Playing Online Poker in the USA. Online poker has taken the world by storm. The most popular form of online poker for US players is No Limit Texas Hold’em where the aim of the game is to make the best five card poker hand. All the top US online poker rooms and casinos offer all the most popular poker games to their players, including No Limit Hold’em, Pot Limit Omaha, plus others.
Each poker variant has its own set of rules that all players must adhere to so it’s definitely a good idea to read up on the game’s rules before you play for real money. There is also Limit and Pot Limit Texas Hold’em games but due to thrilling action that No Limit Hold’em provides, it has proven to be the most popular at online poker rooms.
The poker game starts with two players posting forced bets, also known as blinds. The player directly to the left of the dealer’s button posts the small blind and the player to the left of them posts the big blind. For example, in a $1/$2 NLHE game, the small blind is $1 and the big blind is $2. These blind bets help to start building a pot before the flop.
In Texas Hold’em each player is dealt two hole cards face down. Keeping the value of the cards to themselves, during the pre-flop round of betting, players must decide whether or not to continue in the hand. If he/she wants to see a flop they must place a bet that is at least equal to the big blind. If there has been a raise before you, then you’re required to match the previous bet.
If all the players just call the big blind bet, then the player in the big blind can decide to check and see the flop at no additional cost. US online poker players have the option to fold and muck their hands pre-flop, if they feel they have little chance of winning the hand.
Once all the players still active in the hand have called all bets and raises, the computer will place three cards in the middle of the table. These are referred to as “community” cards as they are shared by all players to make the best possible hand. A second round of betting occurs after the flop, starting with the first active player directly to the left of the dealer. The minimum bet is equal to the big blind, and it remains this way for all future rounds of betting.
Once all the players have placed their bets, the computer will place a fourth community card, known as the turn, in the center of the table. Then another round of betting occurs.
Then a last and final community card is dealt, known as the river, and the fourth round of betting starts with the remaining players still left in the game.
At the end of the river round of betting, if all bets are called, then a showdown takes place, and the player with the highest value hand wins the pot. A straight flush beats 4 of a kind, 3 of a kind beats 2 pair, and so on. If no player has a pair, then the player with the highest ranked card wins the pot, and if two or more players have the exact same hand, then the pot is split.