How to play free online poker (Step by step)
If you want to get into poker, but you don’t want to start betting real money, there are other ways to have fun and progressively get better.
There are several game apps, whether you use Android on a Samsung or any other smartphone, or your preferred operating system is iOS on an iPhone. Go to the App / Play store and discover some high rated apps that allow you to play online poker risk-free. Zynga Poker and World Series of Poker are some of the apps that you can try with in-game money, free chips, and additional bonuses.
The next step is to play until you gain enough experience and skills to enter the real world of bets.
Why we should first play for free, then play for real money
Every new hobby is perfected with more practice. You will need to develop your skills before you jump into actual gambling. You may be an adrenaline lover, but don’t act fast because you might lose money in the process. Free games require no registration, so it’ll be easier for you to play. Another advantage is that you will be able to test the software first with no risk.
Play poker on every device on our platform
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Poker – history, rules, combinations, strategies, variety, tournaments
Card games are a primary source of entertainment in casinos. There are many different types, but one of them reached a massive audience and still provokes a never-ending interest. Yes, this is about poker, which can be played on every online platform as well as in physical locations. Apart from poker games, in Casino Robots, you can find other games including a slot machine, Blackjack, Baccarat, Bingo, Keno, several games with dice and balls, and many other card games and table activities.
Poker’s roots remain an enigma even now. There are hundreds of different kinds, and the rules turn out to be incomprehensible for brand new players. This inspired us to create a full guide for one of the most popular gambling games. We aspire to support the newcomers in this realm.
Casino Robots’ online platform allows you to play all kinds of poker for free; no registration or signing up required, no download nor installation necessary.
The history of poker
Sadly, lovers of historical and chronological facts will be left disappointed. Information about the beginning and evolution of poker is minimal. However, let’s quickly go through the possible options and interpretations offered by historians.
The card games in the Wild West resemble today’s poker structure the most. Somewhere in the vast western areas, the mythologized cowboys' land is where the rules of current poker games were formed. Actually, similar games took place even longer ago in the past. People in France and Germany used to play games called ‘Pochen’ and ‘Poque', which resembled poker and its rules. Gradually the French expeditions brought the game to the New World, and it became a part of the lifestyle of people in New Orleans.
Historians record similar games among the Ancient Persians, the most similar one being called ‘Ac Hac.' There were 25 cards with five different suits, while the ranking of the hands was ordered similarly. Other arguments claim the poker started in The Far East and is approximately 3000 years old.
While poker lovers back then had a hard time finding other soulmates loving this game, today, there are thousands of casinos where we can freely have fun. Some compete against each other, and others try to outsmart the croupiers, then some people fight against a software looking for easy money. The good news for poker fans is that there are many legal online platforms where gambling happens with just a few clicks.
Interesting facts about poker
The game has gone through some revolutionary changes, and some exciting facts deserve some of our attention. Let’s take a look:
- The beginning of modern poker
In the beginning, poker was played with a deck of 20 cards, including tens, jacks, queens, kings, and aces. In 1834 rules were changed, and the number of cards was upgraded to 54 – the same number that is used today.
- First televised tournament
The first poker tournament that was aired on television happened in 1973. It was part of the word poker series. It took place in Las Vegas, and the number of people watching surpassed everyone’s expectations. In the 21st century, we can witness multiple tournaments on TV, as well as through online streams.
- Poker has become the most profitable sport
We always compare the monetary rewards in different sports. If you ask a random stranger on the street which the most profitable sport is, he will probably say football, basketball, or tennis. Well, if we sum up the prize funds of the five highest-rated poker competitions, we will get a number exceeding $44 billion. This makes poker the most profitable sport today.
- Eyes tell everything
If you think that a good hand can be hidden and used for bluffing, you’re wrong. Pupil’s dilation (pupil gets bigger) signifies that you have some great cards in you. It’s most noticeable with players whose eyes are not brown.
- Talk less at the table
Be careful with the conversations while playing because your voice volume can be revealing about the type of cards you have. If your voice is higher or lower than usual, it most likely means that you’re excited and cannot conceal your emotions.
- Poker gambling rises annually
Web platforms and poker game rooms generate more and more bets every year. In Nevada, for example, the cumulative amount of revenue for 2018 was $120 million.
The rules of poker
The goal in poker is to form a higher combination than the ones of your opponents or the croupier. The winner is determined after the ‘showdown’ round when the cards get turned with the face-up. Another way to walk away as the winner is through an unpaid bet from the opposite side (later on, we’ll review the possible hands and their strength).
The most popular types of poker require mandatory bets called Small and Big Blind. They are a part of the preflop. There is no way you can avoid paying these bets if you’re entered their zone. After every player’s turn clockwise has been approved, the dealer turns the first three cards on the table (flop). Two more rounds follow – turn (the fourth card) and river (the fifth card). They determine the combinations of the players. Here are all the options when it’s your turn:
- Call – you pay the price of the previous bet. If you’re in the Small Blind, but if the amount of the bet is raised, you will have to pay the rest of it.
- Raise – this action allows you to raise the bet according to your preferences. If the rest of the gamblers want to continue the round, they must comply with your bet and pay the amount you settled on.
- Bet – It’s used when there is no current bet on the table, meaning that you start the calls and raises.
- Check – You pass the opportunity to make a bet. This option is only possible if there’s no bet in the current round.
- Fold – You throw the cards, refusing to comply with them or the bets so far in the game.
- All-in – You bet the whole stack you joined with.
There are tables with different rules based on the number of bets and how they’re handled. For example, some rooms allow the player to raise a figure as high as his stack's maximum amount. Pot-limit games allow bets and raise equal to the size of the current pot. Games with fixed limits restrict the player beforehand with the maximum being announced prior to the bet.
Considering your act and making a decision must happen in a matter of a few seconds, depending on your chosen platform's rules. After you mark your desired bet, the countdown will start for the player to your left.
Poker hands and their strengths
Hold ‘em and Omaha poker use the same rules to determine the strength of each hand, containing five cards. Some other types include more cards in a single hand, but the five strongest are those that matter.
Here is a list of hands, ordered from weakest to strongest:
- High Card – if you don’t have a combination from those listed below, the highest card rule comes into place. The cards' order is standard for every game - A, K, Q, J, 10, etc.
Example: А (♣), J (♥), 9 (♥), 5 (♦), 3 (♠)
- Pair - It consists of two equal cards from different suits. When two players each have a pair, the strengths of their cards are compared.
Example: K (♠), K (♥), 10 (♦), 7 (♠), 4(♠)
- Two Pair – A combination of two pairs of equal cards, joined by a kicker (the other card). The player with the strongest pair wins.
Example: J (♠), J (♥), 8 (♣), 8 (♦), 3 (♥)
- Three of a Kind – Three equal cards and two others that are different. If another player manages the same hand, the strength of the cards is crucial.
Example: 8 (♦), 8 (♥), 8 (♣), 7 (♥), 3 (♠)
- Straight – Five consecutive cards from different suits. The ace can be used as 1 (the lowest card) to form a straight. The highest out of 2 straights wins.
Example: 5 (♠), 6 (♣), 7 (♥), 8 (♠), 9 (♦)
- Flush – Five non-consecutive cards from the same suit. The highest card matters in the case of two flushes. K (♥), 9 (♥), 6 (♥), 4 (♥), 2 (♥)Example:
- Full House – Three of a Kind + Pair. The rule of the three applies in case there are 2 players with a full house.
Example: J (♥), J (♣), J (♠), 9 (♥), 9 (♣)
- Four of a Kind – Four equal cards and one kicker. Again, the highest wins if two players achieve this hand.
Example: 10 (♥), 10 (♣), 10 (♠), 10 (♦), 5 (♣)
- Straight Flush – This term is used for the combination of five consecutive cards from the same suit. The strongest hand in poker consists of A, K, Q, J, 10, and is called a Royal Flush.
Example: A (♣), K(♣), Q (♣), J (♣), 10 (♣)
Types of poker
There are all kinds of poker depending on the cards involved, the strength of the hands, the sequence of dealing, rules regarding the bets. This turns the game into an attractive source of entertainment. Of course, legal casinos focus on developing the most popular fragments of poker, the rules of which are widely known.
Texas Hold’em is one of the most common kinds of poker used in the world series. It is also one of the most popular casino games worldwide. It’s been adjusted to all platforms for playing poker, while its rules match the ones listed above. The game consists of 52 cards, and it allows from 2 up to 11 players. The one that is standing to the dealer’s left is in the Small Blind and is required to put an amount that has been previously set. The next player situated clockwise is in Big Blind and has to bet double the amount. Everyone who’s betting receives two cards, while the croupier puts five cards face-up on the table. The winner is determined based on the combinations in each player’s hands and the cards on the table.
Omaha poker comes from Texas poker, but there are significant differences. While in the previously described game the player receives two hidden cards, here they are 4. The dealer turns five cards face-up on the table, forming the famous ‘board.' The winning hand is made out of 5 cards, using two from the common ones and the two individuals for each player. The procedure of turning the cards resembles Texas Hold’em because it also happens in 3 stages, again using the terms flop, turn, and river.
The name of this type of poker says enough about its origins. Caribbean poker begins in the Caribbean and is a game about outplaying the croupier instead of a competition between the players. The cards are being dealt one by one from left to right, with the last one staying for the croupier. All cards from each player amount to five. Only the dealer’s final card is left with the face-up. Then the players look at their cards, and they have to assess whether they can beat the croupier’s eventual combination. If this mission seems achievable, they continue the game, placing a double bet. There’s a particular stage of ‘buying cards’ in which the players have the opportunity to add a card to their hand while its amount is equal to the minimal bet. After the exchange has been made, the croupier turns his cards around and announces his highest combination. Everyone who has a better hand than the croupier wins the game.
Three card poker
Three card poker is a simplified version of the game without the complicated methods involved with the betting. The croupier deals three cards to each player face up, while his own cards remain hidden. There are two options for a bet – Pair Plus and Ante. The former is only possible if you achieve a Pair or higher, while the latter is used to fight against the dealer’s cards i.e., you win if your hand has better stats. Each hand's strength is identical to those used in Texas Hold’em and Omaha poker, the only difference being the number of cards. For example, a straight flush consists of three consecutive cards from the same suit.
How to play poker online
Online platforms use the same rules and functions for betting as those found in physical locations. What you need to start your participation is registration in your chosen casino, deposit some funds, and verify your account. These are the necessary procedures demanded by the regulated poker websites. After you have gone through these steps, you join the lobby with a username of your preference.
There are two kinds of online gambling. The first one is a multiplayer game where you compete with real opponents. You enter either a table or a quick tournament with a stack that has been set prior. Your goal is to outplay the other people in your room. Some casinos, however, operate differently by creating a platform where you can play against a croupier.
Every player participates with the same, but the software lets them bet freely, i.e., everyone decides whether to fold, raise, or call the dealer’s bet. The two cards given to the players are facing up while those of the croupier remain facing down. The bets are set right after the river has been revealed. If any of the players’ hands are bigger in size, they get rewarded right away with money going into their total balance.
Bonuses for poker players
In an attempt to reach an audience as broad as possible, poker sites use interesting marketing strategies. Apart from the traditional casino bonuses, they offer a series of promotional offers that are completely personalized for the games. Most platforms have implemented a starter promotion for new players, which raises their initial transaction (most often by 100%). There are other different tricks made to lure more customers like free tickets for tournaments and bonuses with no deposit.
Casino Robots has reviewed some of the world market's reliable brands, mentioning the size of the starting bonuses and the following offers for longtime players.
Online video poker tournaments
Betting through an ordinary cash table is not an option on web platforms. There are tournaments with different rules in which the customers compete for a special reward fund. Here are the most intriguing suggestions in the world of poker:
- Turbo and Hyper-Turbo Tournaments
In this type of competition, blinds increase very quickly, which makes them extremely interesting. A Hyper-Turbo session lasts for only 3 minutes.
These are tournaments without a determined start time. They only begin after all of the spots have been filled. The number of participants is different, and some of them can include up to 990 people at the same time.
- Spin & Go
These are some of the most interesting fast-developing tournaments. They include three players, and the winner's reward is multiple times higher than the entry fee. The reward fund is settled before the start of the tournament. The gamblers receive a particular stack, and those who lose it are eliminated.
- Shootout Tournaments
These competitions include multiple tables, and they provoke the players’ quick thinking. The participants swap places throughout the game while the goal is for the active tables to be continuously filled. The ones who survive until the end of the tournament are put against each other at a final table where the ultimate winner is decided.
- Satellite Tournaments
The goal in these tournaments is to offer cheaper tickets for bigger events. The entry fee is low, while your participation can get you an expensive competition ticket with more significant rewards.
There are more tournaments like progressive knockout, phases, multi-stack, eliminations, and others.
Similar tournaments between non-professional players can be seen in several online casinos. There are found in the lobby with the assigned starting time. These, however, are not recommended for new players as the competition is extremely strong. If you are relatively new but still want to participate, try freeroll tournaments for new players with no entry fee.
Important poker events
Annual events are being held with players from around the world, also available for native customers. If you are confident in your skills, you can join these multimillion reward fund competitions. There are several essential poker events throughout the year, patronized by Pokerstars.
- Micromillions - The tournament includes 121 smaller events. The best part here is the low size of the entry fees. Some tickets cost $0.10, and they increase depending on the prize fund of a particular event. The total amount of money given during the tournament is 3 million dollars.
- WCOOP - World series are the most important event in the world of poker. They include different types of poker, and the entry fee fluctuates between $2.20 and $25.000. This makes WCOOP a fair competition for customers with different skills and funds.
- SCOOP - This spring championship has a 10- year-long history, including some unforgettable moments. The tournament includes various stack limits (from minimal to very high). The total prize fund exceeds $100 million. It takes place in May and lasts for a period of 2 weeks.
Do you feel insecure about your skills and your involvement in games with a croupier? In this case, you can choose the most straightforward way to bet on poker. Online casinos offer their clients computer-animated software that resembles the process of the game. These games can be found under 'Video Poker.' The most popular ones include Joker Poker, Bonus Poker, Jacks or Better; developed by EGT.
The only requirement for video poker is placing your desired bet. You are not required to follow the turns or flop cards, as the drawing happens in a single phase, announcing the five winning cards. Depending on the combination that can be created, a certain ratio is settled, multiplied by the bet in place.
This service lets you participate in betting for free, thanks to the games' demo versions. You only bet imaginary virtual money for free.
7 tips for beginner poker players
Be careful in the beginning
Poker is not an elementary game that relies solely on luck. Just the opposite, it requires good judgment, thinking through every round, and quick reflexes. Because of this, we would advise the newcomers to not start with large bets no matter the deposit. Start with free video poker or the available apps in iTunes and Play Store that work without real money.
Bet when your cards are good
A mistake that is made quite often is when newbies or experienced players bet with every hand. It's unclear what will happen during the flop but do not rely on luck or chance. If your cards make it harder to form a pair or a stronger combination, stop betting and let the other players compete. Some weak cards positioned far from each other (for example, 2-7, 3-9, J-4, Q-2) are not suitable enough to go ahead.
Choose tables with affordable limits
Pick tables with lower stacks so you don't regret potential losses. These tables are also expected to fill with more inexperienced players, which helps your chances for success. Beware the rooms with average limits where professional players go to 'prey' on newbies.
Follow what other players do and how they act
We advise you not to leave the automatic call/check on but rather select your move yourself when it's your turn. Follow the game of every other player and try to guess their next move. Some of them may be bluffing, others may raise recklessly, which gives you a bigger chance to win.
Stop while you can
Whether you paid the call or you raised, give up if you feel like your opponent has better cards than you. There's no rule saying you should stay at the table or pay other players' raises. Fold while you still have time.
Don't use every opportunity to bluff by betting all-in or other large amounts. You will become suspicious, and your next moves will be easily predictable among the rival players. Before you start bluffing, determine how everyone else plays, and if they can be tricked or not.
Apply your knowledge in maths
Poker is a game that is firmly built on probabilities and math. Use your previous experience from school lessons to better your chances. This will help you pick a starting hand that is stronger than those of your opponents.
What is Tilt and how to avoid it
You have probably heard the expression "Poker Face" - a face with no emotions. This is exactly what you have to use while playing poker. Leave the feelings and emotions aside and devote yourself entirely to the game. Your opponents should not know your current condition, as you can become easily predictable and vulnerable to mistakes.
The condition called 'tilt' describes a moment during the game when you become uncontrollable. Your betting becomes a magnetic field that only attracts negatives. It arises in these circumstances:
- You pay when you're in a losing position
- You take part in the bets with every hand
- You don't obey the set limits
- You seek a quick rebound for the lost money
- You are tired and don't feel comfortable at the table
- Your emotions take control while placing the bets
If you notice a certain wrong decision in a particular situation, we recommend ending the game immediately and taking a break instead. Poker is an exhausting game that takes a considerable amount of energy after an extended stay at the table.
Online poker here
Towards the end of this thorough review of online poker and its specifics, it's time to express our opinion on its development in our country. The foundations have been laid, and there are adrenaline junkies too, platforms for multiplayer betting continue to grow. The most popular brands added innovative software for gameplay that faces competitors worldwide against each other.
Apart from direct bets with other players, you can play against a croupier in the sections called 'Live Casino' or use one of the older methods - video poker. All of them are based on the rules of the most popular types of poker. They are available through a computer or a mobile device. Some online casinos provide free gameplay for beginners.
Follow the tips listed so far, pick whether you want to play for fun or professionally, enjoy the colorful world of poker. Dozens of legal websites for gambling, over 1000 variations of the game, hundreds of thousands of users worldwide, and prize funds of millions of dollars... these are some parts of poker that made it one of the most popular games of the 21st century.
Sometimes poker gets tiring, and we want to try something else. Card games develop and keep our brains intact, and it's useful to learn new ones. Let's not forget that out of all games, poker is the one that requires the most skills. Blackjack is another card game that you can try and use the skills gained from poker. Of course, the rules are much more different, but the intuition and flair developed in poker can be helpful in blackjack too. In case you want to try other card games, you can go for baccarat that is somewhat different, but it's in no way less interesting than poker. We hope you enjoy it!
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Where can you play with real money?
Undoubtedly poker is one of the most popular games for gambling that can be found in any online casino. Most casinos even have a separate section for poker, which offers bonuses for players who bet real money. Similar bonus plans can appear in the following native and international casinos:
- William Hill;
Most bonuses in poker games are connected to freeroll tournaments where you can participate without an entrance fee. However, online casinos also offer bonuses with no deposit for certain types of video poker games.
Frequently asked questions about poker
What are the types of poker?
Texas Hold'em, Omaha, Seven-card Stud, Razz, Omaha Hi-Lo, Chinese Poker, Caribbean Poker, 3-Card Poker, High/Low Chicago
What's the most popular poker game?
Texas hold'em is the most famous and most played poker game in the world. It's played in the World Series of Poker.
What are poker's rules?
Each poker game is unique from the rest and has different rules. The most popular kind of poker (Texas hold'em) is played with 52 cards and 2-11 players. Each player receives 2 cards while 5 other cards on the table get turned face up (flop), after which one more card is turned (turn) followed by the final card (river). The player with the strongest combination, from his own cards and those on the table, wins.
How much do professional poker players make?
Between $10 000 and $1 000 000 annually, maybe even much more if the player devotes all of their time to play online poker professionally.
Which are the richest poker players?
- Sam Trickett - $17 million
- Phil Hellmuth - $16 million
- Daniel Negreanu - $16 million
- Phil Ivey - $15 million
- Michael Mizrachi - $14 million
Is the game built on luck or skills?
This is an argument as old as the game itself. Poker is a game of skills, and this can be easily proven. You can check the top 10 players in the World Series of Poker these last ten years. Most of the time, they are the same people. If it was all about luck, this wouldn't be possible.
Overall rating of Poker games by Casino Robots
Rating 9.9 out of 10