If you are familiar with poker but haven't played online, this will be a good introductory online poker guide for you. Here we will look at the game online and how it differs from playing in live games. We will also cover exactly what you need to do to be seated and playing online in no time at all. It's important to start out by pointing that there is a certain false sense of security when playing online. It's easy to do something stupid when you don't have to face down the stare of an opponent. The money however is very real, it just doesn't appear that way. Don't treat virtual chips with any less respect. Money is money, online or live.
The online arena is not only great for the availability of poker, it's also a great place to learn. In the same way that getting good at anything can take time, it's a lot easier to see how other people are doing it and use what they're doing to your advantage. In this learning environment you can not only learn how to play poker but pick up skills used by the top online players. Even better, it's easy to find who the top players are, which poker site they are playing and go and watch them.
Here is a selection of beginners poker guides which cover the basics of the game.
Here is a selection of poker guides for players at an intermediate skill level.
Here is a selection of poker guides for the more advanced poker players.
Before you stake any money you need to understand the rules of poker. If you are new to the game, Texas Hold'em is probably a good starting point as this is what the vast majority of players prefer to play. Make sure you have a grasp of the ranking of hands, the order of play, how the dealer button is used, how the blinds are used, who is dealt first and the betting structure of the game. These are the basics and a must to learn before playing for real money.
Let's take a look at the main differences between online poker and live play. Whilst the game is still the same, there are some changes that you will need to adjust to if you are used to playing in live situations. Here are the key differences:
1) Everything happens a lot quicker online. You have a set amount of time to act on each hand and whilst there is a time bank, when it runs out, you will need to act in time each hand. Additionally, the manual activity of shuffling and dealing takes a fraction of the time when playing online so hands come thick and fast.
2) It's easier to find the perfect table online. When you go to a casino and take a seat at a cash game, whilst you may know some of the players and how skillful they are, you just don't have the same scope to find a profitable table as you do online. Not only can you search for tables that have your DONK list, on many site, they offer a feature in the lobby called View Flop Percentages which show how loose the table is - the higher the percentage, the juicier and more action in the game. These are the games you want to play in.
3) There is more bluffing online. This is largely down to the security of sitting behind a screen. People are a lot braver when they don't have to sit in front of a live table and feel silly for making a bad play.
4) Online players are very often not fully attentive. This is largely due to the fact that they like to multi-task. This may be down to multi-tabling or simply doing other things while playing (.i.e. watching TV, answering the phone, cooking...). Either way, you need to be aware of this fact. Don't assume that because you have folded 10 hands that when you raise as a bluff, you will be given credit. Don't overdo the thinking on how best to play. Very often online, the standard play without all the fancy stuff works much better.
5) It's also not as easy to pick up tells from your opponents. Can you associate a player delay to something? Maybe, maybe not. They might have been answering the phone or at the toilet. Whilst there are tells that can be picked up, they are often much more subtle (like betting patterns or chat).
6) Players tent to call more online and chase down draws - this ties into point 3 also - people are a lot more brave when they are not face to face with their opposition. Many players tend to go into a shell a little when playing live as table image is more important to many in live games.
7) Everything is virtual and it's easy not to associate your chips with the respect they deserve. You are still playing with real money so don't treat your chips any different online. Losing £20 is still £20 less in your bank account, live or online. This can be a challenge as your state of mind is very different. Online you can decide to play and be seated inside a minute. Playing live, there is a lot more mental preparation. The ride to the Casino, the registration, receiving your chips etc. You don't have this playing online and this can effect your play.
8) Virtual poker is considerably cheaper than conventional poker. For example, the game can be played without spending money on beverages, snacks, or on entry fees. The charges for entry on websites are nominal (rake and tournament fees), and can be paid without spending any vast amounts.
9) Due to the fact that people can play multiple tables online, the online game can be more profitable as players can get through considerably more hands per hour. For example, players can play 24 simultaneous tables at once on PokerStars! THis can improve a players hands played per hour and their win rate. Remember, just because you are profitable one one table doesn't mean playing 10 will give you 10 x the profit. The more tables you play, the less profitable each one will be, as your concentration will be split across many tables. Experiment and find your optimum number of tables to play (it's different from one player to the next).
It's actually very easy to get started ..a lot simpler than many think. The first thing you need to do is choose an online poker room. There are plenty to choose from, some good, some not so good and some which are terrible. Keep in mind that in the same way that different restaurants specialize in different types of food, the same is true of poker sites. Some are better for high stakes, some specialize in heads up play whilst others are better for other features. Once you know what you are looking for, it makes the decision process much easier.
If you are new to poker, you probably are looking for a good site with solid software that offers Texas Hold'em, has practice tables and a good incentive to get you started. The poker rooms below tick all of these boxes. When you visit the site, you will need to download the poker client. This can be downloaded in the same way as any other program or piece of software online. Once you download it, you will need to run it and the software will then take you through the registration process. You will need to give some personal details, choose a nickname (that is displayed in the card room), confirm your email address and your good to go. Remember you DO NOT need to deposit any money at any stage. Yes, you might see messages that encourage you to take advantage of bonus offers, however you are not obligated to deposit anything. You are free to look around and see if it's right for you. If it's not, don't worry, from your control panel on your PC you can remove the software and try another room.
If it is somewhere you want to play, there are attractive bonus offers available to new players so don't miss out. We have a number of no deposit bonus offers available as well as a great selection of welcome incentives for new players, at each of our advertised rooms. These sites are the creme of the crop and ideal for new players to poker or old hands at the game..
Get started at our top ranked site:
$7,500 worth of freerolls for all new depositing players!
£20 Instantly - No Deposit Req'd!! (T&Cs apply) + $9K tournies
$400 welcome bonus for all new depositing players this month!
Most of the top poker rooms make a lot of money and the competition for business is nothing short of fierce. Without players are the tables, they are out of the game, and as such they offer big incentives to attract new players. The offers advertised are all genuine offers that we have negotiated with each of the listed card rooms. What we get in return is a commission on any referrals we send their way. This commission is completely separate to what you get for your sign up and loyalty however we are both rewarded for our patronage.
If you have any questions regarding any of the offers advertised or need help in getting started, please contact us - we are more than happy to further explain any elements of our offers or indeed just provide some assistance.