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Players looking to learn online poker just hit a goldmine. Whether you are interested in free poker, friendly games at home, or high-stakes real money poker online, our guide covers it all.

You’ll find out all you need to know about the game of poker, the most popular variants, strategies to hold your position and capitalize on your funds, and insights into the biggest poker events and highest earners.


How to Play Online Poker

With many people accessing online casinos in the US for the first time this year, it is reasonable to wonder how some table games are played. Online poker is among the more skill-based and less luck-based casino games, with a $10 deposit keeping you in the game for hours. That’s if you play your hands right.

Once you enter an online poker site from this list, you will need to sign up by providing some basic information. That’s the easy part, as getting one of the available poker bonuses. To start betting your balance on a poker table, you should follow the below steps:

  1. Tap on the room you would like to enter; the buy-ins (amount required to enter the room) will be displayed in the lobby section. As soon as the room loads, you must select the seat you want to take. At this stage, you can decide whether your total balance will be available to bet while on the table or a part of it.
  2. After you take a seat, a small amount will be deduced during each round (the ante bet). Now, the deal will occur, with two cards visible only to you. Based on these, you must decide whether you are going to call the bet of the previous player (bet the same money), fold (pass this round), or raise (increase the current bet placed by other players).
  3. As soon as all players have performed the above actions, the first three cards (the flop) will be dealt in the middle of the table. The exact process – pass, fold, raise – will be repeated once more, starting from the left-hand side of the table.
  4. A fourth card will follow, where players repeat the above process, and a fifth.
  5. If at least two players are in the game after the third round of cards has been completed, they must reveal the cards, and the highest hand will win.

That’s the basic idea of Texas Hold’em online poker, although players can bet back and forth by raising within each round. The main process remains identical unless you are playing a different poker variant.

Poker Variants

Poker is accessible in several different formats and variations. The most basic distinction with poker is the following:

Real money poker – players bet on their hands with real money chips, and all wins are paid out accordingly.

Mobile poker – either playing poker through an app or via your mobile browser online, online poker’s process and basic rules remain identical. All poker sites listed support mobile and online poker games.

Free poker – most poker sites will offer freeroll tournaments that players can join daily or weekly. A few will also provide ‘play money,’ enabling online poker players to compete without spending any real money. This operates similarly to the demo mode for other casino games.

Live poker – most sites will provide several poker variants, but only a few in a live format. When playing live poker, you will compete against a dealer or other players. Some poker sites support the option to invite and play against your friends.

The above poker versions are essentially the same, with a different underlying principle. However, if you are playing Texas Hold’em Poker live or in a video format, the gameplay, rules, payouts, and odds will remain identical.

The challenge is keeping up with different poker variants and how they work in any of the above settings. The following table provides a basic overview of the most popular online poker variants:

Poker VariantNumber CardsGoal
Texas Hold’emTwo cards facing downCompeting for the best hand using the five community cards and the two held
OmahaFour cards facing downUsing two of your own cards for the best hand
7-Card StudSeven cards (2 face down)Competing for the highest poker hand
2-7 Triple DrawFive cards facing downCan discard cards to get the lowest hand
RazzThree cards with one facing upPlayers are competing for the lowest hand

Poker Strategy

Learning to play online poker and competing with a set strategy are two completely different things. However, we understand that everyone needs to start from somewhere, so we briefly cover the most basic strategies one can use to play poker more competitively.

Don’t opt-in for too many rounds: Others mustn’t know your play style in poker. As soon as they know the types of hands you are playing, it is hard to get their money. One of the most straightforward strategies is to play as few hands as possible, but when you are in, go hard. This way, it is unlikely that they will have a peek into your hand.

Never limp: This phrase means being the first to ‘see’ the pot; being the first to ‘speak’ in poker is an uncomfortable position, and it is better never to play it.

Don’t bluff for the shake of it: Waiting for the two aces to come is not the best way to play poker. Bluffing your way through some rounds is paramount if you don’t want to waste your bankroll in ante bets. But when you do bluff, do have a reasonably good hand or one that could turn potentially killing!

Play the big blind: When speaking last on the table, it is the best opportunity to go aggressive in poker; however, don’t go too hard unless you have a hand to support your actions.

Fold if you have doubts: Learning several tips and understanding the gameplay entirely is a great way to start. However, you should never forget that the people you face might be luckier or just know more about the game. Folding a hand is the best move anytime you aren’t sure.

Some of the most advanced poker strategies are outlined below; tap on each to discover additional information as soon as you know enough about online poker:

Maniac – playing as many hands as possible

Loose-aggressive – more targeted than the maniac, but still betting big on several hands

Tight-aggressive – betting on many hands, but with reasonable stakes

Loose-passive – playing many hands but mainly calling other players’ bets

Tight-passive – players seeing a few hands, letting others take control of the action

Nit – seeing very few hands and betting massive amounts when in the game

Types of Poker Games

The different strategies and poker variants are dependent on the type of poker you are playing. Real money poker sites provide numerous rooms with the same variants in different settings. Some tournaments might go on for weeks, while other rooms see players coming and going within minutes. The most common poker games you will encounter online include:

No Limit Poker – not suitable for beginners, no limit poker games provide players with complete freedom on how much they can raise during each round. Having a maniac in a no-limit table can literally destroy your gameplay.

Freeroll Tournaments – are ideal for beginners since players can enter without paying a fee, and there are usually cash prizes for the top place. Several poker tables can operate within the same tournament, merging when three or more players have lost.

Tubo Poker – such poker games vary from other rooms due to the blinds’ speed increase. If you are not the type of person who will bet on poker for hours, this might be the best option.

Heads Up – rooms involve two players only and tend to be more fast-paced than any other type of poker. Quickly getting the upper hand in a heads-up poker room is paramount; otherwise, leaving is the only viable option.

Sit n Go – players love this poker game for its speed and simplicity. Sit n Gos usually last an hour, and any losing player exits without a chance for a rebuy.

Top Poker Events in 2022

Poker fans reading this page are unlikely to get the required skills to qualify for the next big poker tournament of 2022, but it is always a great experience watching them on live TV or streaming them online:

  • World Series of Poker in Las Vegas – among the numerous poker events held in the gambling capital, the WSOP is the most prestigious. Players need to pay $10,000 for a ticket to the highest stakes Texas Hold’em tournament. 
  • World Poker Tour Championships (changes location every year) – several different events comprise the WPT, most of them held across the US. Since its launch in 2002, the WPT has popularized poker and has drawn millions of players to the sport. Getting in is not as easy as watching it, though, with $25,000 buy-ins.
  • Pokerstars Caribbean Adventure in Atlantis Paradise Island – after the event was launched in 2004, players used to participate in poker rooms while boarded on a 5-star cruise ship. Although this has since changed, it remains one of the most significant poker events.
  • World Championship of Online Poker in Stars Casino Pennsylvania – right at the start of online poker in 2002, the WCOOP was launched online at Pokerstars online casino. In the US, players can access the site and participate in setting their chips against the most prominent poker players. The event usually starts in September.
  • European Poker Tour across Europe – another major event sponsored by Stars Casino, is watched annually by nearly 900 million people. The EPT is the umbrella term used to characterize several events held across European capitals like The French Open, The Irish Winter Tournament, etc., throughout the year.
  • Grosvenor Poker Tour in London – one of the most recent poker events which still gained a lot of traction, took place for the first time this year in London. With a $1,500 buy-in, the GPT is a much more accessible poker tournament for mere mortals. 
  • Venetian Deep Stack Extravaganza in Las Vegas – another less known but worthwhile poker event running yearly in Vegas is hosted in the Venetian. The buy-ins are accessible, starting at $300, while the top prize is $1 million. The tournament usually takes place during February.

Top 10 Poker Players: Highest Earners

If you have been following poker tournaments like us, you will recognize some of the names in the following list. The highest poker earners are mostly the same people attending the WSOP, the WCOOP, and other significant events. Although most of them started with tournaments held at Las Vegas Casinos, more and more tend to also participate in online poker games.

Dan Bilzerian

There is hardly anyone who hasn’t heard of his name before. The playboy is renowned for his lavish lifestyle, always surrounded by models, guns, and fast cars. Although he has suffered three heart attacks to this day, he is still going at it.

Dan Bilzerian deserves the top place in this list with a net worth of $200 million, although his poker earnings are ‘only’ rated at $36,000.

Phil Ivey

Talking about deserving, Phil Ivey has 10 WSOP titles under his belt after reaching the final table 31 times. Ivey is worth $125 million, and his poker tournament earnings are sky-high at $26+ million. Like Dan, this player has also been involved in controversies concerning some of his casino poker wins. To us, the specific casinos sound like sore losers.

Chris Ferguson

The epitome of a Texas Hold’em player often referred to as Jesus, began his career at the age of 10. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Ferguson reached the public eye as an online poker player in college. So far, he has won six World Series of Poker tournaments, counting up to $8.9 million. His net worth is $80 million today.

Doyle Branson

Anyone would hardly put their trust in an 87 years old, but Doyle Brunson is still going strong after 50 years in the sport. Over his poker career, Brunson has earned approximately $75 million. It shouldn’t surprise that he was the first to win $1 million as a poker tournament prize. 10 – 2 poker hand is named after him after giving him massive wins in WSOP events.

Bryn Kenney

After his first big win in 2007, Kenny entered the spotlight for the first time. So far, he has won a WSOP tournament, and his net worth is $55 million. Unlike the aforementioned poker celebrities, Kenney has won most of his poker earnings from online poker events.

Daniel Negreanu

Throughout his career, Negreanu has racked up $42 million from poker. He is one of the players taken most seriously in the big league tournaments, as he has earned 2 WPT wins and 6 WSOP tournaments. In 2014, he earned an impressive $8.2 million by finishing at the second spot in the WSOP.

Justin Bonomo

Justin has yet to win one of the big titles, but he has gathered many multimillion wins in poker events. During his three Super High Roller Bowl tournaments, he bagged several $4 million+ pots, while he boasts over $55 million in total winnings.

Tony G

This player is as famous as the top five names in this list, but he has not won the same titles. His net worth exceeds $36 million, but it is not primarily due to his poker career and earnings. In regards to this sport, he first reached the spotlight in 2003 after finishing fifth in the WPT in Paris. He finished second in IPC and first in APT the same year, winning some serious cash prizes. Still active today, Tony G acquired his biggest wins to date in 2018’s WSOP, exceeding $400,000.

Antonio Esfandiari

After a successful career as a magician, Esfandiari pulled off some decent tricks and won 2 WPT and 3 WSOP tournaments. His first big win was $1.4 million in 2004 until he brought home an impressive $18 million poker win. Overall, his poker earnings amount to $27 million.

Patrick Antonious

The last highest-earning poker player on our list is a more personable figure. Unlike other poker players with a career dating back to the 1990s, Antonious is renowned for his online poker wins. To date, his earnings exceed $11 million, with a slightly over $1 million top poker win. Seeing a player like this grabbing a major tournament title could give hope to other online poker players looking up to the stars on this list.

Adam Shaw
Author Hi, I'm Adam Shaw, the Chief Editor at I love casinos and have been working in the slots industry for more than 12 years. My passion for slots and casino games made me create this website, and under my supervision, our team will make sure you're enjoying the latest games and getting the best online casino deals!