Ever since Chris Moneymaker parlayed a $39 satellite buy-in into a seat at the 2003 WSOP Main Event, online poker games have become hot. Attracting cool kids from all walks of life, poker gaming online is now firmly established as game where skill and logic prevail over blind luck and intuition.
Before the now infamous "Moneymaker Boom" poker games were a fading light in the gambling world, dwindling in the back rooms of casinos across the globe. Indeed, with poker revenue hitting an all-time low in the mid-nineties, many major operators were gradually scaling back their poker rooms in favour of traditional table games such as blackjack, roulette and craps. However, thanks to the synergy of Moneymaker's victory and the growth of online gaming, poker games soon became a veritable cash cow and now takes pride of place in gaming establishments from the UK to the US and beyond.
Far from a singular entity, poker is actually a collection of interesting variants that each house their own subtle skill considerations. While traditional depictions of a poker game online involve various versions of stud or draw, the most popular game in the present day is Texas Hold'em: specifically No Limit Texas Hold'em. Known as the Cadillac of poker and featuring two hole cards and five community cards, the card game was once described by Crandell Addington as one where "the target comes alive and shoots back at you."
While No Limit Texas Hold'em is by far the most popular form of poker gaming on the planet, other variants are now stealing some of the limelight. Indeed, in addition to Pot Limit Omaha a number of mixed games, such as H.O.R.S.E (Texas Hold'em, Omaha hi/lo, Razz, Seven Card Stud, Seven Card Stud hi/lo) and Eight-Game, are now attracting attention along with innovative formats such as Open Face Chinese Poker.
Thanks to the international growth of poker the game is now accessible to everyone via the internet and this has given rise to a number of unique features. Indeed, on top draws of the online games it that is gives players access to a range of poker games, including Texas Hold'em, Five Card Draw, Stud, Omaha, and HORSE. On top of this the world's top online sites also have a host of lucrative incentives. Taking the form of a generous sign-up poker bonus or rake back deal (an offer which gives you a portion of your monthly spend back each month), these offers are one of the main reasons why players of all abilities are now able to make money from the game.
A poker game played with 5 community cards (face up cards available to each player, which are dealt throughout several rounds of betting) and 2 hole cards (face down cards available only to the controlling player). The object of Texas Holdem poker games is to create the best hand of five cards by using both the hole and community cards. Texas Hold'em is present in all cash game and tournament formats on every poker site online. Check out some of our top Texas Hold'em guides below:
Omaha Poker closely resembles Texas Holdem with a few notable differences - each player receives 4 hole cards and must use two of them to create their hand. A variety of Omaha is available referred to as Hi/Lo where poker game players create both the best highest and lowest hands and split the pot between them. See our Omaha poker guide to learn how to play.
Stud poker games can be played with either five or seven cards. Each player is dealt a series of face up and face down cards from which they attempt to form the best hand. The face up cards in this card game provide clues as to the hand strength from which bets can be made. Learn to play 7 Card Stud here.
Draw online poker games are arguably the easiest to learn and are the first stop for many beginners. Each player receives a full poker hand and are allowed to request new cards one time. There are no visible cards from which to receive information on another player - making bluffing one of the most important aspects of the game.
HORSE combines numerous poker games and stands for: H - Holdem, O - Omaha, R - Razz, S - Seven Card Hi Stud and E - Eights or Better Stud. Play alternates between the 5 different types of online poker game and it's thought to be the test of a truly good poker player to be able to play all 4 card games.
Cardschat has a great poker forum, which is an excellent resource to improve your skill level at online poker, as well as some very useful strategy articles. We advise you to check some of these out as they will definitely improve your skill level. One featured article is Poker Odds for Dummies which is excellent for beginners to learn the math behind the game.