As technology advances, exactly what things are possible to even do in every industry expands exponentially. In the gambling industry, for example, it does indeed afford the opportunity to make slot games capable of much more than slot machines in land-based casinos.
When it comes to poker games, however, the classic game of card is already perfect. So, there’s not much you can improve there. Instead, online connectivity affords us the chance to get in touch with other players online and play any time just with a device and a connection.
Moreover, the improvements to internet bandwidth and video call apps make the whole experience even closer to the real thing. No need to go to a casino or even set up poker nights at your house on weekends or whenever you feel like playing. Simply log in to one of the best online poker sites and enjoy winning some real money playing poker.
Why Play Online Poker?
A veteran might prefer to feel the cards on his hands and the expectation of tasting every little emotion running across the poker table. A new player might know the rules but has almost no experience in all that is proper etiquette at the poker table. Both can benefit on their own by playing as many hands of poker as they want at a poker site.
Get Some Practice
Aside from the fact that technology and online connection afford us the chance to play with others from wherever we are, its also great practice. Whether you are a poker veteran that is just a bit out of practice or a complete poker newbie that has never played a hand in their life.
Playing in an online poker site gives you an incredible chance to get some of your rust off in the game without risking any real money. Also, a poker site allows you to set up games with other players on your own skill level. Moreover, you can even go against computers.
They also offer you the choice to select to spend real money playing. Meanwhile, you can pick the option to not spend anything at all. The latter option being particularly great for new players that want to develop their skills in the game.
Just imagine being in 1949 and trying to learn poker with your friends from down the street at the local poker hangout. The entry fee for the pot is $50 (which is about $493.44 of today’s dollars). Suffices to say most new players would have a hard month ahead of them trying to pay rent, recoup, or putting bread on the table.
But that is a thing of the past. Poker sites now allow you to accumulate that formerly-costly experience online and mostly free. Likewise, poker veterans that have been some time away from the table can go reminiscence and recapture their flow at next to no cost.
And besides saving you the costly price of experience, online poker playing allows you to get a feel of the possibilities involved. Could you see yourself putting your poker skills to test in one of those poker sites million-dollar tournaments?
Improve Your Skills
Imagine a poker player that regularly gathers Fridays with their friends at one of their houses. They go to play, drink, have fun, and they know: things tend to get stagnant. If you happen to hang with the same poker players all the time, your skills are bound to hit the ceiling.
But the suggestion is not to get rid of your buddies in any way, far from it. If you want to seek a higher level of challenge, you simply have to look to play elsewhere for it. The same thing can happen to a poker veteran from any local casino or a poker king from the Las Vegas strip.
Better players cannot get there any faster and its really frustrating. So how about you go to them instead of waiting for them to come to you. One of the greatest advantages online poker sites offer their members is the chance to calibrate the playing level of the table you sit at.
Choosing beginner, intermediate, expert, veteran, and anything in-between as the level you seek to play at lets you take it at your own pace. Slowly building up your playing skills, situational awareness, and risk tolerance level allows you to grow as a player at your rhythm.
Another important thing to know is that poker sites are the greatest option to test new poker strategies. By making micro bets or without risking any real money, online poker becomes your playground to develop tactics. Chance and unpredictability are, without doubt, the core aspects of the game itself. But the more hands you play, the more you’ll know how to navigate common situations that arise at the poker table.
Learn New Games
Did you know that the currently most popular variation of poker is the Texas Hold Em? Of course, you did know that. Did you know that there are many variations of poker around that differ greatly from Texas Hold Em? All variations of poker fall in three different styles. Draw Poker, Stud Poker, And Community Draw Poker, with Texas Hold ’Em belonging to the latter category.
If you ever played at land-based casinos, the chances are that most of all poker tables were playing Texas Hold Em. So much so that it has come to be synonymous with poker, as in the ‘normal’ poker. The high demand for Texas Hold Em at land-based casinos means that other poker variants fall by the wayside.
And that’s an awful shame because they can be really entertaining games that offer a different yet fun experience apart from the regular poker. As you can probably guess by now, poker sites do not have this problem; any poker variant plays at their poker tables at any time.
Take, for example, the seven-card stud poker. In it, players get two downcards and one upcard handed before the first betting round begins. Then three more upcards follow, each with a betting round after their delivery and, finally, one more downcard.
Once that last downcard hits the players then comes one final betting round after which the best five-card hand wins the pot. Could that sound more different than your standard poker round? It could certainly, given that this is just one among many variants a poker site has in store.
Best Poker Sites
Here is la crème de la crème of the best online poker sites on the whole wide internet. They are the meccas of online poker, so you can expect them to be a little crowded sometimes. Regardless, here is where the best poker prizes are given, and the places professional poker players go to. Simply the best poker sites around you can find.
Free Poker Sites
For those new players just starting to dip their toes into the waters of poker gambling, these are for you. The great thing about free top poker sites is that, well, they are free. Free to play without any deposit means that you got all the time to practice your game and enjoy your time there without none of the risks.
New Poker Sites
Variety is important and, therefore, it’s increasing it. The best online poker sites have all the players already. At this point, new top poker sites come with exclusive offerings to get players’ attention. For instance, they come with some amazing welcome bonuses. That’s why you can take advantage of the offerings and try out some of the new poker sites.
Choosing An Online Poker Site
Hold your cards, slick. Just like you better know the rules of poker well before you even throw your chips into the pot, you better know how to choose an online site to play at. At online casinos, you will find any number of online casino establishments that offer exactly what you are looking for: dozens of poker rooms.
If you go and enter through their digital doors, pick and choose a table to sit down at and play, the game will still be poker. Regardless of the variant of poker you choose, from which all of them are available online, the rules remain the same for the poker rooms you choose.
What does change from one poker room to the next is that particular establishment rules, benefits, and perks? Exactly like when choosing from a selection of land-based casinos, the things that you want to have in mind is how well their service suits you. Things like membership bonuses, VIP programs, return to player rates, house edge, etc.
In short, you want to know just what kind of establishment you are going to sign up to. And for that, we got a checklist of the few most important things you should expect your next poker site to have. Please go over the specs of the next poker site you plan to spend real money poker playing before signing up and throwing your first bet.
Remember that, when it comes to playing at an online poker room, each site has the duty of safeguarding your data and delivering your payments. A site that looks good but makes you go through unusual payment methods to make your deposit or asks bank data outside encrypted channels is a red flag. Always check site reviews and their own terms and conditions before starting to play at a poker room.
Online Poker Site License and Regulation
First of all, get to know the online poker rooms you are planning to play poker games at. While they exist online rather within the bounds of a city, online poker sites are bound to follow local gambling regulations. The ‘local’ part, of course, refers to both, in which state the server of the site locates in and the countries from which you can actually access it.
Take, for example, gambling within the United States of America. Despite the images of luxury, excess, and debauchery the though of Las Vegas might conjure, gambling is illegal in most states today. In fact, only within the states of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Nevada, Michigan, and Delaware is gambling recognized as legal.
Therefore, land-based casinos operate freely in those states. Online casinos and online poker sites can operate within even less of those states at the time of writing. New Jersey, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Delaware are the only ones that permit these sites particularly.
A similar but more permissive situation happens across Europe where gambling is much less restricted. Just like the different states within the United States of America can issue their own laws regarding gambling, so can the nations of Europe.
To regulate online gambling, several different entities oversee the activity. They also are responsible for granting licenses for poker sites to operate in certain jurisdictions. Take, for example, the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA), of which licenses allow operating in most European countries bar the UK.
The United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) does grant UK gambling permission, and it’s more rigorous than the MGA license. Apart from them, there are authorities like the Swedish Gambling Authority and the government of Curacao. Any of those licenses are indicators that the site is legitimate. Licensing bodies can also intercede on your side on any dispute with the site itself, so it pays to know your licensor.
Choose Your Poker League
Before betting anything, know what kind of challenge you are looking for. If you happen to be new at poker rooms, not only at online poker but for poker games in general, stay clear from most high roller sites. While tempting, the prospect of making some six figures amount of real money poker playing is not easy.
New players should put any delusion or ego aside and learn the ropes playing low stakes, or no money staked best poker rooms’ rounds. Skipping practice and going directly to sit on the big boys’ table is an awfully common way that the player ends up with an empty bank account.
If you happen to have the level of disposable income available to learn your lesson in pain about high stakes online poker, then have at it. If you rather go about it in a smart way, choose a table comprised of players on your level and adjust your bets accordingly. All great players were new players at some point, so there’s no shame in starting from the bottom and doing so cautiously.
Poker Software Variants
Nowadays, Texas Hold Em is synonymous with poker, it is effectively the standard, ‘normal’ type of poker to play. Consequently, it is the most in-demand poker on any land-based casino. Therefore, you are likely to find it at almost every table there. Another plus is that there is no need for a huge space to store the numerous poker room in the casino. The fact that the whole casino lives on the internet. So, it runs on a website stored on a server somewhere eliminates this hurdle.
Best online poker sites can easily have exponentially much more tables active than the largest casinos in Las Vegas. Thus, there are so many poker rooms to choose from so that all players have enough places to join. And leaving much-needed place for all those poker games, you might have been curious about for a long time but never got a chance to try.
You can play real money poker Omaha to have a closer experience to regular poker featuring four hole cards and only high hands bets. If you want something even more different, Deuce To Seven Triple Hand is a sincerely nuts variant, where you must have the worst hand in order to win. Choose the site that has the poker variant you want and as many as you would like to explore.
Bonuses At Poker Sites
One point of interest that should catch the attention of anyone before signing up for an online poker site is the bonus offerings. See, online poker sites are keenly aware that the product they all offer is to some extend very, very similar.
A bonus at poker sites is the way the site spoils poker players in order to gain their loyalty to their brand. And, trust us, it feels nice when they spoil you, so much so that the correct offering can land a casino site many times more sign-ups than their competitors.
The best bonus to accomplish this out of them all is the welcome bonus the online poker site offers upon sign up. Mostly, the casino rewards its new players with this, right after their first deposit. The welcome bonus is a one-time complimentary offer the casino makes to players which lands them some nice initial perks.
The sites go through a lot to calibrate these offerings and players should do similarly in order to gauge how convenient they are for them. For instance, it could be a welcome bonus that ranges from something as simple as a match bonus upon the deposits, free rounds, or no deposit bonuses.
Some online sites can offer a variety of further bonuses after the welcome bonus, including some tangible prizes. One thing a player should do when choosing from their shortlist of online poker sites to sign up to is checking their welcome bonus offer.
Payment Methods at Online Poker Sites
When playing real money poker, you better have some reliable payment methods to store and use your funds. Land-based casinos get your cash and credit and give out chips for you to have fun at the tables with.
As you can imagine, online casino sites do not take cash. But they indeed take your credit card or e-wallet identifications. They do that through the use of different payment processors that are at your disposal to transact with.
The presence of payment processors are operating in a poker site at any given time has much to do with its license. Payment processors seek only to provide those sites with the best licenses and reputations.
This is a form of reputation management the payment processor engages in. And it also benefits the users greatly by ensuring they only serve reputable sites. Credit card and bank transfer are the classic payment methods available, but a lot of alternatives are catching up in popularity.
Most payment methods available for use vary depending on the country in question. They often incorporate some local methods for each one. Also, some online poker sites have taken upon adopting the use of cryptocurrencies.
Overall, checking the payment options at your disposal before signing up for a poker site. If you are lucky, you can find your favourite app for electronic payments is one of the payment methods available. That would greatly simplify your experience.
Online poker sites are a unique opportunity to poker players that before the 21st century they could only dream of. To play rounds upon rounds of poker hands whenever and wherever they felt like it. For new players, it presented the rare opportunity of learning the ropes at their own pace with minimal risk.
Yet, they both should be mindful of where they are betting their money. Choosing the right online poker site ensures your experience goes right rather than terribly that you give up on online poker. As the smart poker player that you are, you owe it to yourself to choose your online poker sites based on the aforementioned key criteria. Have a safe play and do not forget to enjoy your time there!
Online Poker Sites FAQ
Is online poker safe?
Online poker sites operate within a regulated framework which is overseen by the licensor that grants the gaming license for them to operate. The licensor in question is bound to regulations from the country or region it locates in. Always check the license and licensors background when assessing a new online poker site for you to play in.
Is online poker actually legal?
The game is as legal as online gambling is in your region. Meaning, different countries have different laws regarding online gambling and, therefore, online poker as well. For example, only 4 out of the 50 states on the US allow online poker so far, and each with their particular regulations. Check your local online gambling regulations before attempting to play.
Are online poker games fixed?
Not at all. Online games of chance use RNG (Random Numbers Generators) that handle the probability aspects of it. All RNG receive extensive testing by the licensor to ensure they comply with regulations and truly offer a fair chance of winning. You can rest assured that if its played online and has a reputable licensor, the game is fair.
Do I have to download anything in order to play?
No need for poker software. Thanks to HTML5 technology, games now run on your mobile browser as well as they would if installed in the device. Some sites might have mobile apps through which serve as direct access to the game which itself runs on HTML5.
Is my money safe with an online poker site?
Generally speaking, yes. However, always do a background check to the site you are signing up to. Search for online review so you can draw from the experiences other players had with that particular site.
Which are the best poker sites?
This is more of a matter of personal opinion. You can check our own recommendations about the best poker sites in our article.
Is there anything different about online poker vs real life poker?
The game is the same. However, the pace of online poker tends to be faster since there’s less face to face players’ interaction involved. Also, online poker sites offer more bonuses and loyalty program since they are easier to implement.