Poker Online

Poker is a skill-based game that players can play at online casinos for free or real money. This guide will focus on everything you need to know about online poker games. The topics covered here include online poker rules, card values, poker bets and types of poker card games online. We will also provide some free poker tips and list some of the top real money poker sites.

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Best Casinos to Play Poker

Looking for a reliable online casino to play poker online for real money? Check our list of the best online casinos to find and try poker games free versions or to directly start playing for real.

Online Poker Main Rules Explained

Online poker - main rules

  • The goal of the game – The goal is to create the best possible 5-card poker hand.
  • Ante – The rules may state that a player or players must place a forced bet (ante) before a hand is dealt.
  • Flop – The first community cards are known as the flop, and all remaining players can use them to make the best hand.
  • Turn – Another community card (the turn or fourth street) is dealt after betting on the flop, so there are two hole cards and four community cards.
  • River – After another round, the river or fifth community card (fifth street) is dealt and the showdown round follows.
  • During the game, players can bet, call, raise or fold.
  • Call – Put the same number of chips into the pot.
  • Raise – To increase the chips to call.
  • Fold – Put no chips and discard a hand until the cards are dealt again.

How to Play Online Poker Step by Step

  1. Make a buy-in for the selected poker game
  2. The dealer will then shuffle and start dealing the cards
  3. Place the ante or blinds (starting bets)
  4. You can now bet, call, or raise after each round
  5. Check your cards in each round to see if you have the best hand
  6. The player with the highest hand value wins after the final round or showdown

Card Values and Possible Combinations in Online Poker

Online poker - winning combinations

A proper understanding of card values and combinations is required when playing any type of poker. Cards can be ranked from the lowest to the highest as follows: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, J, Q, K and A. However, aces can have the lowest rank under certain rules.

Different winning combinations can be created based on sequences, ranks, pairs and suits. The Royal Flush is the best possible poker hand with the cards A, K, Q, J, and 10 from the same suit. The payout is usually 250 to 1 for bets between 1 and 4 coins. But it can pay off at 800 to 1 for a 5-coin bet. The High Card is the lowest possible hand. Check the table for all possible combinations.

Online poker payouts
Hands 1 Coin 2 Coins 3 Coins 4 Coins 5 Coins
Royal flush 250 500 750 1000 4000
Straight flush 50 100 150 200 250
4 of a kind 25 50 75 100 125
Full house 9 18 27 36 46
Flush 6 12 18 24 30
Straight 4 8 12 16 20
3 of a kind 3 6 9 12 15
2 pairs 2 4 6 8 10
Jacks or better 1 2 3 4 5

Poker Types of Bets Explained

Online poker - bet types

Before anyone can play poker online, it's crucial to understand the possible bets. The most effective way to learn is to practise as many times as possible. That is not easy when playing poker for money, so it helps to start with free online poker machines. If you are determined, it won't take long to learn how to place bets at online poker NZ casinos. Let's look at some types of bets.

  1. Donk bet – A bet placed out of position into the preflop aggressor. As the name implies, it is not a common one and only used in particular situations.
  2. Continuation (C-bet) – A bet on the current street if the player was the last aggressor on the preceding street. Mainly used to pressure opponents.
  3. Overbet – A bet that's bigger than the current pot size.
  4. Underbet – A bet sizing that's lower than half the pot size.
  5. Three-bet (re-raise) – A bet that entails placing the third bet during any round in poker.
  6. Value bet – A bet that involves putting an opponent on a hand hoping to get paid with the opponent's worse holding.
  7. Pot bet – The maximum bet which is almost equal to the pot size.

Odds of Being Dealt Certain Starting Hands

There are many possibilities in poker due to the sheer number of cards. The following table shows the odds of receiving a certain starting hand.

online poker - odds to get cards
Hand Probability Odds
A-Ks (certain suited cards) 0,00302 331-1
A-A (specified pocket pair) 0,00453 220-1
A-Ks, K-Qs, Q-Js, lub J-10s (suited cards) 0,0121 81,9-1
A-K (not specified pair) 0,0121 81,9-1
A-A, K-K, lub Q-Q (pocket pair QQ +) 0,0136 72,7-1
A-A, K-K, Q-Q, lub J-J (pocket pair JJ +) 0,0181 54,3-1
Suited cards J or higher 0,0181 54,3-1
A-A, K-K, Q-Q, J-J, lub 10-10 (pocket pair TT+) 0,0226 43,2-1
Suited T cards or higher 0,0302 32,2-1
Suited connectors 0,0392 24,5-1
T connectors or higher 0,0483 19,7-1
Any two Q + cards 0,0498 19,1-1
Any pocket pair 0,0588 16-1
Any two cards J+ 0,0905 10,1-1
Any two cards T+ 0,143 5,98-1
Connectors 0,157 5,38-1
Any two cards  9+ 0,208 3,81-1
Not connectors, not suited cards, at least one of the cards is 2-9 0,534 0,873-1
Know Your Odds to Win

Know Your Odds to Win

Odds are an important part of online gambling, and online poker is no different. Poker odds indicate the probability of winning with any given hand. To calculate your winning odds, you should understand what outs are and how to calculate them. Outs are simply poker cards that improve your current poker hand and make it better.

So, outs have the potential to give you a more valuable poker hand than what your opponent is likely to have. This implies that players can capitalise on them to get better odds. Look at the following table to learn more about online poker odds and probabilities.

Online poker odds
Online Poker: Odds
Hand Odds
Royal Flush 649,740:1
Straight Flush 72,193:1
Four of a Kind 4,165:1
Full House 694:1
Flush 509:1
Straight 255:1
Three of a kind 4:1
Two Pairs 21:1
Pair J,Q,K or A 7.69:1
Any Pair 2.37:1

Best Bonuses to Play Poker Online for Real Money

Unlike free online poker games, players can play real money poker with casino poker bonuses. The greatest poker sites will offer top poker games with a welcome bonus upon making a deposit. Online poker deposit bonuses can be awarded as match bonuses that can be claimed with a small deposit.

Besides poker signup bonuses, many poker sites have promotions for existing players. These include reload bonuses and free money poker no deposit bonuses. Poker players may also receive freeroll bonuses to enter poker tournaments free.

  • GlobalOdds
    Welcome Package: NZ$500
  • Ivibet
    Welcome Package: NZ$500 + 170 free spins
  • Casimba
    Welcome Package: NZ$6,500 + 125 free spins
  • Tsars
    Welcome Package: €2,000 + 200 free spins
  • Bitkingz
    Welcome Package: NZ$6,000 + 200 free spins
  • Hellspin
    Welcome package: NZ$1,200 + 150 free spins

Best Poker Strategies You Should Know

Poker online games not only require skills to play but must also be played with a strategy. Once a player grasps the basic rules of the game, they need to employ some tactics. Those who play with a strategy stand a better chance of winning than those playing blindly.

Short Stack Strategy

Short Stack Strategy

The short stack strategy is considered to be the simplest strategy to use in a poker game. As simple as it is, this strategy is also hard to beat. The primary feature of this gaming technique is that the player plays with a few chips in a stack. It's mostly used with stack sizes lower than 50bb.

Big Stack Strategy

Big Stack Strategy

As the name suggests, this poker strategy entails playing with a huge stack of chips on the table. When playing with a big stack, most of the attention goes to you. Your opponents will feel intimidated and will be afraid of going out early. Players must know how to use this strategy correctly because it's risky.

Most Popular Poker Variations

There are many types of online poker games inspired by the most common variants. They might be similar in one or the other, but players should also know the differences.

  • Texas holdem - online poker

    Texas Hold'em

    This is the most played version of poker at online casinos. It's an action-packed online poker game featuring two private or hole cards and five community face-up cards. Players use the community cards together with their hole cards to make the best five-card hand. Any 7-card combination can be used to create the best possible hand.

  • Omaha hi-lo - online poker

    Omaha Hi-Lo

    Omaha Hi-Lo is another popular online poker game in which each player starts off with four private cards. The game also features five community cards that are dealt on the board face-up. Players use two of their private cards and three community cards to create the best 5-card hand.

  • Five card draw - online poker

    Five-Card Draw

    Five-Card Draw poker is one of the easiest poker games to play for free or for real money online. The game can be played by two to five players using a standard 52-card deck. It features a dealer button and blinds. The goal is to make the highest 5-card hand using five pocket cards.

  • Pot limit omaha - online poker

    Pot-Limit Omaha

    Pot-Limit Omaha poker has gained popularity as one of the leading online poker games characterised by lots of action. This is probably because the game is similar to Texas Holde'm poker when it comes to game rules and betting options. However, Pot-Limit Omaha starts with four hole cards instead of two.

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How to Start Playing Online Poker?

  1. Choose a Casino from Our List

    Look at our list of online casinos with the best online poker games and join. Try to compare the options to choose a poker site with generous offers.

  2. Claim a Big Welcome Bonus

    After registering for an account, deposit the minimum amount needed to play real money poker games online. Claim the welcome bonus to play with a much better bankroll.

  3. Making Sure You’re Secure

    Security is key when playing online poker or other casino games online. Make sure the casino uses trusted security technologies and don't forget to read the privacy terms and conditions.

  4. Play for Fun or Real Money

    If you are not familiar with poker, start with fun poker games. Once you get acquainted with the rules, switch from free play poker to real money games and use your deposit and bonus.

  5. Play and Win!

    Have fun playing your favourite online poker games. If luck is on your side, go to the 'Cashier' page and choose a payment method to withdraw your money. Enjoy your winnings!

A Few Tips for Poker Players

  • Practice on Free Poker Online

    Practice on Free Poker Online

    The foremost step is to play free poker games online before playing for real money. Free poker card games allow players to test the selected poker site before depositing.

  • Understand Hand Rankings and Odds

    Understand Hand Rankings and Odds

    Learn more about the various hand rankings to know the best hands. And don’t forget the odds because they signify your winning chances. Just play online poker for fun to study the game.

  • Mind the Paytables

    Mind the Paytables

    Paytables display how much the player stands to win when playing real money poker games. Players can know the figures by checking free online poker machine games before risking their money.

  • Don’t Guess, Learn Basic Strategy

    Don’t Guess, Learn Basic Strategy

    Online casino poker games require skills to play, so players must be aware of the best playing techniques. New players should first learn the basic strategy. As always, the starting point is to play poker online free.

  • Don't Consume Alcohol While Playing

    Don't Consume Alcohol While Playing

    If you often enjoy alcoholic drinks, avoid them when playing poker games online because they can distort your brain. Consider this tip especially if you want to play poker online real money games.

  • Manage Your Bankroll

    Manage Your Bankroll

    Financial management is necessary where real money betting is involved when playing poker online. Players ought to set a gambling budget and follow it strictly to prevent potentially harmful online gambling habits.

FAQ

Can I Play Online Poker Free?

Yes, many casinos offer free poker machine games online which players can play for free to practise and learn how poker works.

Are There Online Poker Bonuses?

The best poker sites have free bonuses that players can use on online poker games. These include deposit casino bonuses, poker free bonus no deposit promotions and freerolls.

Which Poker Games Can I Play Online?

Reliable online poker sites offer virtually all poker games that most players know. These include top poker games like Texas Hold’em, Five-Card Draw, and Omaha Hi-Lo.