Menu

The Beginners Guide to Online Poker

After slots, online poker is one of the most popular games in online casinos. However, beginners who jump into the session without any prior knowledge can easily get lost in the gameplay. Finding a way through a poker glossary and strategies could be hard for a newbie, so gathering basic information about how the game works is necessary.

What Is Online Poker? 

For centuries people had enjoyed playing poker in smoky bars and casinos, but with the development of online and mobile gambling, players got an opportunity to try their strategies from the comfort of their homes. Rules are identical, but there are some key differences between poker games is online and land-based casinos:

  • Online poker sessions tend to be faster, less risky, and more accessible
  • Due to wide accessibility, the competition in online poker games is tougher, while the gameplay style is more aggressive
  • Live poker has narrower hand ranges

While the social aspect is quite important when it comes to poker, it certainly isn’t everything. Take it away and it’s still a super fun, easy-to-play, intellectual, and highly engaging game. That’s why players worldwide are switching to online poker.

As there are both video and live poker games available, you can decide whether you will play against the machine or have a face-off with real players. Either way, pure luck doesn’t cut it here – you will also need some skills and the right strategy to keep the winning streak. 

Learning the Basics

No matter whether you’re playing at a land-based casino or online – if you don’t know all the rules of poker, the chances of winning are close to zero. Although this might be obvious, it has to be mentioned as it is very easy to make a costly mistake due to partial knowledge of the rules.

cards and chips

Even the more complicated forms of poker have straightforward, not difficult-to-understand rules, so learning them doesn’t take much time. There are a plethora of different poker variants, with Texas Hold’em being the most popular amongst the players. Rules are similar and rather easy to grasp, so before you start, make sure to read how the variant you want to try out is played.

How Many Players Can Play per Table?

The number of players involved in a game of poker can vary significantly, but cash sessions are played on a single table, featuring between two and ten players. On the other hand, poker tournaments could be played on a single or across many tables, with thousands of entrants in the major competitions.

As the number of allowed players at each table can also vary, they are determined by a game format:

  • Heads Up – Maximum of two players per table
  • Shorthand or Six-Max Sessions – Up to 6 players
  • Full Ring Games – Nine or ten players can play per table

These formats can apply to cash games, as well as poker tournaments.

Read: High Stakes Illegal Poker Games of Molly Bloom

The Cards and Hand Rankings

A standard-sized deck of 52 playing cards is used in most forms of poker. In both live and online versions, cards are dealt to players face down, so-called hole cards. Some variants involve dealing exposed cards to the middle of the table – community cards – used by all players in conjunction with their hole cards to form the best possible hand.

online poker


The main objective of poker is to win pots. Each new deal starts a new pot. Chips are added to the pot once players place their bets. A player with the best possible hand wins a pot once all the betting is complete or by being the last one with an active hand.

From the lowest-ranked to the highest one, in most forms of online poker, the standard hand rankings apply:

  • High Card – A hand with no other combination, value by its highest-ranked card
  • Pair – Two cards of the same rank
  • 2 Pair – Two pairs combined
  • 3 of a kind – Three cards of the same rank
  • Straight – Five consecutive cards
  • Flush – Five cards of the same suit
  • Full House – A pair and a three of kind cards combined
  • 4 of a kind – Four cards of the same rank
  • Straight Flush – Five consecutive cards of the same suit
  • Royal Flush – A straight flush that runs from to 10 to the Ace

Tips For Online Poker Beginners

Starting anything new is not easy, so learning how to play poker isn’t a walk in a park either. Luckily, there are so many helpful tricks that can help you out along the way.

Take a look at some basic tips for poker beginners:

  • Set a budget – It is crucial to not spend money you can’t afford to lose.
  • Study basic strategy –  Knowing even basic poker strategy is enough to help you make more educated decisions and improve your game.
  • Play low stakes – This will allow you to play a bit longer and make your money last longer as well.
  • Stick to one table – Keeping track of different tables dilutes your focus and prevents you from getting a grasp on how to play online poker properly. 
  •  Don’t make hasty decisions – Take your time and think things through instead of relying solely on your guts. 
  • Watch the pros – Slot lovers watch popular streamers like Roshtein and you should do the same, but with poker streamers who share useful playing tricks.

Online Is A Way To Go

Although the game is fundamentally the same either way, beginners should start playing poker online instead of participating in the live session right away. They are able to join from any part of the world as long as they have a stable internet connection. Also, by playing online, they will have to face fewer distractions.