A Beginner’s Guide to Online Poker

Online poker is going through an evolutionary stage, and it’s never been a better time to play poker. Online poker has seen the rise of a variety of poker sites giving a range of platforms for beginners to become familiar with the game.

Poker sites have become safer and more legit, withdrawing from unregulated jurisdictions which makes it the most appropriate time to join an online poker game.

The following is a guide for beginners who are ready to join the movement.

Getting started: choosing a poker room

The first step for a beginner is selecting a poker site. Different poker sites offer different offers. Thus, a player should understand their requirements before opting for a specific site. Some poker rooms are best suited for high stake players, and others are better for small stake players, some sites are cheaper than others, which don’t always imply the better choice. To determine the right poker room, a beginner’s first step is to determine what type of player they are.

Player traffic in poker rooms is an essential area of consideration. The main disadvantage of playing in a high traffic poker room is the time a player spends waiting for a game to start.

However, it also comes with its advantages like better bonuses, promotions and bigger prize pools.

Players may also opt for established poker rooms with probably better features and a better loyalty programs. Most poker rooms will offer welcome bonuses or packages to entice new players. This is another factor to consider while choosing a site.

Setting up an Account

Poker rooms may vary between download and instant play sites. Download poker rooms will need players to install the poker site application to their computers. Instant play sites can be automatically accessed through a website.

Whatever format a player chooses, they then have to register for an account by picking a username and password, plus a unique Alias which should be different from the username. It’s advisable that a player picks a username that’s hard to guess, to steer away possible hackers.

Making Deposits

Most sites have the option to play for free which a beginner should exploit to practice strategies, but they will later need to make an initial deposit to compete with other players and have a chance to win real cash.

Banking options may differ in different sites or jurisdictions; it’s up to the player to choose a method that suits them. Players depositing for the first time may require to go through a verification process that’s usually quick and requires the players to submit scans of their ID documents to the site.

Pick the Right Games

Beginners can easily be dazzled by high-stake games, but poker is about mastering the level a player is on at that moment. A new poker player should start off low to understand the game without losing cash to experienced players.

If a player joins a low buy-in tournament, he would easily find other casual players, giving him a chance against them. Many top sites will offer freerolls, daily or weekly offering players free cash or points. The freerolls don’t require any fee and could be a way to learn more about the mechanics of online poker and get used to the site.

Basic Rules: Texas Hold’em

Texas Hold’em is the most common variant of poker worldwide. A button determines the players to post the blinds. The big and small blinds are enforced bets to be posted by the two players to the left of the button. The reason for blinds is to ensure there’s money in each pot, luring players to get involved.

Every player is dealt two hole cards which are private, and so dealt face down. What follows is a round of betting and players decide whether to make a bet or exit the hand. Players who fold or exit the hand lose their contribution to the pot. The players are then dealt with three community cards face up on the table, called the flop, followed by another round of betting. A player’s objective in this round is to make the best 5 card hand.

After the flop is complete, a single card, called the Turn Card, is dealt face up. This marks another round of betting, and once it’s complete, a fifth card known as the River card is dealt as the final card.

Any players still in hand in the final round of betting will have a showdown. In this round, players turn over their hand, and each player with the best hand wins the pot. Bets always run clockwise from the dealer button.

Bankroll Management

Bankroll management is crucial in online poker to protect a player from a bad run. Good players learn to play within their bankroll to protect their investment. Every player – no matter the proficiency level – is prone to the highs and lows of the game.

The importance of a bankroll management is to get a player through a bad run which is inevitable to any kind of player. A healthy bankroll will help a player take losses and wait for their moment.

Common Beginner Mistakes

Online poker deserves a couple of games to become a master, and many new players make some mistakes, not because they’re reckless, but mostly because of lack of experience. Here are common errors beginners make:

1. Playing too many hands – new players are mostly not familiar with factors like stack size, position and strong hands which should be considered before playing a hand.

2. Lack of patience – beginners, will often avoid the boredom of folding, making them susceptible to playing unnecessary hands.

3. Too ambitious – beginners believe the higher the stakes, the faster a player can make money without regard to how quickly they could also lose money. Beginners often go on tilt.


December 7, 2018 - Offer valid as of date published. T&Cs apply