A Helpful Guide to Online Poker

A Helpful Guide to Online Poker

When you start playing poker online it may be a bit daunting and if you don’t know how it works it can be a baptism of fire.

Although there a numerous styles of poker each with its own rules, the most popular versions you will find at most online casinos are Texas Hold’em, Omaha Poker and Seven-card Stud. As such, these are the games and it’s most important that you master as if you do so no matter what online casino you log on to you will be able to play poker there effectively.

If you’re looking to make your first steps into the poker world here are some fundamentals that can assist you from the get-go.


One of the most amateur mistakes you’ll see happen at casinos is a misdeal. This is most likely the situation by which the wrong number of cards are dealt, but can also be that the cards are dealt in the wrong order or some other anomaly. If this does occur then you’re well within your rights to demand the round is restarted, the cards dealt again and receive your money back.

It can also mean the house or dealer will have to incur a penalty. This is practically impossible at a virtual table, due to the RNG (Random Number Generator) that deals the card faultless, but not at online live dealer casino table. If you do see this happening at a live dealer online casino table, then it’s a serious red flag about the table or provider you’ve chosen, as it shows incompetence and inexperience.

The upshot of it will be that the gameplay is slowed down, not to mention it’s very frustrating. Naturally, mistakes can happen but if this becomes a regular occurrence you should find somewhere else to play.

Dead Hands

Dead hands are effectively any hand which is voided. This may occut out of players choice, or due to some irregularity with the hand in play. This most commonly happens when a player chooses to fold or muck their hand, however, it can also be due to an error.

Errors can include the player not having the right number of cards, using a joker when the joker card isn’t allowed in play or running out of time when a clock system is in play. More specifically, if you’re playing Stud and you take your upcards off the table, turn them face down or mix your up and down cards, it’ll also mean your cards are now dead.


An irregularity is a very broad term for something untoward happening in the midst of a poker game. Misdeals or defective decks are the most commonly occurring irregularities, but failing to protect your hand or dropping your cards on the floor, with the result that players know what you’re holding are also considered irregularities.

Depending on the irregularity certain steps will be taken in-play to combat them. You can read up further on more specific details about what’s considered an irregularity, but irregularities are much less likely to happen at online tables anyway.

Betting and Raising

Nailing down betting and rasing is the cornerstone of effective poker play and the pair go hand in hand but are different. Betting, as you probably know, is how much you wager on your game, while raising is how much MORE you’re willing to bet that the other players in the game.

This is where bluffs and poker faces come into action, as you can choose to raise someone even if you don’t think you have a hand to win. Effective raising can scare someone into folding even if it turns out they have a stronger hand. However, raising should be used responsibly, as if you keep raising against a confident player, then you can lose a lot more if you don’t have the hands to back it up. Plus, if people clock on to the fact you’re raising as a tactic then they can manipulate you back. If you’re just getting into poker, we suggest that you only raise if you’re genuinely confident you’re going to give the round a good go with what you have in your hand.

The Showdown

The showdown is when everything comes to fruition and where players will either win or lose. Essentially, it’s when the final betting round has been completed and you have to show your hands to the remaining players still in play.

ALL cards, whether they’re part of the hand or not, will be shown, and whoever has the best hand at the end will win the pot. In the case of a side-pot for whatever reason, this needs to be resolved first. Of course, not all games end in a showdown as all apart from one player may have folded before it comes to it.


In the case of a tie in a game of poker the rules can vary from style to style, but generally, the second-highest, third-highest, fourth-highest, and fifth-highest cards will be used to break the tie. In the unlikely occurrence that there’s still a tie, then the pot is split.

Buttons and Blinds

The button, sometimes referred to as buck or dealer, is a chip used to indicate who’ll be playing the last in that round.

The blind is the person situated next to the button, who’ll be making the first bet of the round. They’re the player/s who must bet first. There are usually two in most games (small blind and big blind), but sometimes there can be none, or three. It’s called the “blind” as you have no knowledge of your hand when the blind bet is made.

Rules for Using Blinds

If you’re involved in a blind, the amount you have to bet is usually pre-determined and that will be the amount you MUST bet. If there’s more than one blind, the small blind will be the first to bet, followed by the big blind who will usually bet double the wager of the small blind. More specific rules depend on the game, so make sure you know more specific details before sitting down.

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