Online Poker for Money

Online poker may have faced certain difficulties back in the early 2000’s, but there’s simply no denying the fact that poker networks still attract thousands of players from all over the world on a daily basis. Consequently, the competition between those sites is extremely tight, which means that poker enthusiasts have the luxury of being able to take advantage of some of the best bonuses and promotions available in the entire online gambling world.

However, the amazing bonuses aren’t the only reason to play online instead of visiting your local card room. Online poker sites allow you to play more hands over limited periods of time, giving you a chance to reduce variance and maximize your profits. Furthermore, online tournaments are far more frequent than their live counterparts, which means that you’ll be able to compete for millions of dollars each weekend – and if that wasn’t enough, the massive size of online player pools means that you won’t have any problems with finding people who are willing to play even the most exotic variants of the game.

Typical Poker Games Offered

When referring to online poker, most people actually mean Texas Hold’em – the most popular variation of the game. Texas Hold’em ring games are played by up to 10 players, with each player receiving two hole cards that can be combined with the board to create a winning combination. The board is composed of five cards, which are revealed throughout three rounds of betting. However, many sites support other popular poker variants, such as Omaha and Seven Card Stud.

Omaha is played with four hole cards instead of two, which calls for a different set of strategies and tactics. Seven Card Stud used to be the most popular poker game before the advent of Texas Hold’em and features a slightly different rule set, with each player receiving two downcards and one upcard at the start of the hand, as well as three more upcards and a downcard during throughout four betting rounds. Other, less popular poker variants include Razz, Omaha Hi-Lo, Ace-5 Lowball, Badugi and more.

Cash Games

Cash games are often referred to as ring games and are the most popular and easiest way to play online poker. The basic premise is very simple: each game can be joined at any point in time as long as there’s a free spot at the table, and each player competes for chips which represent pre-determined amounts of money. Cash Games are often categorized by betting limits. No Limit games place no restrictions on the size of your bets, while in Pot Limit games you won’t be able to place a wager that exceed the size of the pot.

Fixed Limit games are definitely the least popular group and involve a pre-determined bet limit that simply can’t be exceeded. As you’d expect, each of those variants requires a different approach, which makes it convenient for players to specialize and start turning profit by playing a very specific type of poker game. Quite obviously, cash games are played at different stakes, which in the case of No Limit Texas Hold’em can range from as low as $0.01/$0.02 to as high as $200/$400.

Single-Table Sit and Go Tournaments

Single-table SnG tournaments are small tournaments with no scheduled starting time that usually involve two, six, nine or ten players and that take off as soon as there’s enough players to fill all the seats. Like most poker tournaments, STTs require you to pay a buy-in to join the action and contribute to the overall prize pool, which is later split between the most successful players. The most popular format is a knockout tournament, which begins with each player receiving a pre-determined amount of chips and ends with the last man standing.

However, many poker networks offer additional formats, which often involve additional rules that might have a serious impact on payout structure or proper strategy. All things considered, STTs are fairly fast and don’t require you to invest as much time as the larger, multi-table events, which makes them perfect for players who’d like to practice tournament play without having to adjust to the on-site tournament schedule.

Multi-Table Tournaments

As the name implies, pre-scheduled multi table tournaments are played on multiple tables at once, with players being shipped around from table to table as the event goes on. Much like a typical Sit and Go, a MTT begins with each player being given an equal number of chips and concludes when only one man remains. However, unlike STTs, the largest MTTs may involve literally hundreds of players, which means that getting to one of the top spots is more than likely to result in a life-changing payout. Most sites tend to focus on No Limit Texas Hold’em MTTs due to the overwhelming popularity of this variant of the game, but Pot Limit Omaha events aren’t all that hard to find, especially when it comes to major poker networks.

Making a Deposit and Cashing Out

Online poker sites support a wide range of banking options, but keep in mind that the availability of specific deposit and withdrawal methods in some countries may be limited. The most popular way of funding your poker account is to use a credit or debit card like Visa or MasterCard or an e-wallet service like PayPal, but some sites also support Western Union money orders or even bank wire transfers. In most cases, your deposit will be credited to your account instantly with no fees involved, but keep in mind that some payments might take a while to process.

Cashing out is slightly more complicated, as many sites prefer their customers to use the same method that was used to make a deposit due to security concerns. Whenever this kind of approach is not possible, most poker rooms will default to traditional bank wire transfers, but some might allow you to request a withdrawal via a check by courier. Finally, it is worth pointing out that your first payout might take significantly longer than the following requests, as most sites will require you to provide additional personal information in order to prevent fraud and underage gambling. On the bright side, this information can be submitted well in advance of placing an actual request, which should speed up the entire process and allow you to receive your winnings within a week or two.