Online poker is one of the most exciting things. Thanks to best online casinos Ghanaians get access to numerous poker variants, a wide array of the game, and multiple available stakes.
The internet has made poker famous. The online platform is less intimidating; thus, attracting many players.
This article lays bare the fundamentals of playing poker on the internet.
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History of Poker
Poque, a French 17th-century card game, is closest to modern poker. In Germany, it was called Pochen. Both games were based on Primero, a 16th-century Spanish game.
The transfer of Poque to America led to poker’s development in the early 19th century. English speaking settlers Anglicized Poque to Poker. By 1834, the game had adopted modern features, including a 52 card deck.
In the 1870s and 1880s, poker was a popular pastime in most parts of North America, and in 1871, Queen Victoria introduced the game to Europe. However, acceptance of Poker in Europe occurred several decades later.
The game became famous in the 1970s – the advent of the World Series of Poker, and it popularized the modern tournament play in American casinos.
Television made poker even more popular during the millennium turn, resulting in an online poker boom between 2003 and 2006.
Common poker terminologies include:
Call – To match an existing bet on the most recent betting round, i.e., putting into each pot money equivalent to the current bet or raise
Bank/The house – Is the person in charge of keeping records of the buy-ins, distributing chips, and paying winners when the game concludes.
Blind – It’s a forced bet that a player posts on the dealer buttons left in flop-style poker games. Blinds usually are two but may vary from zero to three.
All Inn – When a player’s chips run out while calling or betting in the current hand/ putting all chips in the middle
Check – It means no betting, i.e., not wager/ betting nothing.
Dealer – The person (casino employee or player) dealing cards in a poker game. Also, it can be a player occupying the button position on the table during the current hand.
Draw – It’s playing an incomplete hand; so, players wait for the right card to complete the hand in a better way.
Fold – To discard a hand and forfeit interest in winning the current pot – laying down your hand instead of calling or raising a bet.
Insurance – A wager where two players split the pot in proportion to each one’s winning chances with more coming cards instead of playing put of hand.
Kicker – Unpaired cards that do not directly formulate a hand can determine two near-equivalent hands’ strength.
No-Limit – A poker version in which a player can bet any amount of chips when it’s their turn to play
Offsuit – It’s the starting hand in the Hold’em -its two cards of different suits.
Pay Off – It’s calling a bet when a player is most likely to draw a hand that you can beat because the pot’s odds justify the call.
Nuts – The best hand possible in any given situation.
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A set of five cards constitute a hand, and each hand has a rank. To get a winner of the pot, players compare the ranks of their hands.
Standard poker hands are:
Royal Flush – consists of the king, ace, jack, queen, and ten of a suit. It’s the unbeatable hand.
Straight Flush – These are any five connecting straight cards from a similar suit.
Four-of-a-Kind – These are four cards of a similar rank but not of the same suit.
Full House – Three cards of a similar rank and a pair, e.g., 10-10-10-8-8, and it beats a flush.
Flush – Are five cards of a similar suit but not a sequential order, e.g., A-K-5-4-2, and it beats a straight.
Straight – Any five cards in row/sequence but not of a similar suit, e.g., 10-9-8-7-6. It beats three of a kind.
Three-of-a-Kind – Three cards of a similar rank and two non-paired cards, e.g., Q-Q-Q-7-6. It beats two pairs.
Two Pair – Two cards of a similar rank and two cards of a different rank, e.g., 8-8-7-7-3 – it beats a pair.
One Pair – A single pair of cards, e.g., Q-Q-6-9-2.
High Card – It’s the lowest hand and features five cards, e.g., A-Q-6-5-10.
How to Play Poker
Poker is a game of chip management. But if you are a beginner, consider starting with the No-Limit Texas Hold ’em – it’s easy to learn and play. Besides, it’s the most famous game worldwide.
While playing poker, players bet on their hands. The underlying skill is knowing how to minimize losses (poor hands) and maximize winnings (right hands).
Before dealing with the cards, the principal rule may require that players put an initial bet amount (ante) of at least one chip into the pot first. Player to the left posts a small blind (ante) while the player on the first player’s left post a big blind(ante). Blinds (ante) are simply forced bets that give players something to chase.
Each betting round begins when a player places a bet on the chip(s). Players to the left must do two things: Call that bet, i.e., put the same number of chips into the pot, and, raise the bet, i.e., putting in more than sufficient chips to call or fold/discard the hand – exits the bet until the next deal. In this case, the player loses any chips they’ve put in the pot.
The end of a betting round is signified by equalizing bets, i.e., each player has placed as many chips as their opponents or has dropped. There is always a showdown after each betting round – every remaining player shows their hand face-up on the table. The best hand takes the spot.
The best card combination does not always win the pot. A player who makes a raise or a bet that no other player calls win the pot without showing their hand – the bluffing element.
Players that wish to remain in the game without betting “check,” i.e., betting for nothing. But a check is only possible if no one else in that betting round has placed a bet. Players that “check” can raise a bet that other players have raised – “sandbagging.”
One player bets first, and then the betting turn always moves to the left. No player may check, drop, bet until it is their turn.
The game of poker has a huge variety of different versions. Therefore when playing in unfamiliar places it is very important to find out what type of game you are going to play due to the fact that each of them have different rules. Below are mentioned several variations of poker that you might find interesting:
Texas Hold ’em
This is an easy-to-understand popular version. You can play it both live and online. Many tournaments and big games use the Texas Hold ’em.
Seven Card Stud
Here, players are dealt seven cards – four up, three down., and players must create the best possible 5-card. Its shortcoming is that players can see some cards in their opponent’s hand.
It is a Hold ‘Em type and can accommodate 2 to 10 players. It has four betting rounds, but each player is dealt four hole cards, and the five community cards are immediately revealed. Players must make the best possible 5-card hands from two of their hole cards and three of the common.
Razz aims to have the lowest rank hand – that makes it different from others. Though not a popular variant, it’s widely available on Ghananian online casinos.
Five Card Draw
This variant has fewer strategy requirements. The dealer provides five cards to each player, but players may choose to trade up to 3 cards on the initial go-around.
Follow The Queen
It’s a seven-card stud poker variant – the wild card is the nominate next exposed card after flipping the queen. If queens are not flipped, then that hand lacks the wild card.
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Real Money vs. Free to Play Poker
Though real money poker and free play poker have some similarities, there are some glaring differences, which include:
Real Money poker
Playing poker for real money means that there is a chance for you to win large sums of money since you are betting. Besides, it comes with bonuses like the welcome and deposit bonuses, which can use to play. Typically, sites offer loyalty points when you deposit.
While playing real money casinos is interesting, some sites might have few tables. Again, a simple mistake might lead to a loss of money.
Playing free poker presents a risk-free environment to players. As such, they can perfect their skills before opting to bet for real money. You can try out various variants without spending. Nonetheless, you won’t earn any money.
Live Poker vs. Online Poker
Live and online poker have the same rules, so whether you play on your computer or casino, you must adhere to the same rules. Again, the order of betting remains the same – clockwise on a virtual and live table. Player bet chips, whether those with real cash value or play money poker. Besides, there is an option to play tournaments and cash games.
However, there are some differences too. For instance, online games are much tougher than live games, which means it’s tough to beat them. Again, playing online poker lets you access several games at a go and multiple hands per hour, which isn’t the case for live tables. However, Live tables offer a multiway scenario – players have many speculative hands.
Advantages of Live Poker
- Bright casino atmosphere -any time, any place
- Real-time games with live dealers
- You can easily control yourself.
- Modern-day technologies
- You can play against players of your skill level rather than the best players in the world.
- You can figure out what other players are thinking/ tell.
- Slow game
- A narrow range of games
- Technical errors and issues are likely to occur.
- Betting limits are high.
Advantages of Online Poker
- Available 24/7
- No travel, no clothes, no tipping
- Faster game speeds and more hands per hour
- Massive game selection
- Every bankroll has an action.
- Option to multi-table
- You can see your opponent’s reaction.
- You can read your opponent’s tell.
- It might encourage loose play.
- Domestic-type distractions
How to Find the Best Online Poker Sites
The following are essential factors to consider for Ghanaians when selecting a site to play:
Safety and License
Player security is a critical thing. Properly licensed online poker sites usually have better security. So, check for a site verification from gaming commissions in a specific jurisdiction and bodies like McAfee, ICRA, and GamCare.
Do They Give Bonuses?
Most poker sites offer different types of bonuses and promotions. Since many sites are competing for new players, they provide a welcome bonus at different rates. Beyond that, you might receive deposit bonuses and reload bonuses. Always look for poker sites that offer attractive bonus rates and points for cash.
Depositing and Withdrawing Money
A site that offers a fast and quick depositing and withdrawal is admirable. Look for a site that allows you to deposit ad withdraw money 24/7. Besides, the payment options should allow easy cashing out winnings as well as money transfer – click on the cashier tab sounds nice.
Variety of Poker Types
Always select a site that offers a plethora of poker variants – its confers satisfaction. Super high limits, the latest variants, and a mix of the rarest games give different experiences. Additionally, they allow you to meet players of different levels; thus, improving your poker skills.
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Video poker is a casino game that utilizes a console similar to a slot machine but requires a particular skill to successfully play it – the decisions you make affect the outcome. Based on a 5-card draw, video poker starts with the random shuffling of a 52-card deck; however, the Joker’s Wild machines has 53 cards.
The good thing is; you can know the possible combinations and their frequency, and thus, you can devise an optimal playing strategy.
Video poker variants include Jacks or Better, Deuces Wild, Tens or Better, Bonus Poker, Aces and Faces, Joker Poker, and Bonus Poker.
How to Play Video Poker
All poker variants utilize the 5-card draw. The dealers deal five-card poker hands to a player. The player selects the cards to discard, and the cards retain, and in turn, the player receives new cards, which makes the final hand. In summary, deposit credit, make a bet, Hit the deal button to get an initial five-card poker hand and discard cards you don’t want. The virtual deck deals with your replacement cards; if you win, you get your winnings based on the play table.
Play Online Poker on Your Mobile
There are a lot of poker apps currently. These apps have been optimized to work on both iOS and Android smartphones efficiently. Therefore, Ghanaians can access the game via the apps.
The poker apps have intuitive lobbies, easy tap check, multi-tabling opportunities, and raise and fold buttons. Besides, they support different poker variants; however, particular apps fit specific variants. Some apps allow you to connect to the browser directly – no downloads required, and you can use the same account for your mobile devices and desktop flawlessly, thanks to straightforward ways of synchronization.
Tips for Poker Players
- Understand the learning rules, hand ranking, and positions. The most critical thing is understanding hand ranking – it helps you to make valuable decisions while playing.
- The position is invaluable as it tells you where to begin.
- Begin at low stakes – this helps you understand poker strategy; thus, not wasting your money.
- Play fewer hands – playing many hands can quickly blow away your chip. Chose few hands and aggressively played them. Chose playable and strong hands, and play aggressively.
- Do not be the first to limb because you won’t win the pot, and you give other players enticing odds.
- Bluff effectively; otherwise, you quickly lose money. Let your cards dictate whether to bluff or not.
- Play your strong hand first to build the pot as well as protect your equity.
- If you are unsure, fold. When you fold, you surrender your chances of winning the pot. But if you call in the wrong situations, you lose. If you are unsure, fold, but note the hand to figure out after the session.
Poker is an exciting game and holds special games among all casino games. With multiple variants and strategies, players can win real cash playing online or live in casinos. Poker has undergone an evolution over time to create the present-day variants. The Texas Hold ’em is the most popular variant, thanks to its ease of play.
Online Poker comes with many conveniences, as it allows a player to play from any location 24/7. It only requires a player to have an internet connection. You can play poker for free or choose to play poker for real money. The poker apps make it possible for mobile phone owners to enjoy poker.
There are many variants, but all of them fall under three categories - stud poker, draw poker, and community card poker.
Texas Hold 'Em is the most popular poker game. This poker variant is the easiest to understand, even for beginners. The game begins with players being dealt with two hole cards and wait for five community cards.
There are a lot of ways to play and win poker, i.e., a combination of various strategies. But that will depend on the level of your experience. Ideally, you can employ more than one strategy at go to save your money and win more.
When you fold, you lose all money previously invested in the pot. You are likely to lose more money if you continue in hand with slim chances of winning.
The object of poker is winning money in the pot, i.e., the center of the table. The pot has all bets that participants of the hand have made.
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