If you’re tired of trying your luck and would rather test your skills, then play online poker. Poker is a game that combines both luck and skill, but players who have developed good enough strategy can increase their odds of winning and earn big. So grab yourself a virtual seat at the table and test your skill.
The Rules of Online Bitcoin Poker
Online poker basically follows the same rules as are followed in walk in casinos. The interface that you’ll see is a virtual poker table with automated chips and cards. You may also find live dealer poker options, in which case, you’ll stream a live video of a dealer at an actual table.
Let’s take a look at Texas Hold ‘Em, which is one of the most popular poker games online. In Texas Hold ‘Em poker, a player has two cards that are face down on the table that only the player has the advantage of seeing. There are also five cards that lay face up in the middle of the table, community cards, that all players at the table can use to complete the best 5-card hand possible.
After all players receive their two pocket cards, a round of betting is held. The player to the immediate left of the dealer must play what’s known as a “small blind”. The “small blind” is an ante that is half of the minimum bet. The player to the left of the “small blind” is required to play the “big blind”, the “big blind” is equal to the minimum bet. Betting continues around the table and players either call the minimum bet, raise, or fold.
After the first round of betting concludes, the dealer places three cards face-up on the table as what’s known as the “flop”. After the flop, another round of betting is held. After the second round of betting, the dealer lays another card face up on the table, and a third round of betting is held. After this round, the final (fifth) card is placed face up on the table, and the final round of betting is held. After the final round of betting, all players reveal their pocket cards, and the highest possible hand is determined. The best hand wins the bitcoin on the table, with the exception of a small tax taken by the casino, known as the “rake”.
Ranking Poker Hands
Now, let’s look at what it takes to get you that winning hand. Read below for an outline of the different values of possible combinations in a 5-card poker hand. Once you’ve familiarized yourself with these combinations, you’ll be a much faster and more relaxed player and have an advantage over others at the table. For your convenience, the hands are listed in value from lowest to highest.
- One Pair – a hand with a pair of cards (two cards of the same rank)
- Two Pair – a hand with two sets of pairs (for example: two aces and two 3’s)
- Three of a Kind – three cards with the same rank
- Straight – a hand with sequential cards in different suits (for example: 5,6,7,8,9)
- Flush – a hand with all cards of the same suit, with non-sequential ranks
- Full House – two of a kind and three of a kind in the same hand (for example: two aces and three kings)
- Four of a Kind – four cards of the same rank
- Straight Flush – a sequential hand all of the same suit (for example: 2,3,4,5,6; all clubs)
- Royal Flush – a straight flush of the highest rank, this is a 10, jack, queen, king, and ace, all belonging to the same suit
Bitcoin Poker Terminology
We’ve defined some of the basic terms of bitcoin poker to help you feel more comfortable at the table.
- Ante – a stake put in by players before cards are dealt
- Blinds – forced bets that are required from the two players to the left of the dealer
- Small blind – this is an ante with an amount that is half of the minimum bet; in Texas Hold ‘Em, this forced bet assumed by the player to the immediate left of the dealer
- Big Blind – this is the forced bet required from the player seated second left of the dealer; the amount is the minimum bet
- Check – this is an action a player can take to defer betting rights, passing the action to the next player
- Raise – this is an action a player takes while betting to increase the opening bet
- River – in poker variations that have community cards, like Texas Hold ‘Em, the river is the last card that is dealt
- Muck – discarded cards from folded hands
- Hole Cards/Pocket Cards – in Texas Hold ‘Em, these are the two cards that are facedown on the table, only seen by the player to whom the cards are dealt
Instant Play Bitcoin Poker Games
Picking up a poker game has never been easier. There’s no need to organize a group for a table or follow a time schedule. With flash poker, you can access tournaments and games instantly, whether on your desktop or mobile browser. Sign in to your favorite casino, make a deposit (if you haven’t already), and play poker. It’s that simple.
Bitcoin Poker Payouts
Like they do for most other casino games, online bitcoin casinos offer free play demo poker tables. Free poker games let you play risk free, without wagering any bitcoin, but you also don’t have the opportunity to win any real bitcoin. Free play can be a great way to develop strategy to apply to real betting games.
Poker Game Varieties
You’ll find a great variety of poker games available online in bitcoin casinos. Stick with your favorite, or play different tables, either way you’ll never get bored.
- Texas Hold ‘Em – players have two pocket cards and create the best possible 5-card hand with the five communal cards dealt on the table
- 5-card Stud – players are dealt five cards face-down and must create the best possible hand
- 7-card Stud – this version features lots of rounds of betting, no blinds, no community cards, and sometimes up to seven cards in a hand
- Omaha Hold ‘Em – players have four pocket cards, otherwise similar to Texas Hold ‘Em
- Razz – the goal of this unique game is to create the lowest 5-card hand possible (ace-to-5), sometimes called lowball poker
Casino Poker Games
Many online bitcoin casinos now also offer a casino version of popular poker games.
- Pai Gow – this poker game is played with a 53-card deck (the joker is included as a type of wild card). The players are dealt seven cards, which they must split into two hands, one hand with five cards and the other with two. Players must try to make the best hands possible out of both hands, but the five-card hand must score higher than the two-card hand.
- Let It Ride – the player plays against the dealer in this poker game. The player is dealt three cards, at which point the player can cancel the first bet or ‘let it ride’ (keep the bet). Five community cards are then dealt on the table and again, the player has the chance to ‘let it ride’. The hand is then counted and winnings are paid out accordingly.
- Casino Hold ‘Em – this is a Hold ‘Em game in which players play against the house (a computer). These sometimes offer a progressive jackpot side bet, giving the opportunity to win big.
- Red Dog – First, the dealer deals two face-up cards on the table.
Then, if the two cards are consecutive in rank, the hand is a ‘push’, and all players’ wagers are canceled and returned.
If the first two cards are equal in rank, a third card is dealt. If the third card reveals three of a kind, the player is awarded a payout of 11:1. If the third card does not make three of a kind, the hand is a ‘push’.
If the first two cards are neither consecutive nor equal in rank, the player can double their bet if desired, and the dealer draws a third card. If the value of the third card is between the values of the first two cards dealt, then the player is awarded a payout. (For payouts on Red Dog games, see the games pay table provided by the hosting casino.)
Video Poker – this is an extremely popular casino game. Many players find video poker to be closer to slots than cards, but it does have similar scoring to a traditional five-card poker game.
Poker Tournaments vs. Sit and Go Poker
The two main styles of online poker games you’ll come across are tournaments and sit and go.
Poker Tournaments for Bitcoin – Each player in online tournament style poker begins with the same amount of chips. Then, players compete until one player has won all of the chips from the other players. Tournaments can range in scale from one table with just seven or nine players, to thousands of players.
Sit and Go Poker – Sit and Go tables require less time commitment than a tournament. At a Sit and Go table, a player joins with however many chips they choose, and can leave with however many chips they have at any time.
Poker is a unique casino game in that the outcome relies on both luck and skill. Online bitcoin poker is especially exciting in that you can sit down whenever, wherever, and join a poker table or even tournament. And sometimes, walk away with a bitcoin jackpot.