A beginners guide to online poker

Online gaming has seen an explosion of popularity in 2012 with recent studies showing that the online gaming community has now reached 217 million people worldwide.

The popularity of online poker has increased at an astounding speed. Poker is an intriguing game with great recreational value so giving this game an online forum has increased accessibility for fans and given them speed and global 24/7 opponents.

If you are a newbie in this exciting world, the number of sites available and terminology may overwhelm and confuse you. Don’t let this put you off, with some simple detangling you will soon be playing like a pro.

Let’s start at the very beginning. Online poker is not something that you play by yourself, nor are you playing against the ‘house’. Although you may be sitting at home all alone, you’re connected to a game server via the internet. Every online poker game will have at least two other people playing online and can have up to ten. You don’t make bets with the poker site. You make bets with the other people playing poker. The poker site makes a profit by taking a small amount out of the pot before awarding the winner.

When choosing which site to join, the popularity of the site is a factor you should consider. The more people who play at a poker site, the greater the choice of games and accessibility, day or night.

When you’ve chosen which site you prefer, you will need to download the client. This will be an easy process which the site will take you through step by step but you will need to check that your system is compatible and is sufficiently up to date to support it. Once downloaded, you will create your online profile and user or “screen name”. Make sure you choose something original and that doesn’t give away too much personal information (e.g don’t include your year of birth in your username).

If you’re new to poker, it is a good idea to start playing games where you don’t play with real money. Lots of sites have games where they will provide you with virtual chips that you can play with until you are familiar with the way the games work. This is similar to the online casino games that provide you with free bonuses when you sign up, such as free da vinci diamonds.

You will need to take a seat at your chosen game. If the table is full you can join a waiting list and your name will be called via a dialogue box when it’s your turn. Online poker players are able to fold, check, bet, raise or re-raise depending on the circumstances. Bluffing, as you might practice in a face to face game of poker, is less successful online as you are unable to read body language or see your opponent’s facial expression. As a beginner, you should learn to understand the value of your hand before betting. It is also useful to observe other players where you may be able to note any weaknesses that could be used to catch them out. At all times, it is better to play tight than risk everything.

Matt Rawlings is a writer based in the UK with a keen interest in the latest trends and technologies

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