Borgata – The Ultimate Online Poker FAQ
Poker is a card game played by millions of people across the world every day. The growth and evolution of online poker has increased the amount of poker games significantly. It is now easier than ever to join a poker game from any location, at any time. Whether you’re looking to play for fun, for small change, or to win big, there are a host of different ways you can play poker.
The biggest emerging trend is in online poker. The flexibility and convenience of playing online , as well as the regulations and winnings on offer make it the most exciting space for poker players worldwide.
If you want to learn more about poker, in particular online poker, then this, the ultimate online poker FAQ page compiled by Borgata casino, specialists in online poker, is for you. You’ll find out how to play poker like a seasoned pro, with an introduction to poker terms, an overview of the different types of poker, the poker rules involved and the best poker practice to improve your game. This will help you know which poker games you’d be interested in. It will also help you refine your game and find a poker strategy to help you win big.
You’ll also find a comprehensive explanation of the world of online poker. We’ll have a look at the history of online poker, the differences between online and offline poker, and the best online safety tips. This will help you to navigate the online space as a poker player who knows how to win at poker.
We’ve also included a list of the most frequently asked questions about online poker. This section will help put your mind at ease when it comes to online poker safety and security. It will also help to know what the best way to play online poker is, and how to avoid common mistakes. These FAQs are a one-stop shop for all your online poker adventures!
Introduction to poker
To play poker well, you need to first understand the core principles of the game. While poker has a reputation for being difficult to understand, the basics are actually quite simple. It may take longer to learn than Blackjack, but that’s because the game has far more nuances. Poker only truly becomes more complex when you start to learn about the different strategies and versions of poker.
This section will give you a clear and thorough introduction to poker. This will include the origins of poker, the different poker hands, and an understanding of how poker games are set up.
Origins of poker
The exact roots of poker may differ depending on who you speak to. Some say it originated in ancient China, while others believe it started in Persia. Either way, there is no doubt about how our current iteration of poker found its way into being.
The French had a game in the 17th century called Poque. This game involved three cards per player, and a lot of bluffing and betting on the strength of your hand. This game was brought to New Orleans by the French in the 18th century, and then Anglicized and evolved into five-card Poker in the 19th century.
The game was very popular in Mississippi on the trade boats, and with soldiers during the American Civil War. While news of the game spread to Europe gradually, it only reached its worldwide fame during World War 1. The American soldiers brought the game to the trenches and with that poker was spread to the world.
What is the objective of the game of poker?
The objective of the game is to win the pot. The pot is, more often than not, money, but it could be any accepted items used to bet in the game. To win the pot, you need to have the strongest hand, or to be the only remaining active player in the round. Each player would wage their bet on the strength of their hand, even if they are pretending that it is strong.
How do you play poker?
Poker rules differ in the different variants of poker games, but there are basic set of holistic rules that govern how to play poker. The game will generally use the 52-card pack, potentially including the joker cards as wildcards.
The designated dealer will deal cards to each player. Clockwise, each player will place their bets for the round based on the strength of the cards in their hand. Each player has the option to call, raise or fold. To call is to match the current bet that has been placed for the round. To raise is to match the current bet and increase it for each player involved in the current round. To fold is to surrender the bet that you’ve made in the round and take no further part until the next hand is dealt.
Once the bets for the round are called and not raised further, the next round begins. Between each round the dealer will add cards for the players. The type of poker you’re playing will indicate how many cards are added per round. Once all the cards for the poker hands are dealt, and all the players have either called on a final bet amount or folded, the players reveal the cards in their hand. The player with the strongest hand wins the pot (the collective bets that were placed each round).
These rules are nuanced to each type of poker, but that is the general way that poker works. After each hand, a player can cash out and leave the game with the money they brought into the game or have won during the game. If a player runs out of money, they are out of the game. To this end, it is usually the last remaining player that wins the game. If you’re playing socially, you might call it quits at a certain time in the evening. The player with the most money left in the game will win overall.
What are the different types of poker?
There are many different types of poker that have come to the fore since the game travelled on the Mississippi and the battlefields of World War 1. Poker is played in bars, on boats, in casinos, on televised poker tournaments and online. The stakes can be small or euphorically high. What are the differences between some of the main types of poker? This section will give an overview of straight, stud, draw and community card poker.
This is a straightforward variant of poker where each player receives their five cards at the beginning of the round. Each player can then place their bets. As all the cards have been dealt, there is only one round. The winner is the player with the best hand, or if everybody else folds. This version of the game was popular during the American Civil War.
Due to all the poker cards being dealt at the beginning of a solitary round, there isn’t too much space for a complex poker strategy in the game. As a result, more nuanced variants of the game are played at poker tournaments and in casinos.
Stud poker gives rise to one of the most famous poker terms in popular culture: ace in the hole. So what is stud poker?. This type of poker is where players receive cards both face-up and face-down in rounds called streets. The face-up cards are visible for other players and the dealer to see. The face-down cards are called hole cards. It brings in an additional amount of poker strategy. You would need to be mindful of what chances your opponents would have of holding a better hand than you. The hole cards allow for you to also understand how much of a bluff would be believable.
Stud poker can be played with five, six, seven and even eight-card hands. One of the most popular variants of stud poker is Razz.
Razz differs from most poker games in that it is the lowest hand that wins the pot. The game rose to popularity in the early 20th century with the increased use of a 52 card deck as opposed to a 20 card deck. It was added as a poker game to the World Series of Poker in 1971.
Razz is usually played with a maximum of eight players. Each player can receive a maximum of seven cards. With these seven cards, each player will try to make as low scoring a hand as possible.
The game begins with each player receiving their two hole cards face-down, and one card face-up. The face-up card is called the door card. The player with the highest value door card will start the betting for the round. If all players have the same value door card, the value is ranked by suit. The ranking for highest to lowest is spades, hearts, diamonds and then clubs.
Once the first round of betting has been completed, each player who is still in the hand will receive another card, also facing up. Betting now begins with the lowest hand facing up, with the minimum bet increasing in the 6th round. In the seventh round, the final card is dealt face down. The 7th and final round begins with the same player who started the 6th round. Once all the bets are in, each player reveals their lowest possible five-card hand from their seven cards. The poker player with the lowest hand wins the pot.
In draw poker, each poker player is dealt their complete hand of cards at the beginning of the game. Each round, players have the opportunity to draw and replace the cards in their hand. Draw poker is the most common type of poker that is played at home with friends and family. With all the cards in each players hands unknown to you, it can be difficult to develop a strategy for your hand based on the cards in play.
Five-card draw is the most commonly-played draw poker game. It is often used as one of the easiest ways to learn poker. Due to the lack of strategy, the game is not often seen at poker tournaments or at a poker casino.
Five-card draw is played with a minimum of two or a maximum of eight players. The object of the game is to have the highest scoring hand at the end of the second round of betting to take the pot.
The game begins with each player putting in their ante. This is an entry bet to be part of the game. You can also play five-card draw with blinds. For blinds, the two players to the left of the dealer will have to put in their bets for the cards to be dealt. The person sitting on the immediate left of the dealer will be the small blind and the person sitting on their left will be the big blind. The big blind has to put in double what the small blind put in.
Once the bets are in for all the players, the cards are dealt. Five cards are dealt face-down to each player. Once everyone has had a look at their own cards, another round of betting ensues. The betting will begin with the person sitting to the left of the dealer, and go clockwise. Each player can call the bet, raise or fold. When playing with blinds, the first round betting will begin with the player sitting on the left of the big blind.
Once all bets for the first betting round are in, the draw round ensues. Starting with the player on the left of the dealer, each player has the opportunity to trade in some or all of their cards. They will give the dealer the cards they want to trade in, and the dealer will draw their new cards from the deck. If a player doesn’t want to trade any cards in, they ‘stand pat’. The player will remain in the game, with the cards they’ve been dealt.
Once every player has had an opportunity to exchange their cards, the second round of betting begins. Much like the first betting round, from the left of the dealer, each player will look at their cards and place an additional bet for their hand. Every player can check in the round and not increase their bet if they prefer not to. If one player increases their bet, the other players will need to call the bet or fold.
When all the bets are in, the showdown begins. Each player reveals their five-card hand and the poker player with the highest hand wins the pot.
Community card poker
Community card poker is a variation of stud poker. It is also known as flop poker. In community card poker each player receives an incomplete hand. These are your hole cards. The dealer then places a number of communal cards that all players can use to complete their hand. These cards are called the board. The board cards are usually dealt one per round. The players will use their hole cards and the communal board cards to build their hand.
The two most well-known community card poker games are Texas Hold’em and Omaha Hold’em. You’ll likely find both in a poker casino, making use of blinds rather than antes for the betting. At home you’ll likely play with an ante.
Texas Hold’em was originally conceptualized in the early parts of the 20th century in Texas. In the 1960s and 1970s it spread to casinos across the USA. It has been televised for many years at big tournaments. Camera angles give viewers a look at the hole cards of each player, which increases the suspense of live poker.
Texas Hold’em has also been extremely popular as an online poker game. Two of the winners of the World Series of Poker qualified for the tournament through online poker qualifying rounds.
A game of Texas Hold’em could make use of both an ante and blinds. If antes are used, each player will need to buy in to be able to receive their hand. Each player is dealt two hole cards face down. The jokers are removed from the deck of 52 cards. Starting with the small blind, a pre-flop round of betting ensues.
Once all the players have called, raised or folded, the dealer will deal the flop. The flop consists of three communal cards being placed face-up on the table, for all players to see. Once the flop has been dealt, the second round of betting will begin.
Once all the active players have called, raised or folded, the dealer will deal a single community card. This card is known as the fourth street or the turn card. After the fourth community card is placed, a third round of betting will begin.
The active players will have to call, raise or fold. If there are at least two active players remaining, the dealer will deal the fifth and final community card. This card is called the fifth street or the river. The fourth round of betting ensues.
If there is still more than one player active after the fourth round of betting, the game ends in a showdown. In the showdown, a player makes the best possible hand of five cards out of the seven cards at their disposal (their two hole cards and the five communal cards). The winner will take the pot.
Each player could use both, one, or none of their hole cards in their showdown hand. As a result, there is the chance of a tie. In this event, a kicker will be used to determine the winner. The kicker is the additional card that makes up the five-card hand. For example, if your five-card hand contains two sets of pairs and a single king, and your opponent has the same set of pairs and a single queen, you will win. The king is more valuable than the queen.
There are occasions when the kicker will be the same, resulting in a tie and a splitting of the pot. In Texas Hold’em, the suits aren’t ranked in value, only their numerical value.
Omaha Hold’em is similar to Texas Hold’em but has formed its own reputation in casinos as a game for poker players with strong-nerves. The main difference between Omaha Hold’em and Texas Hold’em is that each player is dealt four hole cards rather than two. Each round of betting, and how the community cards are revealed, is the same for both games – it is only at the showdown that the differences arise again.
The showdown in Omaha Hold’em requires each player to make their best possible hand using their four hole cards and the five community cards. There are additional rules for the showdown hand. Each player must use two of their hole cards and three of the community cards to make their showdown hand. You can not use more or less of either. This has permutations for the strength of a player’s showdown hand. Whereas in Texas Hold’em a player can use all of the community cards, a player must only use three of them and two of their hole cards.
With each player receiving four hole cards, the bets can mask big bluffs from players. As a result, a game of no-limit Omaha Hold’em can produce a very large pot.
Three card poker
Poker has continued to change with the times. In the 1990s a new version of poker was created call three card poker. It started being played in casinos from the mid 2000s. In this poker variant, you play against the dealer.
To begin the game a player must place an ante or pairs wager. A pairs wager is saying that you’re betting on at least getting a pair. Multiple players can play in the same round, however every player is only playing against the dealer. This is similar to Blackjack.
Once the ante is paid, each player receives three cards face-down, including the dealer. After viewing their own cards, the players have another opportunity to increase their bet or fold. The dealer also has the option to fold. If the dealer folds, the ante is paid to each player in full.
Should neither the player nor the dealer fold, the cards are revealed. Whoever has the stronger hand wins the pot. The ranking in three card poker differs from normal rankings in that a straight is more valuable than a flush. This is because it is more difficult to have a straight in your three cards than a flush.
The rankings in three card poker are:
Three of a kind
For the dealer, their hand needs to contain a queen or higher to play. If the dealer folds, they pay each player their ante. If they play and lose, they pay each player their ante and bet. Most poker casinos will pay out bonuses for very strong hands.
The game has a quick turnaround and can be a lot of fun. It is advised to follow the dealer’s example and only play on hands that contain a queen or higher.
What are the poker hand rankings?
It is essential to know the poker hand rankings for the game you’re playing. Whether you’re playing at home or in poker tournaments online, knowing your hand rankings will help you know how much to bet and when you should fold. It’s often the case that the best poker players are those who know when to fold. In the following sections, you will find the ultimate poker hands guide.
For the most part the poker hand rankings are consistent for straight, stud, draw and community card poker. There are variations for the value of the ace. The ace can either be limited to 1 in low scoring games, i.e lower than 2, or it can be higher ranked than a king in high scoring games. It is important to know how the ace is valued in the poker game you’re playing.
The general poker hand includes five cards. In a showdown, these five cards will determine whether or not you win the pot. As a result a ranking order for the strongest five card hand was determined. Some poker games will have their own specific rules that impact rankings, however for the most well-known poker games, the ranking is consistent.
In a 52-card deck, from highest to lowest, the rankings are as follows:
Four of a kind
Three of a kind
It is worth noting that if you’re using jokers as wildcards with your poker cards, the strongest hand is five of a kind, with the joker being the fifth card along with four of a kind. In three card poker, a straight is ranked higher than a flush because with three cards, it is more probable to get a flush than a straight.
Each of these rankings are explained in more detail in the following sections.
A straight flush is the highest ranking hand in poker, if you are playing without wildcards. To achieve a straight flush you need to have five cards of the same suit in sequential order.
If you’re playing high rules, an ace can operate as either higher than a king or lower than a two, but cannot be both in the same five card hand. For example, you can’t play a jack, queen, king, ace, two as a straight flush. It would need to end at the ace or begin with the ace.
If two players both have a straight flush, the pot will go to the player whose straight flush contains the highest ranking card. The sought-after royal flush is when you have a high ace flush, i.e ace, king, queen, jack, ten. This is the highest ranking hand in poker where no jokers are used in the deck.
Four of a kind
Four of a kind is a five card hand that contains four cards of one rank. The fifth card is called the kicker. This hand is also called ‘quads’ colloquially. It is weaker than a straight flush, but stronger than a full house.
A four of a kind hand is ranked by the rank of the four cards, i.e four queens is stronger than four jacks. If the rank of the four cards is equal between opponents, then the rank is decided by the rank of the kicker. For example, if both players have four queens, you would look to the rank of their fifth card to determine the winner.
If poker players in a showdown share the same rank for both their four of a kind and their kicker, the pot is shared as a tie. All suits are of equal rank.
A full house is when you can utilize all five of your cards in your play with three cards of one rank and two cards of another rank. It is also known as a full boat. It is weaker than four of a kind, but stronger than a flush.
A full house is ranked by the rank of its triplet, and then by its pair. The rank of the triplet is always considered first, even if the rank of the pair is higher than the triplet. For example, a hand of 4,4,4,2,2 is stronger than a hand of 3,3,3,K,K.
If both players share the same rank of triplet, the higher ranking pair will take the pot. If both the triplet and pair of opponents is of equal rank, the pot is shared as a tie. All suits are of equal rank.
A flush is a hand that contains five cards of the same suit but not in sequential order, for example five clubs, hearts, spades or diamonds. It is weaker than a full…