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Online Poker

Canadian players have plenty of online options for playing poker, with the best choices of where to play depending on different factors, such as bonuses or variety of poker games. Almost all online poker rooms and online casinos that offer poker accept Canadian players. Here we show you all about poker games, from how to play, finding and redeeming bonuses, strategies and tips as well as the betting structure. Begin playing here.

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How poker works & poker hands

It would be impossible to explain how poker works without talking about poker hands. Whilst poker is a relatively simple game and different poker varieties share the same basic rules, it does take time and practice to become a pro.

This is how poker works

Poker is a card game played with multiple players and a dealer. You get a certain amount of chips, and they are in money denominations depending on the stakes of the game you are playing.

In a cash game, you can quit at any time, while in a tournament, you play until you are out or win.

For Texas Hold ’em poker online, there are two antes in the big blind and the small blind. The first two players sitting to the immediate left of the button, which signifies the dealer, have to pay the small and big blind.

The button moves every hand, and after the big and small blind are paid, each player is dealt two cards face down. The player to the immediate right of the button is first to act.

They can either fold, call, which is the same amount of chips as the big blind, or raise. Then the other players follow with their plays making the same call.

After the first round of pre-flop betting takes place three more cards are dealt face-up, called the community cards, which every player can use to try to make the best hand. Another round of betting takes place.

Then one more card called the Turn is dealt face up, and there is another round of betting. Then the last card in the River is dealt face up, and the last round of betting takes place.

Poker hands

After all of the betting action has been completed, the remaining players in the hand show their cards to determine a winner of the pot. The hand rankings in Texas Hold ’em online poker and examples are:

  • High Card – Five cards with no matches. A, K, Q, J, 10 – Ace high.
  • One Pair – Two of the same cards, such as two Jacks.
  • Two Pair – Two pairs of the same card, such as two Jacks and two Aces.
  • Three of a kind – Three of the same cards, such as three fives.
  • Straight – Five cards in a row, such as 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.
  • Flush – Five of the same suit of cards, such as five hearts or five spades.
  • Full House – Three of the same card and two of the same card, such as three Jacks and two Kings.
  • Four of a Kind – Four of the same card such as four Queens.
  • Straight Flush – 5 cards in a row that are all the same suit, such as 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 of spades.
  • Royal Flush – Five cards of the same suit from 10 through Ace, such as 10, J, Q, K, A of diamonds.

Why know poker hands?

The aim is to beat your opponents with the cards you have or fold. You can bluff, which means to make your opponent think you have a good hand, but do not. You have to match or raise the person’s bet before you to stay in the hand. If a player goes all-in, it means they are betting all of their chips, and you have to match them or put in all of your chips if you have less than them. If a player loses going all in, they are out of the game.

3 poker styles

There are three styles of play in online poker, which are:

  • Tight – A tight player is a cautious one and will not play too many hands or bluff often. A tight player will fold more often than not and only play when they have good cards.
  • Loose – A loose player is the opposite of a tight player, as they will play many hands and bluff more often. They are more of a gambling player that will not fold often.
  • Passive – A passive player is not aggressive at the online poker table, as they will call more than raise. This kind of player will let the other players or player at the table dictate the action of the hand.

There are more advanced poker strategies out there, but you have to know the game to start to use them.

Play for real money

There are many options when it comes to playing online poker in Canada for money. There are poker rooms, which are just for poker, and online casinos where you can play online for money. Many sites will have a wide selection of stakes to play the games or tournaments in, so low stakes players and high rollers alike can find the exact game you want to play.

When you play online, you have to buy in, which means buying a certain amount of chips. Then there will be betting limits for the big and small blind that can go up as the game progresses. This goes for cash games and tournaments. The tables for cash games and tournaments for poker online vary when it comes to betting limits, as you can find many for only a few cents per hand up to hundreds of dollars. Basically, you have many choices when you play online for money with all the poker sites out there.

 

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Legalities & rules for online poker

For the most part, online poker is legal, but where it is or not will depend on the where you are. For example, playing poker online in Canada is legal. So any site, whether it’s the best online poker sites in Canada or any online poker site that accepts players from Canada, are legal to play in. You need to ensure that the site is licensed by a legitimate and recognized gaming body, making them legitimate. When it comes to rules, there are different rules for different games, such as Texas Hold ’em, Seven Card Stud, or Razz. Again, Texas Hold ’em is the most popular game in terms of poker online, and the rules are the same. However, before you sit down at an online poker table, you should make sure you read the rules for betting and buy-ins. Take some time to do a little research on the rules of the individual online poker room. This is always the case when playing Texas Hold’em poker online for tournaments or cash games.

Play poker for free

There are many free poker sites and online casinos that allow you to play for free. Playing Texas Hold ’em online is a great way to get to know the game better and learn all the nuances while costing you nothing. Any beginner that starts out playing online should play at free poker sites.

Free poker sites are not only for beginners. If you want to try out a new strategy or betting system, then playing for free is the way to go. You can try out new things and see if they work for you, and you can do it for free.

Many people make the mistake of trying out new strategies and systems playing for money, and more often than not, it will cost them money. There are free poker tournaments online as well that are fun to play in. Also, if you simply want to play online poker for the fun of it, then you can do just that at free poker sites.

Game of skill: poker?

Perhaps no other card game is skill more involved than poker. If you put the best players from the Canadian poker tour against beginners, who always have better starting hands, you can be sure the tour players will win. Yes, there is luck involved, and that is the case with every card game. Still, the skill in knowing hands, positioning, and how to read opponents is crucial when playing poker online.

Some poker tips and myths

There are actually far more – but here we decided to get to just stick to the most common ones associated with this early 19th century card game.

Poker tips

  • Learn the rules of the game, positions of the table, and the poker hand rankings.
  • Start playing low stakes games to learn how betting works when playing for real money.
  • Learn to know poker odds in what you have to do to hit the winning hand and what pot odds you are getting.
  • Do not bluff too much – If you bluff too much, it is likely your opponents will pick up on it and call you often on your bluff.
  • Know when to fold – Poker online is a marathon and not a sprint, and you have to know when to fold so you can stay in the game longer.

Poker myths

  • Colluding is rampant in online poker. Colluding is two players working together at the same table, and with sophisticated gambling software, it is very rare these days.
  • There are more bad beats online – This is simply not the case with the card being random.
  • Online poker is just about reads – While reading your opponent is important, it is just as important to make smart decisions.
  • Poker is a game of luck. Sure good cards help when playing, but you have to know how to play them.
  • Online poker is rigged – This is a common misconception. While cheating has happened in the past, online poker is not rigged with the current software in place.
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Other card games of interest

Card games are enduring and appealing because of their fun, versatility, and the fact they can even accommodate multiple players. Anything from Solitaire, Gin Rummy, Spades to bridge, poker, and baccarat – there is an endless list of card games known. Some card games even use cards which are different to the conventional Jack, Queen, King, Ace cards many of us are so familiar with. Casinos usually offer a limited range of card games but two of the most popular ones remain baccarat and blackjack.

Blackjack

A game whose historical roots are slightly obscure, blackjack is probably a 17th century French card game. Blackjack is like baccarat in that you play against the dealer. The goal of the game is to beat the hand of dealer by scoring either a total of 21 or getting as close as 21 as you possibly can with the cards in hand.

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Baccarat

A game which probably originated in Italy sometimes in the 1400s, it is one of those card games which requires very little skill and in fact is mostly just luck. It is a game in which the house-edge is low which means the wins can be pretty high. The aim of the game is to have a card point total closest to 9.

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