Thursday, June 05, 2008

Learning To Play Poker Online

There’s a big difference between playing poker online today and the typical 5 Card Draw games we learned to play as children, with pennies or even candy as the prize. If you’ve ever seen the World Series of Poker, you know the games have changed significantly, consistently mostly of Texas Hold’em, with the occasional Omaha and 7 Card Stud, plus their Hi-Lo variations.

Learning how to play poker online is actually the easiest step in the process of becoming a skilled online poker player. There are plenty of web sites developed with the intention of teaching beginners how to play poker, including the rules of Texas Hold’em and other variations, as well as limits, blinds and betting structures.

When we think of a poker game, we think of a group of friends sitting around the kitchen table, sharing stories and tossing chips into the pot as a way to relax and unwind from the week’s difficulties. However, when it comes to online gaming, simply knowing how to play poker isn’t enough. There is another aspect that draws an average of 66% of all online poker players – tournaments.

Poker tournaments come in all varieties; from sit’n’go tournaments and guaranteed prize pools to Freeroll competitions and satellites to bigger events. It is important to understand the difference between each poker tournament before attempting to enter one, giving the player a much better chance of claiming a prize.

Freeroll tournaments are generally the favorite of beginner poker players, as they do not cost anything to enter, but offer a real prize pool to the winners. Freeroll tournaments are a great way to compile a decent bankroll without investing much, if anything, in the process. They are also a great way to gain experience in poker tournaments without risking anything.

Sit’n’Go poker tournaments are also quite popular, when compared to multi-table tournaments. The biggest difference is that a Sit’n’Go tournament begins as soon as enough players are seated, where as a multi-table has a specific start time scheduled, leaving registered players waiting for the onset of the poker tournament. Sit’n’Go poker tournaments also have less participants, usually 9, 27 or 45 at most (9 per table). A multi-table can allow for 100, 500, 1,000 or even more participants to register. Obviously, for a new poker player especially, it is easier to win a Sit’n’Go – not to mention less time consuming.

Guaranteed prize tournaments (known as GP) have a preset prize pool that will be distributed amongst the top finishers, no matter how many players enter. For example, a GP may have a prize pool of $5,000, and a buy-in of $10. This means it would take 500 entries to pay off the $5,000 prize. If only 200 participants register, the prize is still $5,000. However, should 1,000 players register, the prize is trumped to $10,000. GPs are also a common favorite among online poker players.

With a full understanding of how to play poker, in cash games and tournament style, the final step is to practice your new-found knowledge at an online poker room. There are literally thousands to choose from, but to make it easier, but it is recommended to read unbiased reviews to help assist in finding the most suitable site to play poker online.

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