Poker is an incredibly fun card game that has not only gathered hundreds upon thousands of fans but has also gained massive popularity as a sport. It is both entertaining and highly competitive and is one of the few card games to be so. While poker games in land-based casinos offered some good fun, they seemed more intimidating or uninviting to beginner poker players — but this is where online poker shines! Playing poker online has only boosted this game’s popularity, as online poker offers all sorts of creative possibilities without the stresses of a real table setting.
Many poker players opt for a good game of online poker, but before you jump into the deep end, there are many aspects of poker that every novice player should know. These would help you make quick and strategic decisions in the hopes of winning this witty game.
HISTORY OF ONLINE POKER
Many historians argue about where the game of poker originated from. Some say the game dates back to nearly 1,000 years ago, tracing back to a domino-card game played by a Chinese emperor from the 10th century. Others argue that the game descended from a Persian card game from the 16th century, known as As Nas. But, poker is mostly known to have European descent from a game called poque, a game played in 17th century France. Poque was a three-card game where bluffing and wagering played massive parts. This game was massively popular in both Germany (pochen) and Spain (primero) as well.
Poque eventually made its way to American shores as French colonists settled in North America and took the game to New Orleans, where English-speaking settlers in the region gave the game the infamous name we all know today — poker. By the 19th century, this once European game adopted more modern features, including five-card hands as well as a 52-card deck.
From there, poker swept through the United States as riverboat crew members took up the game while transporting goods through the great waterways. Soldiers tried their hand at poker during the Civil War, and it became a staple of Wild West saloons during the 70s and 80s. Poker then made its way to England in 1871, when Queen Victoria took an interest in the game after it made prominent appearances in multiple social gatherings, inspiring the Queen to create her own poker room.
Over time, different variants in poker emerged among poker players, including five-card draw, seven-card stud, and Texas hold ‘em poker — one of the most popular poker games in history.
The first poker tournament, the World Series of Poker, was held in 1970 and has since become a top-rank annual event where poker players from all over the US flock to participate. This is where poker became so highly competitive that it was referred to as a ‘sport’, with legendary players like Bobby Baldwin, Puggy Pearson, Amarillo Slim, and Doyle Brunson all taking their place as some of the most talented poker players.
With such a staggering fan base, it’s no wonder that poker made its way to online gaming and poker sites all across the world, taking the game to the next level. Now, online poker tables include detailed instruction menus and low-stake bets that allow even the most beginner players to give online poker a whirl.
WORLD SERIES OF POKER
The World Series of Poker is a series of poker tournaments that have been held in Las Vegas every year — and have been sponsored by Caesars Entertainment since 2004. This massive event first started in 1970 when Benny Binion invited seven of the best-known poker players to play in a tournament at the Horseshoe Casino, where a winner was determined by a secret ballot vote of the seven players.
As of 2020, the World Series consists of 101 events featuring major poker variants like Texas hold ‘em poker. These events generally take place over several consecutive days during June and July. As of 2008, the Main Event final table was rescheduled to November, but this concept faded back to the original play format in 2017, stating that the Main Event winner is to be crowned in July.
The first step to becoming the best online poker player you can be is to understand how the game works. Because there is so much versatility online, different poker games may come with different rules, but we will go through the main set of rules based on Texas hold ‘em.
When placing bets on land-based cash games, your position at the table has a major part to play. Luckily though, especially when betting real money, online poker is much easier to play.
A typical game begins with two hole cards being dealt, after which players must decide how to act – fold, call or raise. Your knowledge of poker hand rankings plays a major role in how you form your poker strategy.
Three community cards are then dealt with the table during ‘the flop’, followed by a round of betting. Remember, your aim is to form the strongest poker hand possible, so with these five cards, you can get an idea of which direction your poker hand is going. If it’s not looking great, you may want to fold or try your hand at bluffing. For example, if you’re holding a jack-10 and the flop brings a nine and a queen, then you have an open-ended straight draw, so it may be worth going forward.
During a round known as ‘the turn’, a fourth community card is dealt to the table, followed by another round of betting. Now that six cards have been dealt to you, your poker hand is almost fully formed. You can choose to bluff or go ahead and continue to the next round of betting but remember to act wisely. Betting is similar to previous rounds, where players can check, bet, call, raise or fold. The same applies to the next round of betting referred to as ‘the river’.
The river is the final step to having a fully formed five-card poker hand with the fifth and final community card dealt to the table. Assess the strength of your hand, or kick your bluffing up a notch as this is where your skills are really put to the test.
How you form your hand may depend on the type of poker variant you play. Online Texas Hold’em Poker, for example, allows you to form a hand out of one, both, or none of your hole cards. In cash games like Omaha, players form their hand using exactly two of their four cards and three of the five community cards.
The final step is the showdown, where all remaining players reveal their cards, and the winner is determined by the player with the strongest hand. If you managed to bluff to this point and all other opponents folded, you win automatically.
In games like Texas hold ‘em, you may also have the option to muck (discard) your cards. This is quite a strategic move as players won’t be able to get a good read on you — but this all ties into your strategy. In poker, the best thing you can do is to keep your opponents guessing.
ONLINE POKER RULES
With all this in mind, online poker rules differ slightly from the typical game of poker. Games like Deuces Wild, for instance, offer Wild cards (twos), which substitute for other cards, making it much easier to form a strong hand. Games like Aces and Eights offer a higher payout for hands featuring all aces or all eights.
While you might be playing for real money, online poker games are often not played against other players. Instead, players compete against the house. There are many factors that tie into online poker rules, but it is important to understand how typical poker is played before you dive into online poker.
POKER HAND RANKINGS
While, of course, knowing the exact rules of the game and how to play are two of the stepping stones of learning how to become an online poker virtuoso, mastering the poker hand rankings is what is really going to set you up for success. Knowing what beats what will really aid in transforming a low-ranking hand to a better one and ultimately turn the tides of the game in your favor. Let’s take a look at how each poker hand ranks against the other in order from the highest rank to the lowest:
Royal Flush – This hand is the highest-ranking hand in poker and also the hardest hand to form. It is built with an ace, king, queen, jack, and 10, all of the same suit.
Straight Flush – A straight flush is the second-strongest hand in the game, which can only be beaten by the royal flush. This hand includes a series of five consecutive cards of the same suit.
Four of a Kind – This hand features four cards of the same rank.
Full House – The full house features a combination of a three of a kind and a pair. It consists of three cards of one rank and two of another.
Flush – Five cards of the same suit
Straight – A series of five consecutive cards of different suits.
Three of a Kind – Three cards of the same rank.
Two Pairs – Two cards of one rank and another two of another rank.
One Pair of Jacks or Better – This is one of the lowest-ranked winning hands you can earn. It consists of either two jacks, queens, kings, or aces.
High Card – Also referred to as the ‘no pair’, the high card does not fall into any of the above categories, and so, it is ranked as the weakest possible combination you can have.
The exact cards that form these hands also have a part to play. If two players form the same hand, the winner is determined by the player whose hand is formed with the higher-valued cards. So, not only will this knowledge aid you in making better decisions, but you could also try bluffing! Bluffing is a skill that players use to trick their opponents into thinking they have a stronger (or weaker) hand than they do — the only way to do this is to recognize which hands are stronger!
ONLINE POKER GAMES
Online gamblers will find that the experience of playing poker games online is much different from sitting at a physical poker table. Now that poker has been included in online gambling, hundreds of online poker variants have surfaced, each offering a unique set of features and a whole new gaming experience. Let’s take a look at a few popular online casino poker games that you can try:
Deuces Wild is a highly popular poker game that resembles typical cash games with an added twist. In this online poker game, the ‘two’ cards act as Wilds, which means they can substitute for any other card in the deck. This makes the game much much easier, so it is highly recommended to beginners still learning the ropes, especially if they are playing for real money.
JACKS OR BETTER
This online poker table is a casino game based on five-card draw poker. It is fairly easy to learn but grasping the strategic aspects of the game can be a little tricky. But, this only means that you can test out your poker skills!
If you’re looking to spice things up and put your poker skills to the test, then Turbo Poker might be the cash game for you. Its simple look and fast gameplay offer a great deal of fun as you try and form the best hand as quickly as possible!
PLAY THE BEST ONLINE POKER GAMES AT ENERGYCASINO
At EnergyCasino, you can expect to find all of these online poker games and more! No matter how much experience you have from playing poker online, we have a poker game out there for everyone.
If you want a more immersive experience, head over to our Live Casino, where each poker room is decked out with sophisticated studio designs and live dealers that offer the exact look and feel of a real casino. We host some of the best online poker games around, including the infamous Texas Hold’em Poker! If you can master Texas Hold’em Poker, then you can handle anything.
Play some of the best poker games on mobile too. Online poker is easily accessible on any compatible mobile device, so you can play on the go and enjoy all the same epic gameplay in the palm of your hand. Just make sure your mobile device is connected to the internet, and you’re all set.
If you want to switch things up, fun games like European Roulette, Crazy Time, or Power Blackjack are also worth a try!
FREE POKER ONLINE
There are many benefits to playing poker online, one of which being that you can play completely for free!
HOW TO PLAY POKER FOR FREE
When playing at EnergyCasino, you will notice that if you hover over the thumbnail of your chosen poker game, you’ll see the ‘DEMO’ button. This demo is a free-play version of the game that allows you to play without risking real money. Instead, you will be set up with virtual funds that you can use instead. If you’re unfamiliar, virtual funds are a form of virtual currency that you can use to place bets. The amount of virtual funds you have is predetermined by the game provider.
With a free-play version, you get to see what the gameplay is like and what game mechanics it offers without ever betting real money. This way, you can practice for as long as the virtual funds run out — test out your poker skills and determine whether you actually like playing or not. Bear in mind that all winnings obtained during the free-play version are completely virtual and cannot be withdrawn.
ONLINE POKER FOR REAL MONEY
Once you’ve exhausted the free-play demo game, you can up the stakes by playing online poker for real money! Place your bets and put your poker abilities to the test with a fun cash game. Nothing beats the true entertainment from a good online poker game and, luckily, you’ll find everything you need and more at EnergyCasino!
On top of offering some of the best online poker games around, we also grant amazing casino bonuses that may play a major role in your poker experience. Bonuses come in many shapes and sizes, so keep your eyes peeled for any Deposit Bonus offers, No Deposit Bonus offers, Reload Bonuses, among many others that make your online gaming experience all the more sweeter.
The best part about playing at EnergyCasino is that, when playing online poker for real money, you might even be able to win a jackpot! Jackpots are rare and highly desirable, and the best poker providers go out of their way to deliver fantastic games with equally extraordinary prizes. In Evolution’s Casino Hold’em, Caribbean Stud or Texas Hold’em Bonus Poker, you can place optional jackpot side bets for a chance to win one of the jackpots!
Your online gaming experience at EnergyCasino will be packed with fun, so why not make things extra interesting by tossing in a good casino bonus? There are tons to choose from, and some are not limited to online poker either. Let’s take a look at a few you may encounter that may just help sweeten the pot:
- Welcome Bonus: The Welcome Bonus is the very first bonus you’ll encounter. Bonuses like these are used as a way to welcome players to the casino and start them off on the right foot. This bonus is generally awarded when players sign up and make their first deposit and often grants bonus funds, which could be used on poker games, like Texas Hold’em Poker or Caribbean Stud. The best poker sites, like EnergyCasino, will offer competitive Welcome packages, so keep an eye out for this fantastic bonus!
- Reload Bonus: A bonus like this is quite common, so it is recommended to keep a close watch on the ‘Promotions’ page. Bonuses like these typically offer bonus funds, free spins on casino slots, or a mix of both.
- No Deposit Bonus: A No Deposit Bonus is one of the best bonuses available as it does not require any sort of deposit to be made, unlike the Welcome Bonus or a typical Deposit Bonus. As the name suggests, players can simply claim the bonus — no deposit required! This casino bonus is one of the most popular bonuses on the market, and frankly, we’re not surprised.
- Mobile Bonus: At EnergyCasino, you will find that bonuses are not limited to your desktop. Some of the bonuses we offer are specifically targeted to mobile users to help boost your mobile experience even more.
- Birthday Bonus: What better way to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY than with a Birthday Bonus? The Birthday Bonus may be a handful of free spins or a No Deposit Bonus, which can sometimes be used on poker games.
- Tournaments: If you have a competitive itch you’d like to scratch, participating in a tournament might be the best way to claim a bonus. Tournaments are offered DAILY at EnergyCasino, so even if you miss out on one, you can easily head to our ‘Tournaments’ page the next day. Although an online casino poker tournament is a rare sight, general Live Casino tournaments may feature a poker room or two. While you go up against other players to try and snag the winning position, by the end of it all, you might be able to enjoy an extra juicy bonus. If you don’t manage to win, you could always sign up for another tournament the next day!
There are more bonuses where these came from, but it is important to keep in mind that bonus availability may depend on your jurisdiction. This means that not every bonus will be available to you, but you could always head to our ‘Promotions’ page to check out our current offers. Remember, all bonus offers come with Terms and Conditions, so be sure to read those before you claim anything, as you may not be eligible to claim the bonus in the first place!
ONLINE POKER TOURNAMENTS
Unfortunately, EnergyCasino does not offer online poker tournaments, but one of the many benefits of playing with us is that we host tournaments every single day.
Tournaments are a good way of earning tasty prizes and completely raising the bar for your gaming experience as you get to tickle your competitive bone. There’s no need to raise the stakes at a cash game when you can dominate the scoreboard and climb through the ranks for a chance to snag a winning spot on the leaderboard!
Different tournaments attribute points in different ways, but a typical tournament’s scoring system awards points according to your wins relative to your wager. There are a limited number of winning spots available, so play for a chance to win anything from bonus funds to real money.
Don’t worry about being stuck to your computer, these games can be played on mobile devices too! Keep in mind that tournaments come with Terms and Conditions that dictate whether you’re eligible to enter or specify the wagering requirements you need to satisfy in order to qualify.
ONLINE POKER AT ENERGYCASINO
Take your gaming to the next level with EnergyCasino. We absolutely knock out the competition as, on top of offering an impressive selection of games, EnergyCasino players benefit from DAILY tournaments, promotional events, and a loyalty program. Tournaments and events offer additional entertainment that really pushes your gaming to the max, so no matter what, you’ll always have a fun time!
At EnergyCasino, we believe that you deserve the best online poker experience you can imagine. Play for real money or improve your skills with our demo — a whole world of tournaments, events, rewards, and awesome games await!
⭐ CAN YOU STILL PLAY POKER FOR MONEY ONLINE?
Yes, you can. Playing poker is safe and legal at any reputable and regulated gambling platform, like online casinos and poker sites.
⭐ CAN YOU PLAY POKER FOR FREE?
You can play some poker games for free through the demo mode, like video poker; however, keep in mind that all winnings are virtual and Live Casino poker games are not available in free play.
⭐ HOW TO WIN AT POKER?
Just like all casino games, poker is a game of chance. While skill plays a significant role, the casino will always hold the edge and there is no guarantee of winning.
⭐ WHY DID ONLINE POKER GET BANNED?
In the United States, poker sites have seen several waves of prohibitions and bans, as did gambling as a whole. Poker was originally banned due to the inherent risk that gambling poses to players, which was largely seen as a negative effect of poker sites and other gambling venues. Tournament events, however, were largely unaffected.
⭐ IS IT SAFE TO PLAY POKER ONLINE?
If you play at a reputable, licensed and regulated platform then yes! Look out for licenses from regulatory bodies like the MGA (Malta Gaming Authority) and the UKGC (UK Gambling Commission), which ensure that every moment of your gameplay will be safe and fair.
⭐ WHERE CAN I PLAY POKER FOR FREE?
You can try your hand at free poker games at EnergyCasino, where you can enjoy multiple video poker games for free through the demo mode.
⭐ CAN I PLAY POKER ON MOBILE?
Yes, you can. Most online casinos and poker sites offer mobile-friendly platforms, where you can enjoy the best poker games and your favourite tables at home or on the go.
⭐ IS IT LEGAL TO PLAY POKER ONLINE IN THE US AND CANADA?
It is legal to play poker online in Canada and in several US states. Before registering, make sure that the platform of your choice is licensed to operate in your jurisdiction.
⭐ WHAT ARE THE BEST POKER SITES?
The best poker sites are those that have a selection of poker games that suit your needs and interests — so that decision is entirely up to you! Check out EnergyCasino and browse through our portfolio to see if we have what you’re looking for.