Poker is one of the most popular card games in the world, and playing the game of poker online for real money is a favorite pastime of gamblers from the United States to China.
Poker is a game that can be played professionally, and one that makes millions of dollars for the best players worldwide. It is also a game that can be enjoyed by casual players looking to earn a few dollars on the weekend.
In this article we’ll look at the impact of online poker, as well as the best places to play poker for real money, the best poker variants to play, and more.
Top Online Poker Sites for Real Money
- 1100% Bonus Up To 5BTC Welcome Package! T&Cs; Apply - 18+ Payout Ratio: 97.6%Microgaming, NetEnt, Evolution Gaming, BetSoft, Play'n GO & Man
- 2100% Bonus Up To 1,000£ T&Cs; Apply - 18+Microgaming
- 3100% Bonus Up To 250£ Ts & Cs Apply. Payout Ratio: 95.3%Playtech, Microgaming, Evolution Gaming, Nyx, BetSoft
- 4100% Bonus Up To 550£ Welcome Package! T&Cs; Apply - 18+ Payout Ratio: 96.8%Microgaming, Quickspin, NetEnt
- 5100% Bonus Up To 500£ +150 Bonus Spins | T&Cs; Apply - 18+IGT (WagerWorks)
- 6100% Bonus Up To 500€ Big Welcome Package. Ts & Cs Apply. Payout Ratio: 97%Playtech, BetSoft
- 7100% Bonus Up To 1,000£ Free Cash & 200 Spins. Ts & Cs Apply. Payout Ratio: 97.88%Microgaming, NetEnt, Evolution Gaming
- 8100% Bonus Up To 800£ Big Welcome Package. Ts & Cs Apply. Payout Ratio: 98.12%Microgaming
- 9100% Bonus Up To 600£ Three Matched Deposit Bonuses. Ts & Cs Apply. Payout Ratio: 97.29%Microgaming
- 10100% Bonus Up To 200£ Matched Deposit Bonus + Free Spins. Ts & Cs Apply. Payout Ratio: 96.98%Microgaming, NetEnt, Nyx Interactive, Play'n GO, Quickspin
There are many great online casino sites for real money and poker sites out there, and we have reviewed and listed the very best of them on our Poker Table.
*Don't know all the rules for playing poker for cash? Worry not! Check out below for more great casino games you can jump in and play on. Other games can be much more simpler to perfect, see how:
How to Play Poker
Poker has many variants, and the rules can differ greatly from one to the other. In Draw, for instance, there is only a couple of betting rounds, whilst in Hold’em, there are several. In OFC Poker, all cards are on show once they are played, whilst in Omaha, cards are never “played” until the final moment, and only the community cards are on display.
Popular Poker Games
Some poker variants lend themselves more to certain platforms, some of them have all but been forgotten about, and some of them can be found on nearly all poker sites out there.
This is the most popular form of poker, and one that has taken the gambling world by storm. This is found on most, if not all poker software.
It is played in a player-vs-player format, with each player being dealt two cards, before 5 community cards are then dealt. The goal is to make the best possible 5 card hand from the 7 cards available. There are many betting rounds, which makes for a high-stakes, exciting game.
5-Card Draw was once the most popular form of poker. This was the game played by Wild Bill during the days of the Old West, and its popularity lasted until the final quarter of the 20th century.
5 cards are dealt to each player and they can then change as few or as many of them as they want, before making a bet and settling up.
Omaha is very similar to Hold’em, which is perhaps why it is often considered to be the second most popular form of online poker. The main difference is that players are dealt 4 cards in Omaha and not 2.
There are still 5 community cards dealt and the players still have to make the best 5 card hand, but they can only use 3 of the 5 community cards and 2 of their own cards to do this.
A simple variant often found in land-based casinos, Three-Card Poker is played against the house. There are ante bets involved and the dealer also needs to “qualify” before they can pit their hand against the player.
Badugi is a unique variant, played in a player-vs-player format. Players are dealt four cards and the goal is to have one card of each suit, known as a “Badugi”. The lower the card values are, the better, and the best possible hand is A, 2, 3, 4 of four different suits.
There are several rounds of betting, during which players can elect to swap 1 or more cards.
Chinese Poker is a tactical game in which players make several poker hands. It is played between 2 players, which means it can be played in a player-vs-player format, or as the player against the house.
A new form of Chinese Poker and one that is currently taking the poker world by storm, OFC bears many similarities to Chinese Poker, with the main differences being that the cards are always face-up, and that the game play is often quicker and more exciting.
Like Hold’em, there are many betting rounds in games of Stud. It is often played with fixed or limited betting and although it was once very popular, that is no longer the case.
Can I Get an Online Poker Bonus?
There’s nothing stopping you, although you will need to follow the terms and conditions carefully. These range from making a simple deposit, to playing in certain tournaments.
The most popular form of bonus used by online poker rooms is an incremental bonus, and one that pays out over time. These bonuses correspond to player points or loyalty points, which are given every time you play a hand in a cash game, and every time you enter a sit-and-go game or a tournament.
When you unlock a certain number of points, you will be given a certain percentage of your bonus. How much this online casino bonus adds-up to is dependent on the poker room itself, but if you look through our Poker Table, you can select the better ones.
Top 5 Poker Tips
It may look simple, but poker is a very complex game and one that takes a long time to master. However, there are a few things you can do to speed that process up and to make life easier for yourself as you learn.
Here are our top 5 poker tips:
Play Your Opponent
The trick to being a good player is to focus on your opponent as well as your cards. You win as soon as they fold, and at a high level they will fold as soon as they think you have a better hand. Obviously, it isn’t always easy to convince them that you do have the better hand, but that’s where experience comes into play.
Know When to Fold
It’s a tired old cliche, but you really do need to know when to fold them. If you hold onto your hand for too long and if you keep throwing money into a dead pot, then you could lose all of your money or lose your place in a tournament.
Know the Odds
Poker is a game of chance, and every move you make will have a certain chance of attaining the outcome you need. If you’re playing Hold’em and are waiting on a favorable river card in order to make a hand that you need to pay a lot of money for, you’re better off folding. If, however, you can check your way to a long-shot, or bet your way to an odds-on chance, then do so.
Play the Long Game
During a tournament, the majority of players will play loose in the early stages and then tighten up during the bubble and the latter stages. The trick is to do the complete opposite, playing tight to begin with and then going on the attack later on.
Don’t Fear the Bubble
The majority of players are so scared of dropping out during the bubble that they play very tight, folding big hands in the process. If you play aggressive during this stage, you can steal a lot of pots, force a lot of folds and get at least 3x more chips in preparation for the final stages of the tournament.
How Can I Deposit and Withdraw from a Poker Site?
Deposits and withdrawals are easy, quick, and you often have a lot of options to choose from. In many cases you can use web wallets like PayPal and Skrill, and in all cases you should be able to use your debit card and credit card.
However, if you use your credit card then you will not be able to withdraw back to it, and you may also be charged a small fee during your deposit.
Due to the issues that resulted from Black Friday, a day when the US government took down several poker sites and banned their citizens from them, US players have had a hard time getting money into and out of poker sites.
However, whilst PayPal and debit cards may not be viable methods, you should still be able to use wire transfers, cash transfers, e-checks and even paper checks. You may also use a great solution for casinos online called Bitcoin.
Can I Play with my Mobile?
Of course! The evolution of the game included the mobile revolution, and the vast majority of poker sites now have a mobile software that will work on your iPhone or other smartphone and tablet. The casino mobile market is simply too big to be ignored, and the sites know that half of their audience, if not more, uses a mobile device to play their favorite casino games.
In fact, in most cases you will find that the mobile software is better than the desktop software, as more attention is paid to it by the developers.
Pros and Cons for Playing Real Poker Online
Huge variety of games.
There are always games available.
Easier to read “tells” playing live poker.
Not as immersive as live play.
Best Strategy for Winning a Game of Poker?
Always play the odds and the player, and remember that patience will always prosper. Don’t worry about losing a little money early on. It’s all part of the game and it will give you an idea of the sort of player you’re playing against.
Once you begin to understand how they play certain hands, then you can begin to predict what they’re holding.
It’s also important to remember that good players will be treating you the same way, so switch-up your play every now and then. Do something random and unexpected. Throw a few curve-balls. As soon as you become predictable, then you will be beaten. For more tips on how to win card games, see our pro advice page.
What is the Best Poker Software Out There?
There is a lot of great software out there. It all uses random number generators and it’s all audited, so there is no need to worry about randomness. Which one you pick depends on how you play, how good you are and what you want.
For instance, PKR is great if you want some easy money, as there are a lot of weak players there. However, it’s big, slow, and difficult to multi-table, which means it’s not great for professionals and grinders.
Poker stars, on the other hand, has a great mix of player types and you will never struggle to find a game. It’s also very easy to multi-table and because of its popularity, this is where the game’s biggest tournaments and events are held.
If you want to play against the house, then check out video poker games and Three-Card Poker games on online casinos. If you want the best rewards, as well as loose players and decent graphics, the iPoker Network is ideal.
What about Online Poker in the U.S?
Online poker is a contentious issue in the United States, and US players can’t sign-up to many of the sites mentioned above. However, they can sign-up to many online casinos (especially those based in Central American locations like Costa Rica and Panama) and there are also a handful of other sites and networks that accept them.
Lock Poker used to be a prime example of this and many US players signed up, but these days the site has a bad reputation and is definitely not recommended.
Poker is a fantastic game to get involved with. It is one of the few casino games that you can consistently beat, and one of the few games that can become a very profitable profession.
What’s more, unlike many other gambling games for real money like roulette, for example, or even blackjack, you can make it much further playing online poker than you can playing offline poker. That’s because online poker is quicker, easier, and everyone can get involved.
If you have yet to play your first poker hand, you’re missing out.