Poker is one of the most popular card games in the world, so it is not surprising that it has many variations in different parts of the planet. That's why we'll start the article by saying that we'll refer to Texas Hold'em, its most popular variant.
In this article we'll go over the basics of Live Poker, how to play it and why it's so hard to find in online casinos.
Rules of Poker
The word poker itself can mean dozens of different varieties of card games, so before you start playing, it is advisable to clarify exactly what kind of poker you are choosing. In short, the rules of Texas Hold'em are as follows: Each player is given two cards, which he keeps to himself and does not show to anyone. Then, in a certain order on the table in front of the players put five cards open. The goal of the player is to put together the best combination of five cards. To do this, he can use both those cards in his hands and those on the table, in total, choose the best 5 out of 7. Other players can also use the cards that are on the table, since they are considered to be common in this case, so you and your opponent will often use the same cards from the table.
Before each round starts, two chips are placed on the table in front of the player. One player is the Small Blind and the next player is the Big Blind. These players, regardless of whether or not they want to participate in the draw, must bet a certain amount of money, agreed upon in advance. The Big Blind is always twice as big as the Small Blind, which is why, for example, one Small Blind is $1 and the Big Blind $2. These bets are there to make sure that every hand will be dealt, and that players do not sit around idly, discarding cards and waiting for their hand to be favorable. Usually, as the game progresses, the blinds will increase, depending on the time elapsed, the number of players at the table or the number of hands. This speeds up the game, and the blinds get so big that players with a small pot have less and less opportunity to win back.
After receiving their dealt cards, players decide whether or not they are going to participate in the hand. The first to make this decision is the player following the player with the Big Blind. He has three choices:
- Call. He bets an amount equal to the Big Blind and keeps playing.
- Fold. The player does not Bet at all, Folds his/her cards to the Dealer, and no longer participates in this Hand.
- Raise. The player raises his Bet by betting more than the amount of the Big Blind. By doing so, he forces all subsequent players, even those who have already bet, to Call, equalizing the amount of their bet with his, or to Fold by quitting the game.
The number of Raises is not limited, so players can raise the bets until all the remaining players in the game equalize.
Three cards are laid out in front of the players in the open. Each player now has the chance to see what combination of the five cards they know already exists or guess what combinations are possible in the future, i.e. what cards they should expect to win. Starting with the player with the Small Blind, players can bet or continue playing with their existing ones by saying Check. However, if someone does make a bet, either in the last round or in subsequent rounds, everyone who wishes to play on must call it.
A fourth card is placed on the table, after which the players are again free to bet, continue playing or discard. This round differs only in that the players now have more information about possible combinations.
The fifth and final card on the table, so the player can see exactly how many cards he's dealt. After assessing his chances he Checks, Raises, or Folds.
Finals. Showdown of cards
At the end of all bidding, the remaining players reveal their cards. The first to do so must be the player who Bet or Raise last. The player with the best card combination wins. Players who see another player's winning cards have the right to discard their cards without showing them, and acknowledge their opponent's victory.
How to Play Poker at the Live Casino
You may have noticed that poker is often absent from online casino platforms. This is not due to any lack of popularity, but due to the game's process. Let's examine this feature in more detail.
Poker is a game where players must compete against each other. Usually, there should be at least 4-5 players at the table. This ensures that there are 15 cards involved in the game at once, leading to multiple combinations. Online casino platforms, however, are often not designed for players to be able to play against each other. Moreover, it's hard to think of a formula for casino winnings in this case. After all, if one player wins a dollar from another, what does the casino get for giving them a platform to play on? That is why there are two completely different subspecies of online casino poker:
- Playing against the dealer. In such a variation, you can immediately omit all the stages of the game, mentioned earlier. The dealer deals cards only for himself and for one "virtual player". Then, all the players that are at the table make a variety of bets. This can be a bet on the victory of this hand, a bet on a particular combination that will be collected at the end of the game, etc. Each of such bets has its own quote, which will be paid at the end of the round. That is, here the dealer does not offer to bet, putting each time a new card on the table, respectively, and Fold is not possible here. So we can say that the player is playing a kind of slot machine, where he is just trying to collect combinations of cards, which in this case gives him the dealer. And such an important part of the game as bluffing, pressure with the bank, playing for the long-term result, etc. - is absent.
- Playing against other players. Poker is such a popular game that some online casinos create their own platform where players can play against each other. Typically this is a separate program or application for the phone. Large tournaments are held there, private lobbies are created, and it can take anywhere from $1 to very large amounts of money to enter the game. If you want to feel all the emotions of the game, we advise you to look for casinos with these platforms.
That's all the basic information about Live Poker. If you're interested in learning more about the game and its intricacies, read other Golden Reels Blog articles.