Online Poker

Playing poker online is an exciting way to make a profit and test your skills. Learn all about the different variants you can play and get our pro tips.

Poker is one of the most popular games at online casinos in the Philippines and worldwide. In fact, it’s one of the most famous casino games of all time and has a long history. Besides the huge potential profits the game offers, many gamblers love it for its thrilling gameplay. Besides a bit of luck, to win players need some skills and a smart strategy. So, if that sounds exciting then you’d love online poker as well – a digital version of this casino classic. In this full guide, we’ll walk you through all the details you need to know before playing so stick around.

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A Brief History of Poker

The evolution of poker begins way back in the 16th century with its Persian predecessor “As Nas”. But actually, poker, as we know it now, can be traced to France, where the game “Poque” was gaining popularity. Later when French colonialists made their way to America, they introduced the game to people settled there. Of course, they put their own American twist to it and that’s how modern poker was born. Soon after, many other variants emerged and spread globally thanks to American soldiers.

Poker Glossary

Of course, just like any other game, online poker comes with a plethora of terms that players must know to play. So, here are the basics:

  • All-in – Going all-in is to bet everything in a single move.
  • Ante – Ante is the initial bet players make before the game starts.
  • Bank – The bank, the house, or the casino, takes all bets and pays out winners.
  • Blind – Blind bets can be small or big but they’re always forced and depend on players’ position.
  • Call – To make a ‘call’ in poker is to bet the same as what previously has been wagered.
  • Check – To check simply means that you are not raising the previous bet, betting, or even folding. However, it’s only possible if there are no previous bets.
  • Dealer – The dealer facilitates the poker game, hands out cards, and takes bets on behalf of the house.
  • Draw – The draw is a poker hand that isn’t complete and not yet valuable.
  • Fold – If the hand you have isn’t looking good you can give up and fold it.
  • Raise – If your hand seems promising you can raise it by placing a bet higher than that of the big blind. The other players will have to match this or fold.
Online Poker Guide

Types of Poker Hands

The point of online poker is to achieve the most valuable hand possible. So, obviously, different card combinations result in the poker hands of different values. From lowest to highest ranking, here are the hands:

  • High Card – A high card hand is sometimes called a “nothing-hand” because it contains 5 totally mismatched cards – not consecutive, same ranking, or from the same suit.
  • Pair – A pair is a hand with two cards of the same rank and the other 3 can be anything.
  • 2 Pair – Similar to the previous combo, this hand contains 2 pairs of the same rank cards and 1 other.
  • Three of a Kind – Simply put, there are 3 cards of the same rank and 2 other not matching cards.
  • Straight – A straight has five cards of ranks that are consecutive but not from the same suit.
  • Flush. This hand contains 5 cards of the same suit. They don’t have to be consecutive.
  • Full House – This hand consists of 2 sets of cards with matching ranks. 2 cards from 1 rank and another 3 cards with a different rank.
  • Four of a Kind – Although they are of different suits, this hand has 4 cards of the same rank. The 5th card can be anything.
  • Straight Flush – 5 consecutive cards from the same suit are a straight flush. 
  • Royal Flush. This is a ten, Queen, King, Jack, and Ace from the same suit.
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How to Play Poker

Playing online poker may seem a little complicated at first, but it’s actually not that difficult. First, it all begins with the 2 compulsory bets for players – the big and the small blind. Usually, a poker game has 4 rounds – preflop, flop, turn, and river. For all of the rounds, the player on the left-hand side of the big blind kicks off the playing process. But at the beginning, the first card from the deck, the burn card, is discarded. Moreover, this player and most of the players have the option of calling, raising, or folding. By the end of the rounds, all players should have the same stake. 

In the flop round, the process starts with the small blind and the 3 community cards become available for all to see. So, players now have 5 cards (plus their 2 private cards) to start making their moves. In some variants, players can use wildcards to replace other cards. The turn round will see one extra card added to the community cards and the same goes for round four. The player with the best 5-card hand emerges as the winner and takes all the rewards. But not all players make it to the end, as some choose to fold. Those who draw a kill card have no choice but to fold.

Betting Structures and Limits

One of the major aspects to consider when choosing what online poker game to play is the betting structure. Your real money casino might offer one or more of the following: no limit, fixed limit, and pot-limit games. While in no-limit poker you can bet and raise whatever amount you want, fixed-limit games have a pre-set cap on the bets. On the other hand, pot-limit poker games still restrict the bet size but in this case, the maximum cap equals the pot. So, as the pot grows with more chips coming in, so does the maximum bet limit.

Table Sizes and Numbers of Players

Of course, online poker variants can also have a different number of players involved, depending on the version you choose. Actually, a regular poker table can host up to 10 players at once. If there are, indeed, 10 people playing then that would be a full-ring game. But if there are just a few, say 3 or 4, then it is a shorthanded poker game. Alternatively, you can also opt to play heads-up poker which allows for only two players.

Types of Poker

Popular Online Poker Variants

There are quite a few types of poker that you can choose from online. However, real money casinos in the Philippines most commonly offer these popular options:

Texas Hold’em

Texas Hold’em is such a popular variant that it has almost become synonymous with poker. Hence, virtually all online casinos nowadays offer this poker game. It involves 5-card hands and more often than not, only 2 players will make it to the final round.

Omaha

Omaha poker is also incredibly popular and available just about anywhere. The major difference between it and Texas Hold’em is that players get 4 individual cards instead of 2. In addition, you must use at least 2 of those to complement the community cards.

5-card Draw

Arguably, the 5-card draw is so popular because it is a little simpler to grasp. Basically, there are no community cards. Instead, players get 5 of their own and can opt to call, raise, or fold like in other variants. In addition, players can draw more cards from the deck.

Stud

Stud poker is another commonly available option and you can play either the 5 or 7-card variation. Just like a 5-card draw, stud poker also doesn’t have community cards. However, opponents get to see 1 of your 3 starting cards as it’s facing up.

Caribbean Stud

There are several types of poker that are played against the dealer. One of the most popular is Caribbean Stud Poker. This poker game is the very first game of this type without exchanging cards. It appeared in the mid-80s in one of the gambling establishments on the island of Aruba.

Chicago High/Low

Chicago High and Low Poker are very similar to 7-card Stud. However, when it comes to the winner, the pot is usually split in half. In both Chicago High and Low, one-half of the pot goes to the player with the best hand. But the other half of the pot goes to the player with the highest-ranking Spade hole card in Chicago High and the lowest-ranking Spade hole card in Chicago Low.

3 Card Poker

Another popular fast-paced poker game played against the dealer is 3 Card Poker. This type of poker is relevantly new, it was invented in the 90s, and the goal was to invent a fast table card game of poker, it was reached successfully. but is gaining popularity among online players quickly.

Follow the Queen

If you already love 7-card stud poker but want to change things up, Follow the Queen might be for you. Basically, this is 7-card stud poker but with wild cards to make things a bit more exciting. 

Free to Play and Real Money Online Poker

When you play poker online, you can either play in real money mode for the chance to win some cash or try the demo versions. Free-to-play games are available on most gaming platforms and are a great way to feel a new game. You can also use demo mode to try a new strategy or just enjoy a risk-free session. But there’s nothing quite like the thrill of the risk and not to mention, with free play, you don’t get to keep your winnings. So if you are looking to profit, real money play is the way to go.

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Live Dealer Games Vs. Online Poker

Besides real cash or for free, online poker can also be software-based or live. Especially for players who miss the real casino atmosphere, they will find an answer at live casinos. Of course, live dealer versions of poker are widely available and you’ll get to play against real opponents. In addition, you can interact with the dealers and other players in real time via a chat. But software-based online poker can be just as exciting, albeit without a real dealer to facilitate the game. In this case, it’s just a pre-programmed software/algorithm that you will play against.

How to Find the Best Online Poker Destination

When choosing where to play online poker, there are several factors you should always consider. First, always make sure that your casino has a proper license and takes the necessary safety precautions to protect your data. In addition, have a look at the available bonuses and promotions and pick the casino with the best offers. If the casino supports a wide range of convenient and safe payment options, it’s always a good sign. And of course, the operator should have the casino games you are personally looking for.

What About Video Poker?

Video poker is an interesting fusion of five-card poker and online slots. If you already know how to play poker, then this will be a breeze. Basically, you play video poker against a computer and try to make the best of the randomly generated cards you get. Of course, you can pick and choose what cards to keep and which ones to discard. Commonly available options you may come across include Joker’s Wild, Deuces Wild, and Jack or Better.

Mobile Online Poker

Mobile-friendly Online Poker

If you are always on the go or just prefer gaming from your phone, most online casinos in the Philippines have got you covered. Usually, gambling platforms nowadays invest effort into accommodating mobile users. Hence, you can definitely play online poker from a mobile device if you want to. While most mobile casinos are accessible via standard browsers, some extra-competitive operators even have mobile apps.

Our Pro Tips

Especially for those with less experience, online poker can seem rather intimidating. So to help you acclimate a little faster, here are our pro tips for playing smarter:

  • Don’t be afraid to fold;
  • Strong hands = making money, so play them fast;
  • Always defend the big blind;
  • Avoid limping;
  • Semi-bluff and study your opponents;
  • Make less but more aggressive moves.

Summary

Online poker is a player’s favorite because of its exciting gameplay. Besides luck, you’re going to need some skill as well but the prize is worth it. Moreover, there are literally dozens of variants to choose from, and definitely something for every preference. So, if you’re ready to play, the next thing to do is find a great gaming destination. You can save time by checking out our casino reviews to discover the top operators on the market in the Philippines. 

FAQ

Poker strategies are aimed at producing a winner that captures the game’s pot. The pot includes all the players (including the winner’s) bet and its equivalent reward in all the game’s rounds.

No. By folding, you withdraw from the game and lose your stake. But you can always play another one.

Texas Hold’em is unarguably the most popular type of poker in the world. Hence why most casinos offer it.

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