Your Ultimate Guide to Online Poker in 2023

Start your online poker journey with the best overview of poker around. See OCR’s expert tips, strategies, and glossary of terms. Make use of exciting poker variants and elevate your skills with free poker games at the best online gaming venues in the business. Take your online poker to the next level today with this handy guide!

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Overview

The newest generation of punters that is nowadays exploring online poker gaming is doing so because of a popular early 2000s video game series called Governor of Poker. This free-to-play entertainment-focused dive into poker did not only keep youngsters entertained for hours but also gave them an appetite for poker as a whole. The children that grew up with this amazing video game are now young adults whose thirst for poker fun can only be quenched by online poker games.

There are, obviously, other categories of punters that differ from these youngsters drastically, but we wanted to give you an example of how mainstream entertainment can bring new blood into the gaming industry. Note that this influx of younger players is very beneficial to gaming as a whole since it forces game developers to modernize and elevate their products. This can be seen in the winning hands, game mechanics, visuals, sound effects, and even modern spins on classic gimmicks.

You can enjoy online poker in a fully digital environment that offers RNG-based games, whose results depend entirely on chance, and live dealer games, which are led by a live dealer. The latter deals cards, accepts bets, and keep the fun going in a virtual environment.

The rules are usually simple, with the house dealing cards and the players attempting to trump it. Note that the actual rules of each game differ based on the variant and venue, so make sure to look into them before partaking. Moreover, the associated paytables also differ, so be wary of those too.

We all know that poker values skill, and it helps if you can read people, but there is also an element of luck in terms of the cards that you receive. A poker table can have multiple punters around it, but you usually need at least two to play. The rules that govern your plays are rather simple, but you can really elevate your session if you follow our tips. Moreover, if you become familiar with the game’s history, pros, cons, jargon, and nuances, you can be a real poker pro in no time.

Use our site to explore over forty amazing casino poker games, each of which brings something special to the table. Make the most of our gaming session with amazing bonuses that enrich your wallet and prolong your gaming fun. Use the welcome bonuses of our recommended online venues to get your gaming session off to the perfect start. Check out our list of frequently asked questions and fine-tune your gaming one bet at a time.

Pros & Cons

Pros
Often accessible for free
You can easily switch versions
There are plenty of casino bonuses
Your gambling experience is relaxed
Cons
The biggest wins cannot match online slots
Land-based casinos retain a level of camaraderie

The History of Poker

Like many other games, Poker made its "big break" when it was brought to America by French colonists. But prior to that, Poker was already a well-established game in the old world. Roots of the game are said to be traced back to ancient times; some claim it originated in ancient Persia, while others claim it originated in China at around 900 A.D. France seems to always have a part in the origination and popularization of casino games; so with the case of Poker's beginnings. A French game called "Poque" became widespread in 17th century Europe; one can certainly tell the resemblance of the name to what we know today as Poker.

Poker is widely associated with the American Wild West culture because the game was indeed popular in America's west until its popularity boomed during the 1860s, side to side with the American Civil War; this bloody war was the time when Poker came to be what it is today more or less. Nowadays, many know poker for its Texas Hold'em variation; this game was introduced as early as the 20th century in the state of Texas, but it skyrocketed in popularity only in the late 60s.

Since 1970, the Gambling Fraternity Convention was purchased by the Binion brothers, who shaped it around and changed it to be the World Series of Poker; since then and up to this very day, this is thought to be the world's biggest and most important poker tournament. Texas Hold'em is the game played in the tournament's main event, a thing that brought the game to even higher levels of popularity. Nowadays, Poker in its many variations, is available in online casinos and also in video poker format. Texas Hold'em remains the most popular variation of Poker online. 


Glossary

This list encompasses both terms popular in Poker in its basic form and also in Texas Hold'em.

Blinds: Forced or partial bets are placed by the two players sitting to the left of the dealer. They are divided into small blind placed by the player to the immediate left of the dealer, and big blind placed by the player two to left.

Bluff: Making a bet while holding a weak hand, making your opponents think you have something you don't in order to encourage the stronger ones fold.

Buy-in: An initially required sum of chips a player must acquire before he joins the game.

Community Cards: A term from Texas Hold'em, this refers to five face-up cards that are dealt with the intention of being used by all players at the table.

Flop: The dealing of the first three face-up community cards in the first round.

Flush: A consisting of five cards of the same suit.

Hole Cards: A couple of face-down cards dealt to the player.

Pair: Two cards that share the same value, for example, pair of 6s.

Pot: The absolute sum up of all bets which were placed during the hand.

Rake: A scaled commission fee taken from the House for the conduct of the Poker game. This is how the House gains money from Poker.

River: The fifth and last community card to be dealt before the game goes to a betting round and if necessary, to showdown.

Round of Betting: Active players choose between Raise, Fold, Check or Call.

Royal Flush: The highest-ranked Poker hand consisting of King, Queen, Jack, Ten of Spades, and Ace.

Straight: Five sequential cards.

Trips: Triples. For example, three 3h, three queens, etc.

Turn: The fourth community card which is dealt.


Rules

Every Texas Hold'em begins with a shuffling of a standard 52-card deck. This is carried out either by a player or the dealer. Then the two players sitting to the left of the dealer place the first two initial bets: the player closest to the dealer puts a small blind which is half of the minimum bet, while the player to his left puts a big blind which is the minimum bet. Then all players in the table are dealt two face-down cards in a clockwise manner.

This triggers the first round of betting, where players choose whether they want to raise (place a bet bigger than the max bet), call (add more money to the pot for the matching of the max bet), check (in case they've matched the max bet) or fold (quit their hand forfeiting their interest in the pot).

At this point the game reaches the flop, initiated by the burning of the top card on the deck. Then the dealer deals three face-up community cards and yet another round of betting commences, again in a clockwise direction. This is continued with the turn, which is the fourth community card and the river, the fifth. A showdown occurs if and when two or more players remain in the game after the last betting round; the winner is the one who holds the best hand.

Poker Hand Hierarchy

Royal Flush: The highest hand achievable with an Ace-high straight flush.

Straight Flush: The second-highest hand with five consecutive same-suit cards.

Four of a kind: Four same-rank cards and one different card.

Full House: Three same-rank cards and two of a different rank.

Flush: Five cards of the same suit but not in sequence.

Straight: Five sequential cards of different suits.

Three of a kind: A hand with three same-rank cards and two different cards.

Two pairs: A hand with two pairs of same rank cards and another unaffiliated card.

Pair: Two cards of the same rank in the hand.

High Card: If no player wins with the help of a hand of Pair or higher, the player with the highest single card wins, with Ace being the "lowest" highest card.


Strategies

One basic strategy a beginner should know is fairly simple: it is to know whether to play or fold. This decision should be made in conjunction with the hole cards the person is dealt at the beginning of the round. If it makes sense to play with them, go ahead, but if they're weak, perhaps it's better to fold – especially if you're a beginner.

If your hole-cards consist of two cards that are not paired and are valued at less than 10, your chances are rather slim; however, owning one card worth 10 or a pair might justify remaining in the game. All else is up to the player and his considerations regarding his hand and what he knows about his opponents. But knowing when to stay and when to fold is the most basic strategy or skill every player should be proficient in.

Tips

We recommend that you check out the following tips so that you maximize your gaming experience. This applies to both newcomers that are just now learning the ropes and veterans that need a refresher.

Kicking Things Off

Poker, especially online poker, is much easier to get into than you might expect. While there are numerous hands and mechanics that you need to get accustomed to, the overall gameplay is not that complex. Use the following tips for diving right into online poker like a pro.

1 Practice makes perfect

Nothing can compete with hands-on experience, which you cannot get from neither thrilling YouTube videos nor our amazing guides. We recommend that you make use of free play games and poker bonuses to practice poker. This will help you easily determine the strength of cards and their potential.

2 Join a trustworthy online casino

A reliable online casino will treat you with respect. This respect usually manifests itself in solid payouts and fair game results. Moreover, the best online casinos offer guides and self-help content.

3 Claim an online poker bonus

A great way to increase your bankroll and prolong your gaming experience is by using a bonus. You can expect everything from welcome to reload bonuses at our recommended online poker venues. Note that you should always read the associated terms and conditions, as these may hide wagering requirements.

4 Join a table

Now that you are familiar with the ins and outs of poker and have a bonus locked in, it is time to dive into the action. Pick your favorite casino poker game, join the table, bet, and have fun.

5 Keep your cool at the end

Remember that not every round has to end in a win. Losses can teach you far more than wins, so do not let them demoralize you. Simply pay attention to the paytables, think about what went wrong, and apply your newfound knowledge to the next round.

Terminology

Have you ever been left confused after a poker round? Are there terms that make you scratch your head? Check out modern online poker jargon and get a new insight into the game. Sound like an online poker pro in minutes with our helpful glossary.

Poker Glossary

Poker Variants

We want you to experience everything that poker has to offer, which is why we have prepared this extensive list of casino poker variants. Read their descriptions and see if any tickle your fancy.

Ante Up 21 Blackjack

You might be confused by the name, but rest assured, this is sort of still poker. The base game is blackjack, but you make poker side bets. These include the poker side bet referred to as ante, which allows punters to win a side bonus of up to ₱549.830.

Poker

This is the classic that all of us grew up either watching or playing. You can now play it on your favorite device anywhere you please. Furthermore, you do not have to deal with a dealer, as it is often a single-player game. Note that the poker hands and win conditions remain the same as always.

Live Poker

These titles bring the atmosphere and wonder of a real-life poker room into your living room. Enjoy the professional movements of a live dealer via the highest-fidelity stream in existence. Compete against your live croupier and attempt to form the highest poker hand possible.

Pia Gow

This Eastern sensation taking over the online gaming nation is bellowed by punters the world over. Your job is to make two hands out of seven cards, and the two creations, one with two cards and one with five, need to trump the dealer's two hands. If only a single hand wins, the round ends in a draw.

Red Dog

The premise of this poker variant is rather simple. Two cards are placed on the table, and the player bets whether the third card will have a value between the existing ones. Payouts are based on a spread that is equal to the number of cards that could potentially land between the original two.

Texas Hold ‘em

Punters absolutely adore poker Texas Hold ‘em as it does not make them compete against other players. The game consists of a dealer and a player that each receives two hole cards. The table is given community cards, and the goal is to forge the most substantial hand possible.

Live Texas Hold ‘em

Live dealer games have given conventional poker Hold ‘em a brand-new twist. The latter keeps the conventional rules but allows multiple players to participate at any given table. Note that hands cannot be shared among players and that new cards cannot be drawn.

Bullfight

This is another gem originating from the far East. The game is comprised of two bet boxes, and both the red and black bull receive five cards. Note that points are scored the same way as in baccarat, with the winning hand being closest to 9.

3 Card Poker

This is another variant that pits a player against the dealer. Each participant receives three cards and is required to place a bet. Cards are turned after wagers are collected, and wins are usually based on conventional card rankings.

Caribbean Stud Poker

Certain venues refer to this game as 'casino stud poker', but it is generally the exact same game. The rules are the same as in five-card stud poker, and you compete against players. This structure is broken by single-player Caribbean stud poker that pits you against the house.

Live Caribbean Stud Poker

This version is also comprised of players receiving five cards and competing with a live dealer. Note that you still, however, compete against the players in a way. Furthermore, there is a special benefit of side bets in the form of a royal flush progressive jackpot.

Cyber Stud Poker

Enjoy the thrills of playing against a dealer with wild cards in cyber stud poker. Your main goal is to land a royal flush that can payout a whopping 200 times your bet. Note that the dealer's hand has to qualify, or else your winnings are reduced.

Poker Ride

Throw away the worry of hole cards and focus on the comfort of community cards. All you have to do is call or raise when a new card is revealed. Note that there is also the possibility of side bets, which compete for a progressive jackpot.

Hold Em High

Take Texas Hold ‘em to the next level with this high-stakes variant. The hands remain the same, but the gameplay is elevated with significant increases in wagers.

Tequila Poker

If you have not experienced tequila poker, then you have not experienced what poker mixed with blackjack truly has to offer. All you have to do is form a five-card hand and hope that your high tequila bet’s points land you a win.

Let it Ride

Some of you might know this exciting game variant under the name of Let’ Em Ride. This variant spices things up by making players make five-card poker hands using their three-hold cards and two community ones.

Side Bet City

This live dealer game makes hands out of 3, 5, and 7 cards. Punters are invited to bet on the winner, with the option of choosing a ‘no win bet’ that forges its own independent path.

Stud Poker

You will often find it under the name of casino stud, as it is a popular variant of five-card stud poker. Punters compete against the dealer and attempt to create the best five-card hand possible.

Live Stud Poker

Those of you that find digital replicas of amazing casino games dull will surely appreciate live stud poker. The rules remain the same as in the original, and the real thrill beings with side bets. These are not only exciting; they also have the chance of landing you a progressive jackpot.

2-7 Triple Draw

This poker variant consists of five cards and is referred to as a lowball draw poker game. Your objective is to craft the lowest value five-card hand with the utilization of hole and community cards.

2-7 Single Draw

The premise of this game is the same as 2-7 Triple Draw. However, players are allowed to discard and redraw their hole cards. Note that this can only be done once.

8-Game Mix

We want to warn you that this game should only ever be attempted by veterans and professionals as it throws you into the infernal of 2-7 Triple Draw, Limit Hold 'em, Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better, Razz, Seven Card Stud, Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better, No-Limit Hold 'em and Pot-Limit Omaha.

Badugi

Those of you that enjoy card draw poker will absolutely love Badugi. This game allows a player to draw up to four cards. Note that the strongest card is not allowed to have duplicate ranks or suits.

Fast-Fold Poker

Some venues call this zoom or rush poker, which is indicative of its speed. Folding a hand transfers you to a new table where you are given a fresh hand. You need not for a round to end as the action comes to your thick and fast.

Five Card Draw

Punters absolutely adore discarding inferior cards, which is why it is not surprising that this title enables just that. Players are given five hole cards, and they are allowed to axe three. Note that a winning hand has to be based on two hole cards and five community ones.

HORSE

Some are confused by this poker variant as it sees rounds that are a mix of Hold 'em, Omaha Hi/Lo, Razz, Seven Card Stud, and Stud Hi/Lo. The games are altered when a round makes its way around the table. Note that the order tends to be consistent.

Irish Poker

This is another interesting version of poker that, this time, combines Omaha and Texas Hold 'em. Rounds begin with four hole cards, and two of them are lost by the end. Your objective throughout the action is to form the best five-card hand possible out of your remaining hole and community cards.

Open Face Chinese Poker

Few casino poker games are as intense as this one. The objective is to form three hands out of 13 drawn cards. These hands are top, middle, and bottom and are ranked based on their evaluation. The highest hand is, oddly enough, called the backhand.

Pineapple Poker

Enjoy the thrills of Texas Hold ‘em poker in this unique game variant. Punters are given three hole cards and can discard one.

Razz

Razz turns your expectation on their head by having you form the lowest value five-card hand with two hole cards and a selection of five community ones.

Short Deck Hold ‘em

This title gets rid of the 2, 3, 4, and 5 cards, which leaves you with a 36-card deck. Punters are given two hole cards, and they are tasked with forming the best possible hand out of five community cards.

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Yes, it does. If you decide to play with real money, you can win real money. Note that the actual payouts depend on pay tables and other factors.

While the hands and card rankings remain the same, the real difference appears when you look at your opponents. Casino poker pits you against digital punters, while a real-life poker tournament pits you against real punters.

No, you cannot. Poker is, like every casino game, based on luck. Yes, strategies can be helpful when looking at certain hands and results, but they are not a one-stop shop for wins.

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