The Americanisation of poker and its integration into the country’s culture means many of the game’s phrases have become commonplace within its language. Few would be aware that everyday terms such as ‘ace in the hole’, ‘beats me’, ‘blue chip’, ‘call the bluff’, ‘cash-in’, ‘pass the buck’, ‘up the ante’, ‘when the chips are down’, ‘wild card’ and others all derive from poker jargon. Who knowns, in years to come expressions such as ‘three bet’, ‘click raise’, ‘isolation raise’ and ‘rake-back’ might be routine terms in day-to-day speech.
Online poker rose to prominence in the early 2000’s with the ground-breaking TV show Late Night Poker, featuring its inimitable under-table cameras, and the brilliant poker movie, Rounders, doubtlessly acting as catalysts.
Online poker’s popularity peaked towards the end of the 2000’s. But with a glut of Americans being given legal access to online betting and online skill games such as poker once again, the game is set to enjoy a renaissance.
Poker is quite unique amongst online gambling as your ability to win or lose depends on skill. Online slots, roulette and lotto’s for example all require random luck in regards to where the ball will drop, symbols that line-up or balls that will fall from a drum. In poker you can win despite technically having the losing hand.
Some websites, like William Hill, have devised games where you can bet on the outcome of virtual online poker games. Therein your bets are simply predictions on the cards that will fall and make your selected hand a winning one.
Cash Game Poker
There are several ways to play online poker, one is cash game poker. In this format the chips in front of you represent real money. You can get up and leave the table at any time.
Sit & Go’s
A Sit & Go tournament, sometimes called a Single Table Tournaments (STT) is a competition featuring between four and ten player who pit their sits against one another on a single table. Sit & Go’s are a great option for novice players as entry fees can start from just a few pence and you get plenty of play for your money.
Multi Player Tournaments
Probably better known as MTT’s, Multi Player Tournaments can attract colossal numbers of players and they can build huge prize pools. Don’t panic, despite field sizes potentially being in the hundreds or thousands you will only play against a maximum of nine people at any one time.
Choose the right game for you
The big problem with MTT’s is the time you may have to dedicate to them if doing well. And let’s be frank, you should not play one of these unless you intend to do well. If you have time, patience and skill, MTT’s are highly recommended as they potential returns are enormous.
STT’s are great for learning the game as they come with small (or high) entry fees and they rarely last longer than an hour. Cash games can be massively lucrative but as you have cash on the line at all times and you are likely to be swimming with battle hardened card sharks, we recommend you acquire some real skill before jumping into a pool of piranhas.
Molly’s Game, one of the latest Poker movies…
Learning the game
The internet, as well as making it possible for people from all over the world to play poker against one another, has given poker wanna-be’s no end of help in learning this age-old skill game. Strategy and advanced tutorials all the way through to basic guides and understanding hand rankings can all be found online and we recommend you watch and read as much about this wonderful game as you can – before stepping outside of small stakes STT’s.
Poker free bets and other offers
Whilst online bookmakers that offer online poker do not give their new poker playing customers a free online bet, they do give their new players some massive concessions. Some bundle-up package for new customers giving them tokens to play with and experience all sorts of STT’s, cash game, MTT’s and other formats such as Speed/Rush/Twister poker.
Most also give their poker beginners huge ‘rake-back’ concessions whereby you are rewarded with cash, added to your account balance, in return for your play. Hundreds can be returned to your new poker account. In essence this is both free poker and free cash as these offers return all or part of your registration fees and rake (a small percentage of your cash game/pot winnings).