How to Play Online Poker

22 Jul 2013       By

Online poker is a big business and it can be extremely lucrative. If you don’t want to waste your hard earned cash then there’s also the option to play for free. Playing online is slightly different to playing offline – one of the big focuses of offline poker is the famous ‘poker face.’ You need to make sure you don’t give the game away and some people find this quite difficult, but if you struggle keeping a straight face then the online version is an ideal solution.

Basic rules of poker

In order to play poker on your computer, you need to first understand the basics. Games are typically played with a 52 card deck, but the rules of poker change depending upon which type you are playing.

In a basic five draw poker game, each player will be dealt five cards and the remaining cards will be placed face down in the centre of the table. Your goal is to create the best hand, switching any cards you aren’t happy with. You then place a bet which reflects how confident you are with the hand you have. If a player has a bad hand, but they make a high bet, this is known as ‘bluffing.’ It’s possible to win a poker game even if you have a bad hand, providing you manage to fool the other players into folding (giving up).

The different hands you can play

If you want to be successful at online poker, you'll need to know the different hands that can be played, as knowing which hands beat others is essential, for example, a flush beats a straight. There are several hands that can be played including:

·      One, two or three pairs

·      Three or four of a kind

·      Flush

·      Straight Flush

·      Royal Flush

·      Full House

·      High Card

Getting one, two or three pairs is pretty easy. If you have one pair of cards and another player has two, they would win the hand. If you both had the same amount of pairs, the one with the highest number match would win.

Three of a kind is sometimes referred to as a ‘set’ and you need three of the same card (3 queens for example). Four of a Kind follows the same rules as three of a kind, only with an extra card needed - it's commonly referred to as a “quad.”

How to play online poker

To get a flush you need to have five cards which are all the same suit, but they don’t need to have a particular number order. As long as all five cards are hearts, clubs, spades or diamonds you can play a flush hand. However, if you want to achieve a straight flush you will need to match the suit as well as getting them into number order. The ultimate flush you can achieve is the Royal Flush - where you get the 10, Jack, Queen, King and Ace all in the same suit. It is really hard to get which makes it one of the best hands in poker.

A full house contains three of a kind and a pair. Then finally a high card is used when no player has at least one pair, the person who has the highest number card will win.

The different types online poker

There are several different types of poker, the most popular ones include:

-Texas Hold’em

-Stud poker


-Draw poker

Texas Hold'em

Texas Hold’em is the most popular type of poker played online, but is actually quite a complex verion with lots to learn.. You can potentially win quite a lot of money with this game. Choose to play with or without a strategy, with up to 10 players in a game.

Stud poker

Stud poker was popular before Texas Hold’em was introduced in the 1970’s. This is a slightly different poker game as it features seven cards instead of five. It can be played so that the highest hand wins, or the highest hand can split the winnings with the lowest hand. The game consists of up to eight players and each are dealt two cards to start. These two cards are turned over and the player who has the lowest card will be required to start the betting. Just like with the Texas poker game, this one has a lot of rules that you need to familiarise yourself with before putting any money down.


Omaha is the hardest type of poker to play; it's similar to Texas Hold’em, but players are dealt four cards instead of two. There are also more rules that need to be followed. The game can be played with two to ten players and it isn’t to be played as a no-limit game. It follows a strict structure to ensure that game play is fast and exciting.

These are the main types of online poker games available. It is recommended that you research each different type thoroughly before you start playing.