Poker – The Online Boom

Actually, poker in Germany was once a little out of date. The classic draw poker was mostly known here, in which the player holds five cards in his hand and tries to form the strongest hand by swapping over several betting rounds. But with the emergence of large online poker rooms such as Poker Stars, Full Tilt, or Party Poker, the strategy-heavy variant of Texas Holdem also caught on in this country.

types of poker

If you didn’t know better, you could get the impression in recent years that the words poker and boom should always appear together in one sentence, according to a spelling rule. But driven by the Internet and a steadily increasing television presence, the game of poker has actually experienced a surge in popularity over the past few decades that is unparalleled. And it is these recurring success stories of pale boys in hoodies who play their way out of their room to the WSOP final table and thus to unexpected wealth that continue to fuel this boom. Not everyone can afford to participate in the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. The WSOP tickets cost $ 10,000 and are therefore not affordable for everyone. Especially not if you are not a professional poker player. Long-term practice is a must so that not every bluff trick is immediately discovered.

Poker is no longer just a game of chance, but rather a brain teaser with an element of chance. There is hardly a poker site that does not have its own poker school, where players are taught the know-how of poker greats such as Daniel Negreanu, Phil Ivy, and Phil Helmuth, from basic concepts to sophisticated strategy.

Generally applicable basic rules

In most game variations, poker is played with a traditional French hand and 52 cards. For each of the four colors, the cards from the 2 to the ace are included in the deck.

The number of participants must be at least 2 and should not exceed 10.

Before the start of a round, the participating players make the basic stakes, which can then be increased in the course of the game on the basis of the map. Players whose cards do not promise success can fold at any time during the individual game rounds without having to make further bets.

At the end of the round, the cards of the remaining players are rated according to the known ranking of the poker hands and the pot is awarded to the player with the highest hand. It can also happen that the profit has to be shared between several players.

Poker variants

The more than one hundred known poker variants can be roughly classified into three categories of Draw, Stud, and Hold’em. These differ mainly in the way in which the players receive their cards.

While Seven Card Stud was the dominant variant of the game until the 1990s, it has now been largely replaced by the extremely popular Texas Hold’em. The attraction of this Holds ’em game lies in the fact that the players only receive two cards in hand and these are supplemented by 5 community cards during the course of the round. The player receives a lot of information on the basis of which he can build his strategy. As a result, the luck factor is also lower than with many other poker variants, in which you only know your own cards and can hardly draw conclusions about the hands of your opponents.

Even if Texas Hold’em is played at what appears to be 90% of all tables and attracts almost the entire media interest, you can play a variety of different poker variants at the major poker providers and thus maybe discover a different version of the game for yourself. At this point, we should at least mention the different Omaha variants, which, in contrast to Texas Hold’em, are played with 4 cards in hand and which also enjoy certain popularity.

How do I find the right provider for online poker?

If you decide to play online poker for real money, you should take some time to find the right provider for you. Basically, you can differentiate between pure online poker providers and online casinos. The latter offers a variety of other games of chance in addition to poker, which could certainly give you a little variety and new experiences. A pure online poker provider, on the other hand, will usually offer a better package in terms of game, table, and tournament selection and should be your choice if you want to concentrate fully on the game of poker. Before choosing a provider, find out about their bonus programs and promotions. The offer should also include regular freeroll tournaments in which you can participate for free and still win or win.

How do I find the right table?

After you have registered with the online poker provider of your choice and downloaded the required software, it is always advisable to play a few rounds for play money first. Every reputable provider will offer you this option so that you can familiarize yourself with the controls and the processes.

Only when you dare to play for real money should you actually make a reasonable deposit and start looking for a suitable table.

In principle, the provider’s lobby gives you the opportunity to take part in so-called “cash games” (also known as ring games) or in tournaments.

In a cash game, if there is a free seat at the table, you can buy in at any time with a certain amount of money limited by the table maximum and have this converted into chips. So you are playing for the actual value of your money. The stakes (blinds) and limits at the table remain the same during the course of the game and you are allowed to withdraw and leave the table at any time.

In contrast, in tournament poker, you buy into a tournament with the so-called buy-in and then try to achieve the best possible final placement with the available chips. Tournaments are played in knockout mode and are not over until the winner has kicked all other participants out of the tournament. The money earned through the buy-in will be divided among the best-placed participants after the tournament has ended according to a fixed payout structure.

What tips should I pay attention to at the beginning?

It is advisable to select tables with low stakes or buy-ins at the beginning. The quality of the opponents usually increases with the use of the table. So feel your way carefully to higher stakes and don’t be afraid to step back to the “cheaper places” if you can’t hold a candle to your opponents.

Work permanently on your poker strategy and follow it with discipline. Do not play unnecessarily bad starting hands and instead make a raise if you have a good starting hand. Always remain unpredictable without overdoing it with bluffing.

Set limits for the maximum profit or loss at which you will leave the table and stick to these limits!

Find out about upcoming freeroll tournaments and other attractive events regularly in the announcements from your provider and register in good time.

Beware of scammers! Even if there is certainly no opponent sitting at the table with a marked card in online poker, there are various ways to gain an advantage. In this context, one often hears about smaller groups who sit down together at tables and use VoIP software to exchange information about cards being played. So if you suspect the behavior of your opponents, don’t be afraid to switch to another table.


( Source: YouTube | Channel @World Poker Tour )


Poker terms

In the following, we will explain the most common and important poker terms to you using examples and simple explanations.

In the infographic of the poker hands, we show you which card combinations you need to win at Hold’em Poker.

Add on
These are additional chips that a person in the game can buy. In some online poker rooms, there is a limited time or no possibility at all to make this “add on”.

All in
Put all your chips in one hand.

This bet must be made by each player at the beginning of each round.

Back raise
Call on a bet without raising, but after your opponent raises, additionally raise yourself.

The amount (e.g. sum of money) that a player has at the beginning of the game.

Big blind
The “big” minimum bet that every player who is currently in the “big blind position” must make. This happens once per round of the table. It changes clockwise.

To the right of the “big blind” sits the “small blind”.

Actually, you don’t hold good cards, but you try to intimidate your opponent with high stakes or to pretend that he has good cards himself. So you try to get your opponent to give up and “throwaway” the cards.

In poker games in which the opponents sit face to face, the players often like to wear sunglasses in order to give the opponent no chance to draw conclusions about facial expressions.

Bottom end
This is the worst or smallest “straight”. Ace to 5.

Bubble boy
If you are the last to be eliminated before it comes to the places with the prize money.

Ass couple.

The “button” is two places to the right of the “big blind”. He is the actual dealer of the game round.

This is the amount with which you buy into a game at the beginning in order to be able to participate.

“Call” means “calling” in the poker language (easy to remember: I want to take part). So you pay the stake that was currently presented by the player before you or that was determined by the blind. If no one has raised in front of you this game round, then it is the amount that has been set as the “big blind”. The computer shows this automatically.

Cash game
In a tournament, you play with chips and the stake at the beginning was determined by the “buy-in”. Thus a chip does not correspond to the real money value. In a “cash game”, the amount that is on the chip is played. This in turn is the real monetary value. So if you wager 50 euros, you are actually wagering this amount from your account. In a tournament with chips, the “buy-in” may have cost 120 euros, but the game chips than have amounts of 1000 euros, for example. In tournaments, each player receives exactly the same amount of chips at the beginning. In the cash game, you can determine how much money you go to the table with.

If you are still in the game and do not want to raise or fold, then “check” is used. When you check it is the turn of the next player.

Check raise
First, you check, and then, if an opponent bets, you raise.

Chip leader
Is the player with the most chips.

“Connectors” are cards that are “connected” to one another. That is when the cards have consecutive values. E.g. you own 9 and 10 or 5 and 6.

The dealer deals with the cards. However, this job is usually taken over by a croupier.

You give up (pass), although you could just “check”.

Final table
The last table in a tournament.

Fixed limit
An increase “raise” is only possible with a fixed amount, which cannot be exceeded. So you can’t just raise by 200 euros when the fixed limit is 50 euros.

The first three cards are dealt by the dealer on the table (visible to all).

5 cards of the same suit, such as hearts.

The fold is called passing. You give up and are therefore eliminated from this round.

Freeroll tournaments do not charge a fee to participate in the game.

Full house
Consists of a “three of a kind” plus a pair.

Hand for hand
As the name translates into German, the game is played a hand for hand. This is the case in large tournaments when only a few or one player has to be eliminated before it goes into the paid area. In order to ensure equal opportunities, since some tables play faster or slower, after each round that has ended at the table there is a wait until this round has been played at all tables.

Heads up
When only two players play against each other.

High card
You cannot create a combination with this card (e.g. ace), but it may decide whether you win or lose if you and your opponent have the same pair, for example.

See high card. With this card, you might win a pot because you have a full house with your opponent. If you now have a king in your starting cards and the opponent only has a 10, then you have the higher “kicker”, so to speak, and win.

Low stack
You have very few chips left in a tournament.

No limit
With “No Limit”, in contrast to “Fixed Limit”, you can bet as many of your chips as you want.

When you have the best cards in a game round.

Two cards of different suits.

Open-end straight draw
You almost have a straight and you need a card on either end to complete one. Example: You have 8 9 10 J and therefore need either a 7 or Q.

These cards help you to complete your planned straight, for example. Good players immediately calculate which “outs” they still have. This means he knows which cards he still needs to get that could help him. Depending on how many options he has left, he decides whether to call or drop out.

Two cards of the same value. For example two boys.

Four of a kind is often referred to as “poker”.

The total amount that comes together in the course of the game round and for which is played.

Pot limit
If you want to bet, you cannot bet more than what is in the pot.

Prize pool
The prize money can be won by the players in a tournament. During the game, you play with game chips. In the tournament, certain prize money is distributed to certain rankings.

If you already “hold” two cards but the “flop” has not yet occurred.

An increase in the stake. For example, everyone in front of you “checks” and you then raise (raise) by a certain amount.

When you raised and the opponent raised again.

This amount is paid to the casino operator or poker room.

In some tournaments, you have the chance to buy into the current game again if you are eliminated due to a lack of chips.

This is the last community card that is placed.

Royal flush
In a “royal flush” you must have all cards in one suit (e.g. all hearts) plus a straight from 10 to ace.

These tournaments can be used to qualify for another possibly larger tournament.

You originally have a pair and another card turns it into three of a kind.

In these tournaments, only the best (i.e. only 1) per table progresses.

Side pot
If you go “All In” because, for example, you only have 100 EUR left but are “called” by other players (in other words, they want to play too). Now, these other players still have more than 100 EUR. If the other players want to place more money on this bet, a side pot opens up. Because just because you want to / have to go “All In” can the other players still play each other. However, you can only win the money from the main pot.

Small blind
The “small blind” always sits to the right of the “big blind” and has to pay the smaller of the two blinds.

Straight flush
Similar to the “Royal Flush” but not so good, which is why the “Straight Flush” only consists of any straight, but all cards must be of the same suit (e.g. all 5 cards of hearts).

When you are dealt your two cards and they are of the same suit, this is called “suited”. For example, you have the ace of hearts and 6 of hearts.

Suited connectors
You have two cards of the same suit again, but this time with consecutive values. For example, 7 of hearts and 8 of hearts or J of diamonds and Q of diamonds.

Three of a Kind
Three cards of the same rank.

The fourth community card that is placed.

Under the gun
If you are sitting to the left of the “big blind”, this is the “under the gun” position. The player who sits here must be the first to decide what to do from the table. So you don’t have a chance to see what the other players are up to.