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Poker news | Jun 29, 2022

What to know before playing poker online

By RTR Dennis

What to know before playing poker online feat image

The world of online poker seems to be having a major resurgence lately with more controversy than ever. More and more players are playing online poker than ever before! Here at RakeTheRake we love to see this incredible fanbase growing, but we also want to provide a quick guide for any new players so that they have the best chance possible when they start out.

How to play Poker

We want to share with you the rules of a poker game, some basic poker strategy before you risk any amount of money playing a cash game. By the end of this guide you'll know exactly how and where to play online poker.

First things first, we have to learn the rules to the game. As with most things, it's very simple to learn how to play poker and almost impossible to master. For the purposes of this explanation we'll imagine that we are playing an online poker game and there are 5 other players at the table, so 6 in total, which is the normal amount for the type of poker I will be explaining today, texas hold em, the most common variant of poker and the one you will probably recognise from film and TV.

Each person is dealt two cards, that only they can see. Before the cards are dealt the big blind and the small blind need to be placed. The small and big blinds are initial bets that need to be made by players sat in that position. Small blind and big blind are commonly referred to as SB and BB, respectively. The size of the BB and SS will depend on the stakes of the game, so for example, 5/10, 1/2 or 0.25/50. The big blind is the person who is sat to the left of the dealer, and the small blind is to the left of the big blind. Don't worry too much about this when playing online as the poker software will keep track of this for you.

After each players cards are dealt, the player to the left of the BB makes the first decision on betting, this position is commonly referred to as "under the gun" or "UTG". The UTG has 3 choices, they can either "Fold", "Call" or "Raise". If they fold they give up their cards and they sit out of this round of poker. If they call then they match the current bet, which at the beginning is the same amount as the big blind. if they raise then they increase the bet, the minimum amount they can raise by is the amount of the previous bet, so in this example, the big blind. So if they choose to raise and the BB is $10, they must bet at least $20, there are often upper limits to how much you can bet, which will be explained in the name of the game, unless of course you are playing "no limit" poker, which is where the name comes from.

After the first poker player makes their decision then the next can choose to fold, call or raise and it continues like this around the table until it reaches the BB again. If no raise has been made by the time it reaches the big blind then he can decide to "check", checking is essentially the same as calling, it means they don't wish to increase the size of the bet, the difference being, a call is adding chips up the current level, whereas a check is not adding any chips and leaving the bet at the current value.

Once the players have finished a full round of play, then 3 cards are dealt face up to the center of the table, this is referred to as a "flop". After the flop, the first person to act is the small blind and then the big blind and so on. The betting goes round the table as before the flop, with each person making a decision to fold, check, call or raise.

After that betting round, one more card is dealt face up in the center of the table, this is known as the "turn". As before, the SB acts first and then the betting goes around the table.

After this betting round, the final card is dealt face up. This is known as the "river". The final round of betting begins and goes around the table until every player has either folded or called the bet.

The last stage of the round is the "showdown", every player that is still in the game must show their cards, starting with the SB. The player with the best hand wins, which leads nicely on to the next section.

Hand Rankings

This is the simplest part of the poker rules, because it never changes. The order of the poker hands goes.

Royal Flush < Straight Flush < Four of a kind < Full House < Flush < Straight < Three of a Kind < Two Pair < Pair < High Card

We've gone into more detail into each of these hands in our Poker Hand Ranking Guide.

Best Online Poker Rooms

There are many online poker sites out there, that each have their own positives and negatives. Our advice is to sign up to at least 3 different poker rooms so you can benefit from several welcome bonuses. There is also a higher likelihood that one of the sites will offer a bonus that will be applicable to you.

Here at RakeTheRake we have partnered with many different poker rooms and we have thoroughly vetted and reviewed each one. If we were to choose the 3 best sites then we would have to recommend GGPoker, Party Poker and Unibet, though there are others, so do take a second to look at the biggest and best poker sites available.

Each of these sites offer something a little bit different, whether that's eye catching design, massive poker tournaments or unique bonuses and promotions. Try out a few different places and see what fits you the best. There really isn't a "right" place to play poker, just whichever one you like the most. We've independently vetted each of these sites to make sure they are safe and secure for our players before the deposit real money.

Claim Rakeback

This is a commonly overlooked factor in playing poker online as people often don't even consider the obvious question, "how does a poker site make money?". The answer is they take "Rake". Rake is a fee that every online casino and poker room takes from their players for the privilege of playing there. The amount of rake varies between sites and games.

But here's the secret they don't want you to know. You can claim it back!

Claim your rakeback from all these poker sites and you can play poker for almost nothing. For example, you could claim up to 85% of your rakeback from Unibet. Depending on how much you play, that could be hundreds, even thousands a year!

Don't be stupid, sign up today, there is no catch, no trick, just a simple way to earn more money whilst playing poker.

Follow our easy sign-up guide or if you have any questions get in touch on Twitter.