Learning to play poker online

February 16th, 2012 Poker

Interested in learning to play poker with no risk? The easiest way to do this is by playing what is called Freeroll tournaments. A  Freeroll simply means there is no buy-in or cost of entry. You can still win great prizes in a freeroll tournament including cash or entries into the more prestigious tournaments.

Movies often portray poker players as tough cigar chewing men sitting in smokey bars or backrooms. Poker has evolved into professional game played by people from all walks of life. Women make some of the best poker players and there are more entering the game everyday. This has been boosted by some high profile players such as Jennifer Tilly the actress known for her rolls in Hill street blues, Liar Liar and Bullets over broadway.

Jennifer is also a professional poker player and as of 2010 has now won more than $660 000

If your freeroll tournaments prize is entry into a series of tournaments, this is called a satellite tournament. Chris Moneymaker was the first person to qualify for the World Series of Poker by winning $39 Pokerstars satellite tournament. He then went on to win the WSOP  tournament  and the 2.5 million USD, and also became the first person to win by qualifying through an online poker site. From playing alone online to winning the most prestigious poker tournament, Moneymaker proved it can be done.

So before you get started, it is important to familiarise yourself with the 3 basic elements of poker.

  • Hole Cards
  • Community Cards
  • Betting Size

Hole Cards are the cards you start with in your hand. For example in texas holdem, one of the most popular versions of the game, you start with 2 hole cards. 7 Card Stud you start surprisingly enough with 7 and Omaha poker has 4.

Community cards are the cards that are then dealt after the Hole cards and are shared by everyone else in the game. This effectively means you will have some of the same cards in your hand as pthers on the table.

Betting is one of the most important elements of the game. Betting on the most part should reflect the strength of your hand. If you have nothing, or at least a very low chance of winning based on your initial hole cards, then the best strategy is to fold. After all it is a game of minimising your risk so that you only risk your stake when you have a real chance of success.

Betting can also be used a weapon against your opponents. If you can see that your opponents are betting timidly, this may indicate they have a weak hand. It is then possible to intimidate them by betting strongly forcing them to fold in fear.

This is where the real game of poker begins. Learning to see if your opponent is telling the truth by watching their betting or are simply trying to bluff their way to victory is the real skill of poker lies.


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