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Pros and Cons of Playing Poker Online

Pros Cons
  • Buy-ins are cheaper than in a land-based casino.
  • You cannot read tells since you are not in the same room with other players.
  • You can play from any location.
  • Online actions may be faster and harder on new players.
  • You can choose from a wide variety of tables and poker variants.
  • Easily available poker can potentially lead to addiction.

History of Poker

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The exact origins of poker remain a mystery, but similar games have been played in various countries and cultures for at least 1,000 years. Some historians believe poker originated in China as a form of dominoes, while others suggest it originated from the Persian card game As Nas. The French game poque, played in the 17th century, is the closest European version of poker.

Similar games were played in Germany (pochen) and Spain (primero), with three cards dealt to each player. While these games helped shape the evolution of poker, the modern game should not be played this way.

As European colonists made their way to the Americas, they brought poque. It is said that the game was first played in New Orleans in the early 1800s and then spread throughout the United States during the 19th century.

The game quickly became popular in the United States during the Civil War, where soldiers would often pass the time by playing poker. The game also gained popularity in the Wild West, where cowboys would play in saloons and gambling houses.

In the early 1900s, poker began to be played in casinos, and by the 1970s, it had become one of the most popular casino games in the world. The World Series of Poker (WSOP) was established in 1970 and has since become the most prestigious poker tournament in the world.

Poker has continued to evolve and change over the years, with new variations of the game being created and played.

How to Play Poker

The key to playing offline or online poker is knowing which variants you are about to play. While all poker variants follow the same general rulings in placing an ante bet before play and continuing to bet on each round, there are some differences in how each is played.

To explain the game easily, we will look at the most popular variant – Texas Hold ’em. How would you experience it online?

  1. Join a Table: Click on the table you want to join and wait for a seat to become available. Once a seat opens up, you’ll be prompted to take it.
  2.  Receive Your Hole Cards: After taking your seat, you’ll receive two-hole cards. These cards are dealt face down, and only you can see them.
  3.  Place Your Bet: The first betting round begins with the player to the left of the big blind. You can either call (match the big blind), raise (increase the bet), or fold (give up your hand). Betting continues around the table until everyone has folded or called the highest bet.
  4. The Flop: The dealer places three community cards face-up on the table once the first betting round is complete. This is called the flop.
  5. Second Betting Round: The second betting round begins with the player to the dealer’s left. You can again call, raise, or fold. Betting continues around the table until everyone has folded or called the highest bet.
  6. The Turn: After the second betting round, the dealer places a fourth community card face-up on the table. This is called the turn.
  7. Third Betting Round: The third betting round begins with the player to the dealer’s left. You can again call, raise, or fold. Betting continues around the table until everyone has folded or called the highest bet.
  8. The River: After the third betting round, the dealer places a fifth and final community card face-up on the table. This is called the river.
  9. Final Betting Round: The final betting round begins with the player to the dealer’s left. You can again call, raise, or fold. Betting continues around the table until everyone has folded or called the highest bet.
  10. Showdown: There is a showdown if two or more players are left after the final betting round. The player with the best five-card hand wins the pot using their two-hole cards and the five community cards.

That’s a basic overview of how to play Texas Hold ’em online. Of course, the game and its other variants involve many nuances and strategies. Learn them to give yourself an edge when playing, especially with real money.

Different Poker Variants

While Texas Hold ’em is one of the more popular variants thanks to its wider exposure in tournaments and on TV, several other versions are equally as fun. The main difference between these options lies in how many cards are given to each player and how many cards (if any) are placed as community cards.

Here are some of the most popular variants and what makes them different:

  • Texas Hold ’em: This is the most popular poker game in the world today. It is a community card game where each player is dealt two cards face down, and then five community cards are dealt face up in the center of the table. Players use their two and five community cards to make the best possible five-card hand.
  • Omaha Hi:This game resembles Texas Hold ’em, but players are dealt four cards instead of two. Players must use two of their four cards and three of the five community cards to make the best possible five-card hand.
  • Seven Card Stud: This game is the classic version of poker and was once the most popular variant played in casinos. It is a non-community card game where each player is dealt seven cards, with the first two cards dealt face down and the next four cards dealt face up for all players to see. The final card is dealt face down, and players use their best five-card hand to win the pot.
  • Razz: This game is a lowball variant of Seven Card Stud, intending to make the lowest possible five-card hand. Aces are always low, and straights and flushes do not count against the player’s hand.
  • Five Card Draw: This is a classic poker game where each player is dealt five cards face down and can discard up to three cards and receive new ones. Players then bet and try to make the best five-card hand possible.

Each variant is unique and follows rules you have to be familiar with to have any chance of winning.

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Poker Strategies

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When it comes to playing poker, there are several strategies you can implement to get ahead. Of course, you must thoroughly learn all the hand values to help you get ahead in the long run. After all, you want to avoid constantly checking what’s a good hand!

Other strategies include:


  1. Play Fewer Hands: Playing fewer hands is one of the most important strategies in poker. Many beginners need to play more hands, which can cause them to lose their bankroll quickly. By being selective about your hands, you can play them aggressively and win more money.
  2. Fast-Play Strong Hands: You should bet aggressively to increase the pot and win more money when you have a strong hand. This strategy is called “fast-playing.” Of course, this strategy may only sometimes work, but if you have a strong hand, it’s unlikely that someone will outdraw you.
  3. Bluffing: While it is important not to overuse bluffing, it can be valuable when used correctly. Bluffing is when you bet or raise with a weak hand to make it seem like you have a stronger hand than you do. This can force your opponents to fold and win you the pot. However, bluffing requires careful consideration of your opponents and their betting patterns.
  4. Hand Reading: One of the keys to successful poker playing is reading your opponents’ hands based on their betting patterns and other cues. This requires a lot of observation and practice, but it can help you make better decisions about when to bet, raise, or fold.
  5. Bankroll Management: No matter how skilled you are at poker, you will eventually hit a losing streak. That’s why managing your bankroll carefully and avoiding risks that could wipe out your entire stack is important. Many experts recommend keeping at least 20-30 buy-ins in your bankroll for the stakes you are playing.
  6. Table Selection: Finally, it’s important to choose the right table to play at. Look for tables with players who are weaker than you or who are playing with too many hands. You can also look for tables with larger average pot sizes, indicating more loose and aggressive play. Avoid tables where the players are too skilled or tight, as these can be difficult to beat.

Poker Tips

As a new player, there are a couple of things you should bear in mind. We’ve talked to the pros, we’ve been the pros, and over that time, here are some of the most important tips we’ve picked up:

  1. Practice proper bankroll management: This means setting aside a certain amount of money for playing poker and never playing with more than you can afford to lose. Keeping your poker bankroll separate from your everyday finances is important to avoid overspending.
  2. Know when to fold: Folding can be difficult, especially if you’ve already invested a lot of money into the pot. However, knowing when to fold a hand likely to fail is essential to long-term success in poker. Don’t be afraid to fold a weak hand and wait for a better opportunity.
  3. Pay attention to your opponents: While playing poker, pay attention to your opponents’ behavior, mannerisms, and betting patterns. This can give you insight into the strength of their hand and help you make better decisions during the game.
  4. Avoid playing on tilt: Tilt is a state of mind where a player becomes frustrated or angry and begins making irrational decisions. If you find yourself on tilt, take a break from the game and return when you’re more clear-headed.
  5. Mix up your play: Don’t become predictable by always playing the same way. Mix up your play by occasionally bluffing, slow playing a strong hand, or calling with a weaker hand to keep your opponent’s guessing.
  6. Be patient: Poker is a game of patience; sometimes, you must wait for the right opportunity to make a move. Don’t get impatient and try to force a win; wait for the right moment to strike.
  7. Stay focused: Poker requires a lot of focus and concentration, so make sure you’re focused while playing. Avoid playing poker while watching TV or browsing the internet and take breaks when you feel mentally exhausted.

Understanding the Importance of Position

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Positioning is a critical aspect of online poker, as it can significantly affect a player’s ability to win a hand. In essence, position refers to where a player sits in relation to the dealer button, which rotates clockwise around the table after each hand.

Players in later positions have more information about the actions of players in earlier positions, which allows them to make better-informed decisions. Additionally, they have more control over the pot, as they can choose whether to bet or raise after seeing how other players have acted.

For example, a player in the small blind position is at a disadvantage compared to players in later positions, who must act first in every betting round. This means they need more information about their opponents’ hands and more control over the pot size. Conversely, a player in the button position has the most information and control over the pot, as they get to act last on every round of betting.

Players should be aware of the relative strength of their hand based on their position and adjust their betting and playing style accordingly. For example, in early positions, players should generally play more cautiously and avoid playing weak hands. Players can be more aggressive in later positions and take advantage of their positional advantage.

By using position to their advantage, players can make more informed decisions, exercise greater control over the pot, and increase their chances of winning hands.


Poker is a fun and exciting game that can be played for entertainment, competition, or even profit. It's a game that requires skill, strategy, and a bit of luck. Many people enjoy playing poker because it challenges them mentally, and there's always room for improvement and growth.

The best starting hand in Texas Hold'em is pocket aces (two aces as your hole cards). This is because it's the highest-ranking hand in poker and gives you a strong chance of winning the pot. Other strong starting hands include pocket kings, queens, jacks, and ace-king suited.

The best position in Texas Hold'em is the dealer position (also known as the button position). This is because you get to act last in each betting round, which gives you more information about the other players' hands and allows you to make more informed decisions. The earlier positions, such as the small blind and big blind, have a disadvantage as they act before the other players.

Live poker is played in a physical casino or poker room, with face-to-face interactions between players and a dealer. Online poker, on the other hand, is played over the internet using a computer or mobile device. Online poker offers the convenience of playing from anywhere at any time and often has more game options and bonuses, while live poker offers a social experience and the ability to read your opponents' body language.

Online poker is legal in Canada if played on a licensed and regulated site. Each province in Canada has regulations regarding online gambling, so it's important to check the laws in your specific region.

No, reputable online poker sites use a random number generator to ensure the game's fairness. However, it's important to only play on licensed and regulated sites to ensure the game is fair and your money is safe.

Markus Wellington Markus Wellington

Markus has +15 years of expertise in online gambling, helping Canadians find the safest online casinos with a special review algorithm designed to red-flag unsafe casinos and rate the best ones up to date with our user's needs. He loves playing the old classics, such as Sic Bo and the Roulette tables. Markus lives in Toronto, Ontario, with his beautiful wife and two kids. Find out more about Markus through his social media channels!