Poker is a popular card game, although it differs from many others in the sense that people generally gamble when they are playing it. The way in which the cards are dealt lends itself well to rounds of betting, where the excitement and pot build up accordingly.
Various forms of poker have been played for several decades, although the game really grew in popularity at the turn of the century when there was the opportunity to play online poker against people from all over the world.
Since 2001, people who had never considered playing poker were drawn to the various online poker rooms which emerged, with Texas Hold Em becoming the main game to play. Players generally opt to play in a cash game or instead for a Sit and Go tournament where they pay a buy-in and start off with an equal number of chips.
Texas Hold Em is popular because it is a simple form of poker where each player round the table is dealt two private cards. There are then five community cards dealt in the middle of the table, with players trying to form the best possible hand from the combination of private cards and community cards. The best possible hand is a Royal Flush closely followed by 4 of a Kind.
However, online poker is not only about getting the best possible hand, with the betting aspect meaning that the players with the best cards are not always the ones that win the pot. In fact, the art of being a successful online poker player is the ability to convince your rivals that you have the sort of cards that should encourage them to fold their hands.
There are hundreds of online poker websites where you can securely log in and compete against other players. Nearly every online poker room allows you to play for free until you are confident enough to make a deposit and go up against people on real money tables. Even then, you can play for small stakes until you feel more ambitious.
As with sports betting, each poker room offers free chips to new customers in order to attract them to the tables. The free bonus usually comes from regular play at the tables and the amount you receive generally comes down to the amount that you bet.
Nearly every poker room will also run promotions where their players can win seats at big land-based tournaments and the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas is the ultimate competition where bracelets can be won, along with millions of dollars.
It is worth visiting a few online poker websites if you are thinking of playing the game, simply to get an idea of which software you prefer and which operator has the bonus that suits your bankroll.
Many poker rooms actually live on the same network which means that you will effectively be playing people from different poker rooms without realising it. However, your money is always secure with a reputable operator.