So, you want to play poker online but have no idea of where to start, right? Well, don’t worry: we were all beginners at some point. Poker is one of the most popular card games around, and it has a global player base: it is known and played in almost every country.
This is mostly because it is an easy-to-learn game; you can learn all the rules in no more than 15 minutes. Mastering the game, however, will take a long time. In any case, even if you are a complete beginner, you can start playing at poker sites in no more than 15 minutes – we are ready to help you with this guide.
Due to this popularity and ease of play, there are literally hundreds of casinos to play online poker. Finding the best online poker sites will be a challenge because every one of them claims to be the best. Well, we are still ready to help you in this regard: after explaining the rules, variants, and tips and tricks for this game, we will be listing the criteria to pick top online poker sites and give you a list of our recommendations. When you are done with reading this guide, you will learn everything there is to know about this card game and be ready to play like a pro. More importantly, you will learn how to play at online poker real money USA sites. Our guide is mainly for US players, but it will be useful for everyone too. Let’s start: We have a lot of things to tell!
All card games, no matter what they are called, are invented either by Spanish sailors or French soldiers. However, poker is the only exception: we must thank the “Yankees” for this game. The game was invented in the United States, and during the 19th century, the exact date is unknown. It first appeared on the steamboats that roam the Mississippi river – those were the “mobile casinos” of the era. The first variant of the game was the “stud” version, which is also known as “classic poker” nowadays. However, that is not the only card game you can play. As we will explain below in detail, there are lots of game variants to play, such as Texas holdem online and Omaha style. It is also the most popular card game in America: Europeans like to play baccarat and blackjack, but for the US players, poker is the best card game to play. Professional players are treated as celebrities in this country and win millions – and by making the correct choices, you can join them too. Let’s continue by explaining how you can do this: We should start from the beginning and with the rules.
Explaining the rules of poker online games is not that hard, as mentioned above, you can learn the basic principles in 15 minutes. However, note that different stud variants have slightly modified rules, especially when it comes to betting options. The rules explained below are for “classic” game, but they will apply to all other variants too. Only some of the betting options will be different, but your overall goal will stay the same.
Poker is a card game played between the players, not against the “casino”. This is important information to know – in blackjack, for example, your rival is the dealer. In other words, the casino itself. Here, however, your rivals are your table friends, other players like you. At the beginning of a round, all players must place a bet: this is called the “buy-in”. We will call it the “initial wager”. After that, the cards get shuffled and cut. One player takes the role of the dealer and deals the card. Each player gets between 2 and 5 cards, depending on the variant. Likewise, these cards may be open or closed, again, according to the variant you are playing.
Your goal is to form the better hand with the dealt cards, according to the hierarchy of poker hands. This hierarchy is the same in all variants, so let’s take a look at it first:
|RANK||NAME OF THE HAND||EXAMPLE|
|1||Royal Flush||A, K, Q, J, 10 (Same suit)|
|2||Straight Flush||9, 8, 7, 6, 5 (Any same-suit five cards in consecutive order)|
|3||Four Of A Kind||A, A, A, A (Same four cards, can be different suits)|
|4||Full House||J, J, J, K, K (Three same cards + two same cards)|
|5||Flush||Any same-suit five cards|
|6||Straight||Five cards in consecutive order, any suit|
|7||Three Of A Kind||10, 10, 10 (Same three cards, may be different suits)|
|8||Two Pair||7, 7, J, J (Two same cards, may be different suits)|
|9||Pair||7, 7 (Two same cards)|
Players can ask for more cards from the dealer, or pick another card from the ones on the table – each poker variant has different rules in this regard. But your ultimate goal is to form one of these hands, and the better hand than the other players.
When it is your turn, you have three options to decide:
One by one, players will be eliminated from the table: When everyone calls in, the round ends and the cards are compared. If only two players are left, this is called a “showdown”, which is the most exciting part of a card game. The tension between these two players is at insane levels, and they may keep increasing the pot to millions of dollars.
These basic rules apply to online pocker too, of course. In other words, you will be playing the same game at an online poker site, so there won’t be any new rules to learn. But you will be getting various benefits by choosing an online poker game, which we will list below.
In regards to rules, no, poker games online are not different at all. As mentioned above, they are still the same games with equal winning chances. Whether you are playing online poker free or online poker real money games, you don’t need to learn the game again. However, there is an important difference: the majority of online card games will be presented as “video poker machines”, which are played against the “computer”. So, your rival won’t be a real person. Most video machines use the ruleset of a 5-card Stud and offer very good RTP rates. They are presented with interesting names, such as:
These games add one more type of hand to hierarchy explained above, so they have another hand that makes a payout. Although video poker machines are not your only option. Thanks to the live casino technology, you can play all kinds of online game variants against real dealers. These are actually live broadcasts, which you can join from anywhere in the world. Basically, a real dealer puts a webcam in front of his/her table and starts a broadcast. You and all other players can join this stream and play the game in real-time. Live poker games offer authentic casino gaming experience from the comfort of your homes, and you should definitely try them.
There is no need to make such a comparison: both options offer a different kind of experience and should be tried separately. However, if you ask us, you should prefer casino sites to play online poker for money. This is because choosing poker online real money games offer lots of advantages, such as:
As we mentioned above, this game has lots of variants which offer slightly different rules and winning chances. The most common ones are Texas holdem poker online and Omaha, so let’s take a closer look at both.
There are various other variants too, such as High/Low, 7 Card Stud, Mississippi Stud, Caribbean Hol’em, and Lowball. However, almost all other variants are quite simple games with rules that favor the casino. We recommend playing the most basic variants of poker to get the lowest house edges & best winning chances: 5-Card Stud, Texas Holdem, and Omaha Holdem.
In order to play like a pro, you will need some tips and tricks, too. We have a couple of recommendations to give – they will be very useful to you, especially at the start of your adventure.
|STARTING HAND (FIRST CARDS)||PROBABILITY OF HAPPENING|
|Starting the game with a pair||5.90%|
|Starting the game with two pairs||2.02%|
|Starting the game with two Aces||0.45%|
|Starting the game with an Ace-King suit||0.30%|
Finding the best online poker sites can be challenging, due to the reason we mentioned above: there are simply too many options. And finding the online poker sites USA will be more challenging, due to the gambling laws in this country. That’s why we have prepared a separate section below about online poker for US players. However, as long as you follow a strict list of criteria, you can easily find the best online poker site in no time.
Playing at internet casino for real money in the US is a tricky subject: All forms of gambling, including online poker in the US, are banned on a federal level in this country. Some states legalized certain forms of gambling, but if we make a general assessment, we can say that real money poker is generally prohibited and considered illegal in the United States. At the moment, only these states declared casino games as legal: Nevada, Delaware, and New Jersey. Playing casino games for real money is still illegal in other jurisdictions. In order to play poker online for money USA, you must be a resident of these states.
As a result, most of the best poker sites for US players are located abroad. In other words, if you want to find the best poker site for US players, you must expand your horizons and look for other options. And as long as you follow the criteria we have listed above, you can access to safe, secure, and fair casino games no matter which state you are living at. And we are ready to help you in this regard: Below, you can see a list of our recommended online poker USA websites.
We showed you how to pick the best platforms for playing online poker. However, in order to use the criteria listed above, you still need to have experience. That will come in time, but why wait? We already picked the best USA online poker sites for you and checked them thoroughly. Our experienced team knows what to look for and does not get fooled by “advertisements”. We know how to check the game variety, legality, security, and fairness. And after doing a comprehensive evaluation, these are the best online poker sites US we can recommend:
There you go, you have learned everything about playing the game and how to pick the best US online poker sites. Now, you are ready to play like a real pro. Just pick one of our recommended US online poker sites and grab your bonus, so you can start playing and winning in no time. Remember that we will be updating this guide on a regular basis and add more poker sites for US players, so don’t forget to visit us often. Do not forget that mastering this game will take time, but you will be rewarded handsomely: Good luck!