Online poker for real money

Online poker is often considered the best platform to hone your skills so you can take your game to the next level, and Internet users have unprecedented access to a host of Internet poker rooms where they can play against other competitors from around the world. Here, we detail what’s involved in registering a poker account at a safe venue on the Internet and the privileges players receive for doing so.

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One of the most skilful real money games in a casino, poker is played by millions across the globe both online and offline. The most popular format of the game, Texas Hold’em, is the main style played at global events such as the World Series of Poker (WSOP) and the Aussie Millions. Satellite tournaments to these and other poker events are available to play directly through the Web’s best online poker rooms, as well as other multi-table tournaments, low and high limit cash games and Sit ‘N Go tourneys. When playing poker, be prepared that you’ll come across all kinds of personalities at the poker table.

Best online poker rooms for virtual players

While the casinos in the table above provide a great space to play RNG (random number generated) poker games agains the computer, the following websites offer a safe place for players to enjoy poker for real money against other players. Each site is licensed by their jurisdiction’s gaming body and regulated by independent player fairness and gaming testing agencies such as eCOGRA (eCommerce Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance).

888 Poker makes its software available both in an instant play mode and a full software download, so players have the choice to play either via their Web browsers (instant play) or by installing the full program on their computer. Pokerstars and Full Tilt currently only offer software download interfaces. When playing at online poker sites, you may also come across the Microgaming poker network.

Register an Internet poker account

Use our links or poker app icons to set up an instant online poker account at your chosen room. There are no costs involved in signing up; you just need to provide details such as your name, date of birth, email address, country of residency, et cetera.

Depositing funds and currency exchange
Once you’ve set up an account, you’ll be asked if you wish to deposit money and take advantage of the welcome bonuses available to players in your country. Included in the poker welcome packages are matched deposit promotions as well as no-deposit bonuses. In order to fund your account, head to the banking/cashier section of the site and choose from several deposit methods, including credit or debit cards, e-wallets such as Neteller and Skrill, pre-paid cards and vouchers like Entropay and PaySafeCard, and instant wire transfers.

Unlike real money online casinos, online poker rooms need to convert your money to USD so all players can compete against each other using the same currency. At the time of your deposit, the daily conversion rate from your local currency to USD will be displayed and instantly converted when you confirm your deposit (no fees involved). When you wish to withdraw money, your winnings are converted back to your original currency, at the same rate as the deposit conversion. Most deposit methods are instant (cash available to use immediately), while withdrawals can take up to 48 hours to be processed.

Real money mobile and tablet play

888 has a dedicated market app for Android available at the Google Play store, as well as a Web app for Apple iOS which can be installed via the mobile site. The interface is clean and simple to navigate, banking is easily accessed directly from your device, and cash games, Sit and Go tourneys and multi-table tournaments are all available to play. Pokerstars and Full Tilt Poker only support apps for Android users.

How to play poker online

Within each poker site are numerous diverse playing options:

Game types
Our recommended online poker websites offer several popular games, including Texas Hold’em, Omaha and Omaha Hi-Lo, Seven Card Stud, Razz and Draw Poker. For a true test of a poker player’s skills, H.O.R.S.E. features a mixture of several formats:

  • Hold’em
  • Omaha
  • Razz
  • Seven Card Stud
  • Eight or Better (Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo)

Poker gaming formats

The above Internet poker games can be played in a number of different competitive formats:

Traditional ring/cash games – Each player buys in however much they want to (within the table’s minimum and maximum limits), and the money you win within the game is genuine cash which adds directly to your account balance. If you run out of money, you can buy back in. Cash game table limits vary, beginning as low as $0.01 and $0.02 blinds and going all the way up to $500 and $1000 blinds (and even more for high rollers).

Multi-table tournaments (MTTs) – These start at designated times and players must pre-register in order to play. Typically there is a buy-in and registration fee (written, for example, as such: $5 + $1), but there are also MTTs which are free to enter. All players begin with a set amount of chips and the tournament continues until there is one player remaining. Most tournaments will have cash prizes for the winner/s (often second, third and fourth placings receive prizes, depending on how large the tournament is), while some will award entry tickets into more prestigious tournaments.

Sit and Go (SNG) tournaments – Unlike MTTs, these tournaments begin when enough players show interest. Sit ‘n Go buy-in prices range from less than one dollar to more than $1500. All players begin with the same, pre-set amount of chips, and the competition is played until one player remains. Second and sometimes third placings will also receive a share of the cash prize pool. SNGs typically host anywhere from two to 10 players.

Poker betting styles
There are three common sets of betting rules for real money poker games online:

No limit betting – Wagers of any size can be played in each betting round, so long as those wagers are equal to, or of greater value than, the minimum bet or the previous wager in that round. Players can move “all in” (shove) whenever they desire.

Pot limit wagering – As the name suggests, you can bet or raise a maximum amount equal to the value of the pot (including live stakes) at the time of betting. This means wagers can increase in size as the hand unfolds.

Fixed limit betting – All bets are restricted to a certain value, which often increases as the game progresses. There is also a cap on how many times you can raise in each betting round (usually four).

Gaming features

888 Poker, Pokerstars and Full Tilt Poker all offer unique gaming experiences which can further enhance a player’s enjoyment. Zoom Poker, 3D Poker, Snap Poker and PokerCam games are just a few of the popular formats enjoyed by millions all over the world. Such variety would never be available within the walls of a land-based casino, so we highly recommend registering an online or mobile account to make the most of poker welcome bonuses and a whole heap of fantastic player options.

What about video poker?

Video poker is an electronic game that combines the format and strategies used in table poker with the computerised format used in electronic slot machines. You can find video poker machines in many land based casinos, and it has also started to grow in popularity at online casinos. To learn more about the different kinds of video poker available at the top-rated online casino sites, check out these guides:

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