Online poker is popular, no doubt about it. A report last year found that in 2018, operators had earned more than $1 billion dollars in revenue. Serious money, in other words.
You can play online for leisure and still earn big money. This article looks at different ways to get the most enjoyment out of online poker, which you can do by taking part in tournaments and playing different variations of the game.
Online poker tournaments
Whether you’re playing for leisure or for big money, one way you can really get the most out of playing online poker is to take part in a tournament. Even in small stakes tournaments, you can earn a high return on investment if you play well enough.
Online tournaments are a good way to build experience, there’s no better way to learn than when you’re under pressure, right? Take the time to read a few online poker tournament tips so you can bring always your A-game to the tournament.
(No Limits) Texas Hold’em
Texas Hold’em is a fast-moving game and you can play with no limits on betting in the rounds. It’s an easy game to learn but mastering it so you can win big is a different story all together. There are lots of different strategies you can adopt, and some players choose the game purely for the excitement.
You’ll receive two hole cards and the dealer will deal five community cards face up in the course of the game. You’ve got to build the best hand you can, using these community cards, which are open to all players.
5 card draw is classic poker and bluffing is a major part of the game. Again, players must build the best hand they can with five cards, but unlike in Texas Hold’em, there’s the only round of betting. It’s a simple game and you can bluff with the number of cards you take to convince your opponents you have a strong hand, even though you might not. Five-card draw is a simple way to start learning about the basics of poker before you move on to more advanced variations.
Omaha is almost like Texas Hold’em. The players go through four rounds of betting, but receive two extra cards and must then create the best hand possible between their cards and the community cards. The pot is split into “Hi” and “Lo”, which means the game can have two winners. If a player has five cards less than 8 — aces are always low in the Lo hand — they can win the Lo portion of the pot.
There are different variations of the game. Some games will have limits on the pot whereas others don’t. Some will have limits on the betting and, again, others won’t. Other games will alternate between limit and pot limit, increasing the blinds when they switch to limit, to keep the stake consistent. Which game you choose will depend on your tolerance for risk and loss.
Seven-card stud is a variation of Texas Hold’em but doesn’t have blinds and you must pay an ante at the start of each round. Each player receives two hole cards and a face-up card. As the game continues, they’ll receive a face-up card in each round of betting and, by the end of the game, finish with seven cards.
They must make the best possible five-card hand from the seven — aces can be high or low — with a showdown between the remaining players. Just like Texas Hold’em, it’s fast-paced and there’s never a dull moment.
If you really want to mix things up when it comes to playing poker, you can try the Chinese version of poker. The ranking of the hands is the same as Texas Hold’em, but the game is wildly different which is part of the excitement.
Whereas in most variations of poker, you’re trying to create one good hand, in Chinese poker, you have to create two hands: one of five cards and one of three. The five-card hand must be better than the three-card one. The game can be hugely strategic and your fortunes in the game can change massively, so it’s best to have a solid understanding of poker before you play this one.
Badugi is one of the lesser known versions of poker and borrows considerably from classic styles of the game. Whereas the goal of most poker games is to achieve the highest hand possible, in Badugi the objective is to achieve the lowest unsuited, unpaired hand possible. There are three rounds of draws and a final betting round. Bluffing is a big part of the game, just as it is in classic poker, and so is aggressive play. Each adds to the excitement of the game.
Online poker is popular and there’s lots of variety on the internet, so you’re sure to find a variation of the game that suits you. You don’t always have to bet high in some of them and you can still win a respectable amount of money. A lot of online poker sites will also let you play practice games so that you can build your confidence before you start playing cash games and can enjoy the experience more.