Unlike other card games, poker is a game that originated in America. It is thought that its origin is “As-Nas”, a Persian card game. But there are also researchers claiming that poker is derived from an Irish card game, named “Poca”. We know that the early examples of modern game were played in the vicinity of the Mississippi during the 1800’s. Since it was illegal to gamble in those years, steamboats were acting like “mobile” casinos on the Mississippi River.
It is known that poker has been “invented” and begun to be played on these ships. In those years, decks consisted of only 20 cards and each poker hand had 4 cards. The use of 52-card decks and 5-card handsets began in 1850. Stud and straight poker variants are the first emerged during the American Civil War. Community poker variants such as Hold’em started to be seen in 1925 for the first time.
Until 1970, that was a card game that is known and played only among gamblers. But in 1970, the first World Series of Poker tournament was held. The fact that this tournament has a big payout of $ 1 million attracted the attention of the entire United States. Since then, professional poker players are considered as “superstars” in America and are followed by millions of fans.
Today, online poker games are much more common. As a matter of fact, PokerStars, the world’s first online poker platform, has been hosting online tournaments since 2003. Video poker machines are among the most played games on terrestrial and online casinos. Since the RTP rates are high, your chances of winning are far greater than in slot machines and the rules are much simpler. In this article, we will give you general information about this game and show you the best casinos to play at.
How to Play Poker
There are many variations of poker, but the card hierarchy and the general rule system never change. Let’s start with basic information: This is a card game and played between at least 2 people. You need to have the highest ranked cards to win. So let’s take a look at the card hierarchy:
- R. Flush;
- S. Flush;
- 4 of a Kind;
- Full House;
- 3 of a Kind;
- 2 Pair;
- 1 Pair;
A game starts with the cards being shuffled. The cards are dealt clockwise, and each player receives 5 cards. (This number can vary according to the variant played.) After cards are dealt, each player can choose one of the following options:
- Check: The player does not place another bet but stays in the game.
- Bet: The player places a bet but does not exceed the minimum limit.
- Fold: The player leaves the game.
- Call: The player asks the other players to match the highest bet on the table.
- Raise: The player increases the amount of the bet on the table.
- No Limit: No restrictions apply in terms of a betting limit.
- Pot Limit: The total bet cannot exceed the pot amount.
- Fixed Limit: Players are not allowed to use the “raise” option after the table limit is reached.
- Community Poker: In this category, also known as Hold’em, there are additional cards available for everyone on the table in addition to the cards dealt to the players. The goal is to create a set of the highest possible rank using both the cards at hand and on the table.
- Draw Poker: This is the variant used in video poker machines. Initially, 5 cards are dealt but players can change all of these cards before choosing an option. So for example, you can choose to hold 2 cards and change the remaining 3. Or, you can request 5 new cards. The second dealing means the end of a round and the player with the highest card hierarchy wins.
- Welcome Bonus: Also known as “no deposit” bonus. This is a bonus type offered by almost every online casino. You do not need to deposit money to take advantage of this offer. It aims to attract new customers, and therefore, only new members can benefit. As it is obvious from the name, a certain amount of money is deposited to your account for free in exchange for opening an account. The amount of this money varies from casino to casino. It is possible to say that it is usually between 10 – 20 dollars. However, if a newly opened place is running an aggressive promotional campaign, it can go up to 50 USD.
- Deposit Bonus: This bonus is offered to encourage deposits, and all members can benefit from it. However, it is limited to a certain number of deposits. (So you cannot take advantage of this bonus every time you make a deposit.) Simply put, the money you deposit is matched by the casino. For example, let’s say the deposit bonus amount is 200%. If you deposit 100 USD, your account will be credited by the casino administration for another 200 USD, for free. In the end, you play with a total of 300 USD. However, this offer has an upper limit. For example, if it says “up to 200 USD”, you can earn a maximum of $ 200, no matter how much you deposit.
- Count Cards. In order to increase your chances of winning, you have to be able to count cards at the basic level. If you have an idea of the cards remaining in the deck, you can make an accurate prediction about the cards of other players. If you are having a hard time doing this, at least count the picture cards. The advantage you get will be quite low, but even with a 1% extra advantage ,you can win the game.
- Do not Bluff. Despite what the Hollywood claims, bluffing is not a very productive strategy. Especially if you are playing against a professional player, it is completely useless. The bluff should only be done during the showdown phase. If you do it at every stage of the game, soon you will become the “clown” of the table.
- Picture Cards Are Important. If you get at least 2 picture cards during the initial dealing, do not hesitate to enter that round. You are more likely to create a set with a higher hierarchy.
- Use Utilities. The biggest advantage of playing online poker is that you can use external programs. Use one of these programs on a separate tab and let it do the necessary calculations. It will recommend you the best possible move. But do not get used to using these programs: After a while, you will have to decide what the best move is.
A round goes on till it’s only two players left. In this stage called “showdown”, the remaining players try to force each other to choose one of the “fold” or “call” options. As a matter of fact, bluffing is mostly used at this stage. Ultimately, the player with the highest ranked cards wins the round. There are three different types of betting in poker:
While no limit rules are used in tournaments, terrestrial and online casinos usually prefer the fixed limit option. Fixed limit games are much shorter and allow for a more dynamic gambling experience. Once again, there are additional rules applied according to the variant played. Some of these will be discussed below.
Variants of Poker
We can say that there are dozens of different variants of poker. However, it is possible to separate them into two basic categories:
Draw poker is the best option for beginners. The rules are very simple, and each round only takes a few minutes. Thanks to the special variants such as Jacks or Better and Double Exposure, you can also qualify for a reward with a card set that is not available in the classical hierarchy.
Bonuses in Top Poker Casinos
Poker casinos offer a variety of bonus promotions too, just like other online casinos. You can see the most commonly organized ones below:
Below you can see a list of some of the online casinos offering these bonuses:
200% up to 1.000 USD
100% up to 500 USD
100% up to 600 USD
100% up to 1.000 USD
200% up to 1.200 EUR
200% up to 1.500 EUR
200% up to 2.000 USD
But remember that all these bonuses depend on a wagering requirement. You will not be able to withdraw the bonus you got until the completion of this requirement. To complete, you have to deposit a retain amount of total bet. For example, if you earned $ 200 in a campaign with an x30 requirement, you cannot withdraw this money without investing $ 6,000 first.
Basic Poker Strategies
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