-dollar prize fund. This means that this tournament is the biggest after WCOOP. Here, there are three different buy-in levels. The first starts at $11, the second at $200, and the third stage, it’s usually more than $10,000. Essentially, this expensive third level is where your most experienced players are connected.
Live Poker Events
If you want to see how the best of the best play poker, you can watch live poker events online. Here are some of the events you can watch:
PSPC The PSPC is the PokerStars Players Championship. This is a festival that runs each year.
EPT The EPT is the European Poker Tour, and this has three destinations in Europe: Monte Carlo, Barcelona, and Prague.
APPT The APPT is the Asia Pacific Poker Tour Schedule. This takes place in Manila at the iconic Okada Manila.
BSOP The BSOP is the Brazilian Series of Poker. There are lots of dates in Brazil’s major cities like Sao Paulo and Rio De Janeiro.
Best Online Poker on Twitch
If you want to learn a thing or two and watch regular poker events live, Twitch is the best place to go. Here, you can watch live poker 24/7 and see some of the best players in the world.
Play poker on mobile
As far as iDeal poker goes, it’s great to use when using a smartphone to access a poker site. Online poker iDeal users will go to their cashier section of the online poker casino and chose iDeal as their payment method from the selection. It’s then a matter of filling in the required information and you’re good to go.
iDeal make it easy to play poker online because they have their own free app. This works for anyone who uses Android or iOS. iDeal often uses QR codes to make payments, which is so easy. You can even use the app to create your own QR codes for transfers. This is useful when transferring money to other players or friends.
Deposit in poker sites using iDeal
When playing poker online real money access is vital. iDeal make it easy to deposit funds to play on poker sites.
The process is pretty similar to using other payment methods for making a deposit.
Firstly, you’ll need an account at the online poker site. If you don’t have one and aren’t sure which site to use, it’s best reading around and looking at reviews to see which site most meets your needs. Some sites specialize in slot games over table games for example and so you might find that there isn’t the range of different poker games available that you want.
When you’ve got an account at your chosen site, log into it and head over to your ‘cashier’ section or follow a link to make a deposit.
Some review pages have online poker bonuses available so it’s worth checking them out to see if you can snag a promotion.
When you’re in the cashier page, scroll through until you find the iDeal deposit logo. Click this and you’ll see a new screen to enter the amount you would like to deposit to the site. There will be a list of banks shown so you need to select yours. Then, follow the prompts to enable you to access your bank account and finalize your deposit.
You should see your iDeal deposit appear in your online poker account instantly, but it could take up to two minutes. If there are long delays, you should contact the customer support of your chosen poker site to see if they can help.
The advantages of using iDeal for online poker deposits
There are many advantages to online poker iDeal deposits. These include:
Yes. As long as you have mobile banking or internet banking with a participating bank, you’ll be able to use iDeal without registering anywhere. No. As soon as the payment is approved by you through your mobile or internet banking, you can’t recall it. It is just like paying with a debit card in a shop, for example, and the money will be transferred from your account to the poker site instantly. Your bank statement will always show the company that received the money. Lots of companies collect payments through third parties (CPSP – Collecting Payment Service Providers) so this might appear on your statement instead. No. There are no fees for using iDeal payments. Companies are allowed to charge a fee to use this method, but they must teel you before you make the payment. Most companies don’t add anything extra.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes. As long as you have mobile banking or internet banking with a participating bank, you’ll be able to use iDeal without registering anywhere.
No. As soon as the payment is approved by you through your mobile or internet banking, you can’t recall it. It is just like paying with a debit card in a shop, for example, and the money will be transferred from your account to the poker site instantly.
Your bank statement will always show the company that received the money. Lots of companies collect payments through third parties (CPSP – Collecting Payment Service Providers) so this might appear on your statement instead.
No. There are no fees for using iDeal payments. Companies are allowed to charge a fee to use this method, but they must teel you before you make the payment. Most companies don’t add anything extra.