How to Play Online Poker
Millions of poker players around the world dream of bringing down a high stakes pot worth hundreds of thousands of dollars in an online poker game. As the popularity of poker continues to improve, more poker players are turning that dream into a reality. However, even today's top poker hotshots had to start somewhere, and most began by learning how to play poker online.
Learning Texas Hold'em
Texas Hold'em is the most popular Internet poker game, and if you're interested in learning how to play poker online, you're likely to be specifically interested in Texas Hold'em game play. Texas Hold'em unfolds in the following steps:
A big and small blind are entered by the players to the left of the dealer. The small and big blinds are forced bets that must be made to start a game of Texas Hold'em. The big blind is the minimum bet amount while the small blind is usually half that amount.
Two hole cards are dealt to each player. You keep your hole cards to yourself and will refer to them later on during the round.
The first betting round will resume with the player who is left of the small blind. You will be able to check, make your own bet, match the previous player's bet or forfeit by folding.
The first three community cards dealt are called the flop and a second betting around occurs afterwards.
The fourth community card, called the turn, is dealt face up and a third betting round commences.
The final river community card is dealt and is succeeded by the last betting round.
A showdown then occurs where the remaining players show their cards. You may combine your hole cards and the community cards to make the best 5-card hand that corresponds to the standard poker hand ranking system.
Tips for Learning Online Poker
Figuring out the game play structure of poker games such as Texas Hold'em is just the tip of the iceberg. The real reward comes in learning how to become better at playing poker through experience.
For example, play a couple of rounds of poker online and you'll quickly find out how important your starting hand selection really is. Receiving a good starting hand such as a pair of Jacks, Ace-Queen or King-Jack can automatically improve your chances of winning by 15 to 20%. Eventually, the true test of your poker knowledge and understanding will come from how you fare with mediocre or poor starting hands. Learning when to fold and how to make the best out of mediocre or poor hands in poker will go towards become a skilled poker player.
You'll also quickly realize the importance that table position has when learning how to play poker online. For example, you'll always be able to make more informed poker decisions when you're one of the last players in the betting round because you've been able to view the actions of the previous players. The betting positions rotate after each round of online poker, so you will ultimately learn how to play online poker while keeping your table position as well as your starting hand strength in mind.
You won't figure out any variation of online poker in the first couple of rounds. Nearly all online poker games are steeped in strategy, mathematical odds, probabilities and just plain old luck, so there's almost always something new to learn from each round of poker online.