Online Poker for Newcomers

// Published by Luke

If you’re new to online poker, this is a good first stop. In terms of advice specifically for newcomers, the team at usaonlinepokerguide.com have come up with this guide so you know what you’re doing.

When you play online poker, you need to understand that you are playing against other players. It’s not like an online casino where you bet against ‘the house’, with online poker, other players are your opposition – the same as real poker.

Bank Management

The key to becoming a successful poker player lies in following the right poker bankroll management skills. Without the proper bankroll management in poker, even the most skilled poker players in the world can go broke. If you really want to succeed in poker, then you must develop a new line of thinking on managing bankroll in poker.

After all, managing bankroll in poker is not as easy as it might seem. It is easy to develop bad habits like playing above your head, or worse, putting your financial security at risk. In order to be successful player in the long run and make money from playing poker, it is essential that you exercise some poker bankroll management skills. Get ready to set yourself up for frequent losses without a proper poker bankroll management online.

Start playing online poker

You can play poker online for real money or pretend cash, the choice is yours. When you’ve downloaded the software, you’ll need to set up an ID that will be your screen name (use anything you like) and then you can start playing. If you’re playing for real cash, you’ll need to deposit some money first! Your next choice is which type of poker to play. The most popular is Texas Hold ‘em, but there are plenty of other games available (including Omaha and Seven Card Stud). Our recommendation is to play Texas Hold ‘em as that is what nearly everyone knows and plays.

Texas Hold ‘em

Texas Hold ‘em is split into two types. Limit Texas Hold ‘em is a great way to learn the basics of Texas Hold ‘em before trying your hand at the more ambitious ‘No Limit’, as betting amounts are pre-determined and limited to a fixed sum. In other words, you can’t lose your whole stack of chips on one hand as the amount you can bet has a limit. The other version of online poker is No-limit Texas Hold ‘em: Quite simply, it’s Texas Hold ‘em with no restriction on the amount you can bet – it’s where you go ‘all in’. It’s where the action is, but it can be a crazy world!

You’ll then need to decide whether to play a tournament or a ring game. The difference between the two is that a tournament is played continuously until there is a winner, and a ring game is what is called ‘sit and go’. You sit down and leave when you like.  We like both!

Winning Hands

Next, you need to understand winning hands – what beats what. The diagram below should help.

Basically, a royal flush is the best going down to a high card – it’s top left to bottom right in the order of quality of hand.

So, one final thing and you’re ready to play! Now that you’ve downloaded the software, you need to know the process of how the betting works. It can be a little dauting for newbies, but it’s usually just a simple check, raise, or fold.

How does the betting process work in poker?

So, before the hand gets started, online poker (and poker in general) forces players to place blind bets. Placing a ‘blind’ means the placement of a bet by a player even before he gets his pocket cards – there are no exceptions, you have to place the blind. The person sitting immediately to the left of the dealer places the ‘small blind’, while the player seated after that places the ‘big blind’. Generally, ‘big blind’ is double the amount of the ‘small blind’. So, once the blinds are in, the hand starts.

Before the flop

The dealer will now deal clockwise so that each player is dealt with two cards. You then need to look at your cards and decide whether to bet or to sit out the round (fold). You don’t have the option to ‘check’ in the first round, and the available options to you are ‘call’ (match either the blinds or if someone has raised before you), ‘raise’ the bet yourself or ‘fold’ (if you’ve got crap cards).

Each player has to place a bet for the same amount before the ‘flop’ comes out. If a player chooses to raise the bet, then the others either have to call or to re-raise or ‘Fold’ their cards. If you fold, you lose anything you have already put in and you don’t participate in that hand.

The Flop

The dealer will then deal three cards on the table with their faces up. These are ‘community’ cards that all players can use to make their hand. The dealer will eventually deal five cards as betting progresses and each player makes their best hand of five cards, including their two plus the community cards out on the table. After the flop comes out, the second round of betting starts and the first player seated after the dealer goes first. Each player can call, raise, check or fold and once all players agree on an amount to be bet, or indeed everyone checks, the next card will be dealt by the dealer.

The Turn

Next up comes a fourth community card, also known as ‘the Turn’. At this stage each player has a total of six cards available (four on the board plus their two). After the Turn the usual round of betting starts.

The River

Finally, the fifth community card is dealt, which is sometimes called ‘the River’. At this point, the game will have probably got quite interesting with players folding on the way through, and those left battling against each other. After this last community card is dealt, the final round of betting takes place.

Who wins?

The goal is to come up with the best five-card hand out of the two cards originally dealt to you, plus the five community cards. After the betting is finished, each player shows his hand and the player with the best hand wins the pot. Refer to the little diagram above.

So, there you have it. Online Poker is fun, fast, and exciting.