Online Poker Games

For those of you who love playing poker and just want to enjoy the game from the comfort of your own home, online poker games are the perfect solution. There are plenty of online casino websites in the UK, not to mention around the world which offer at least one type of poker games, with the majority providing not only different variations of the original, but also video poker and live dealer poker, solution that make the entire gambling experience even more realistic.

A short history of poker

One of the, if not, the most popular card game in the world, poker emerged as a sole, complete game in the late 18th century, but its beginnings go way back in time. One of its origins is thought to stem in the Chinese domino game that was played before 969 AD; another goes back to the 12th and 13th centuries, when Egyptians took to their card games, continuing with the 16th century in Persia, with the then-renowned card games called Ganjifa and As Nas; a third influence and maybe one of the most important is the Spanish game, Primero, also being probably the first game that involved bluffing, a main characteristic of present-day poker, Germans played a game called Pochen at about the same time, and the French also enjoyed something similar called Poque. Actually., the French enjoyed Poque so much that it became a national game and when they colonized Canada, they also brought the game to the new world. From there, travelers easily took it south, first to New Orleans and then up the Mississippi, throughout the entire United States, where the modern poker game was developed.

With very few time-frame exceptions, poker has only grown in terms of popularity, being highly enjoyed, regardless of social class, bets being made on various things besides money. But with a bit of technique, exercise and of course just a tad of luck, poker has created the, at least, “palpable” sensation of easy money. We all know however, nothing is as easy at it looks.

So, getting back to our main subject of online poker games, as previously stated, there is a plethora of poker variants to choose from. Moreover, you can now enjoy video poker which implies animations and entertaining computer graphics and the live dealer poker games which bring the real-life casino experience directly to the comfort of your own home.

Some of the most popular poker game variants are Texas Hold’em, Omaha, Stud and Draw.

Texas Hold’em – each players receives two cards, faced down. Bets are placed and then three more community, face-up cards are dealt to each player. A second round of bets are made, which is followed by a fourth card (called a “turn”) and a fifth (called “river”). The action of the game, following each stage of the game, is continued only if there is at least 2 players in the pot. If players forfeit the others’ raises, they lose the pot. If 2 players are still in the game when the river card is dealt, they must show their “hole cards” and they player with the best five-card hand (made up with one or two of their cards) wins.

Omaha – the players receive 4 cards instead of the 2 dealt with Texas Hold’em and there are a few other small differences. You will have to use 2 of your cards to make your five-card hand, and the rest is pretty much the same, with bets being places in-between rounds.

Stud Poker – can be played with either 5 or 7 cards. You firstly get 3 cards, two facing down, one up. Compulsory antes are replaced by the initiative “bring-in”, which is actually a part of the main bet and is required from the player who has the card facing up of the lowest value. Stud poker players are not given community cards, but instead each is dealt cards facing up, with the last being dealt face down. If two ore more people reach the river card, all cards are exposed and the best five-card hand wins.

Draw poker – The entire action occurs before and after the draw. There are no community cards involved. Instead, each player starts with 5 cards being dealt to him/her and they each have to call (match the blind) or raise it. If they consider their hand is not good enough they can fold (except if they are in the blind stage). The next stage implies that each player can draw anther card from the deck and replace it with one in their hand. From this point on and until the showdown, every player can fold, call or raise.

In online poker, players can opt for 3 main types of betting variants:

  • Fixed betting – the player can choose to bet or not on a fixed amount of money
  • No-Limit betting – the player can go for the minimum size of the blind (forced bet), having no limits whatsoever in terms of the maximum bet ( which can only go so far as to how much chips you have).
  • Pot Limit betting – the maximum bet is equivalent to the size of the pot.

Given the fact that online poker is a much faster experience than the traditional one you may or may not be used to in real-life casinos, there are a few poker games features that you should know about:

  • Hot keys are the best when you want to make or adjust a quick bet
  • The “Run It Twice” option is usually specific for the Omaha poker game and will give you the option to deal the turn and river cards twice and continue playing for half of the pot every time you are all-in and heads-up.
  • If you don’t want to reveal your hand during a showdown, you can use The “Auto Muck” option.
  • “Top-Ups” or “Auto Buy-In” is a software option that comes really handy, sparing your time of manually topping up your stack.
  • “Hand Replayers” is an option that allows you to go over the last hands you’ve played, which is another great strategy to get a better image of your opponents.

Interesting facts about online poker games

  • The first online card room that offered real money games was Planet Poker and the first real money poker game was played on January 1st, 1998.
  • The major online poker websites offer satellite tournaments, whose winners have the chance to enter a real-life poker tournaments.
  • Since February 2010, there are over 500 online poker websites, of which around 30 are stand-alone sites and the rest are independent doorways, called “skins” which operate on over 20 different shared networks.
  • Online poker is legal in several countries around the Caribbean Sea, and throughout most of the UK.
  • There are over 1 billion players engaged in online poker, worldwide, at any given time.
  • The largest online poker room has has over 48 million members, while other average rooms have around 100,000 active users.