The Basics of Online Poker

Online poker is a fun and intellectual game that rewards actual skill unlike slots or the lottery. It is available at any time and for any stakes you wish from the comfort of your own home.

You can play for satellite entries into major tournaments around the world. You can also play cash games whenever you want, day or night.


In the United States, legal online poker is a bit of a mixed bag. Some states have made it legal, while others still consider it to be illegal. It all depends on state laws and whether the federal government takes action.

In 2011, the Department of Justice cracked down on a handful of major online poker sites, including Full Tilt and PokerStars. The crackdown was largely based on the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), which makes it illegal to process payments associated with gambling.

To avoid these issues, most online poker sites use technology to verify that players are in a legal state to play. These methods typically include IP address checking and triangulation via cell phone towers. Some also use software to monitor gameplay for collusion and other issues.


Online poker is a card game played by a group of players over the Internet. The game can be played in tournaments or cash games. In a cash game, each chip has a monetary value and can be cashed in if a player decides to leave the game. A rake is collected from each hand or at time intervals.

Online poker is popular for the same reasons as live poker, it’s a fun intellectual game that rewards actual skill unlike slot machines or the lottery. However, there are a few differences between online and live poker that players should know. For example, online poker requires a computer or mobile device and a stable Internet connection. Players should also ensure that their software is secure and that their passwords are not easily guessed.


The various poker variations available online provide players with a wide range of strategies and thrills. The game can be played in large tables or one-on-one, depending on the player’s preference and skill level. Players can also play mixed games, which combine multiple poker variants in the same session.

The most popular poker game is Texas Hold’em, which requires a high amount of strategy and thought. It’s also the game of choice for many poker masters. New players can start with this variation, which has a low learning curve and plenty of resources for beginners.

Omaha poker is another popular variant, featuring pot-limit betting and a more complex hand structure. Action junkies can find excitement in Omaha, while players who prefer a slower game can enjoy Seven Card Stud and Razz.

Betting intervals

Betting intervals in poker are a crucial element of the game. A player must bet a minimum amount in every betting interval, or drop out. This is a critical decision, as it allows the player to maximize his winnings with good hands and minimize losses with poor ones. It also allows him to react to the action around him, a skill that requires considerable practice.

The player to his left must either call a bet by putting into the pot at least as many chips as the amount of the bet; raise the bet by a set amount; or simply drop out (fold). The process is repeated for each deal, until all players have put their cards in the pot, and there is a showdown.


Poker players can choose between pot limit, fixed limit and no limit games. These betting structures are usually listed alongside the type of game in online poker lobbies. Players can also select the number of rounds they want to play.

In online poker, limits can range from $1-$2 to $10,000 or more. These limits are far lower than the table limits of traditional casinos. They are designed to protect the integrity of the game and keep it from becoming a gambling destination for casual players.

However, some players suggest that setting win limits or loss limits artificially interferes with your ability to assess when game conditions are favorable for you. It is best to avoid these artificial limitations and use them only as a trigger for some intentional thinking.