For years, online poker has been a staple of the gambling industry. Every day, millions of people worldwide jump online and engross themselves in the world of online poker through various platforms and in a host of fun and exciting games ranging from Texas Hold’em to Seven Card Stud. This article looks to review just how popular online poker is in the Irish market specifically and help you gain a holistic understanding of the game. As well as that, it will examine common poker tactics and will answer some of the most frequently asked questions regarding online poker.
Choosing the Best Online Poker Sites
Choosing and committing to an online poker site can be a daunting task. With so many choices, a new player may have no idea where to start. So here are some key points you can consider when deciding where to place your allegiance.
- Reputation/Popularity: this is one of the most crucial features you should consider when deciding. Generally, if an online poker site does not have a strong reputation, it will not have many players and finding a game may be more difficult. Many primary poker sites will have enough people playing to have rooms available 24/7, ideal for users in any time zone. Newer players should always be aware of player volume on a site and how important it can be. Similarly, the reputation of a site can make it or break it. Reputation is often based on a few key factors; many of them are mentioned below.
- Software: as is also the case with online casinos, the ones at the top of the pile are the sites with the best software providers attached to them. The same applies to the best online poker sites. As a punter deciding what website to pick, you will want to look for some of the more prominent software providers known for making enjoyable casino games that are error-free. The best example of a company like this is Microgaming, which has been at the top of the casino software provider genre for years. Similarly, providers like Digient and PlayTech exist that offer users fun and exciting poker experiences, allowing you to play in free poker rooms against bots to enhance your skills and get used to the different hands. You can also play in online rooms against real people and tournaments where you can test your might against some of the best on the platform.
- Rewards and Bonuses: one of the main things that will draw in new users are the rewards and bonuses that come with signing up. Most poker sites will have specific Welcome Offers; all you will need to do is adhere to the sign-up instructions. For example, depositing €10 might see you receive a 100% deposit bonus, which will give you €20 to spend in-game. Similar to online casinos, some online poker sites will offer No Deposit Bonuses too. These are great boosts for more cautious players that may not be sold on the idea of depositing money. One thing to note is that you should always read the terms and conditions attached to bonuses. Often, there may be wagering terms or specific criteria that you will need to meet. Try not to be allured by bonuses and promotions too easily but use them to your advantage when needed.
- Customer Care: this comes in the form of both customer services and security. As a user, if you encounter any issues, it is essential to feel that you have the team’s support. Many online poker sites in Ireland have around the clock customer support that is professional and efficient. This customer support will usually come in a phone, chat, or email form, and responses are often quick (usually within 12-24 hours). Similarly, users want to feel that their money is safe. In this case, be sure that the site has measures in place to protect your money, like SSL encryption or eCOGRA.
- Variety of Games Available: a crucial point when looking for the best Irish online poker site is the variety of poker variants available. Below we will discuss the poker variants on offer to users, and the more games available for the punter to play. The more options they have, the more likely they are to win prizes!
How to Play Online Poker
Understanding how to play online poker can be a bit of a task for any newbie. However, once you get into the swing of things, it can be a fun and exciting way to spend and potentially win money. Getting started is easy, with many online poker sites giving users a quick play option that takes you straight into the action. The experience of playing poker online will differ depending on the variant you are playing, but in general, you will start with five cards in your hand.
There are different names given to specific values in your hand, too, ranging from a straight flush to a full house to a five of a kind. Understanding each of these will take some practice, but the AI will often indicate how high your chances are of winning the hand when playing online. In poker, the aim is to have the most chips at the end of the game. On each hand, there will be an opportunity for you to place your bet. At this time, you can decide how much you are willing to stake based on the power of your hand. If you have the best hand at the table, you win all of the chips staked at the table.
There are a couple of important poker related terms that are paramount for every poker player to know. If you are a newer player, you may not have heard of these terms, but learning them is an essential part of becoming a better poker player overall; they are:
|All-in||When you bet all of your remaining chips at the one time.|
|Ante||The money that each player places in the pot before a round starts. Usually, in the first round, the minimum you can bet is the amount you have added in as an ante. So if you put €5 in as your ante bet, that is your minimum stake in the next round.|
|Bluff||When you bet or raise with a lousy hand, it gives the impression that your cards are stronger than they are. The goal of bluffing is to confuse other players.|
|Call||A call is when you match the amount staked by the other players in a round.|
|Cash Out||To cash out is to leave the table and convert your chips into cash. Typically, this is what you would do in online poker after a game.|
|Check||To check is to decide not to bet yet; you will let others go and wait for your go again before deciding whether to raise or not.|
|Flush||A flush is a hand with one suit only in it.|
|Post||Post is an option that some online casinos may have; it just means to place a bet.|
|Stack||Your pile of chips|
|Royal Flush||One of the best hands in all of poker, it is a 10/J/Q/K/A|
Most Popular Online Poker Games
When it comes to playing poker online, the possibilities are endless. Several different variants of poker will be sure to keep you entertained for hours. Many of them only have slight differences but still, require specific knowledge on how to play. Below is a list of the most popular poker games, what they are, and how to play and win at them.
When it comes to poker, beit online or in person, Texas Hold’em is the holy grail. In the game, five cards are dealt in the middle of the table. Each player in the game is dealt two pocket cards, and as the community cards in the middle are turned over, your chances of winning or losing the hand depend on your pocket cards and how well they combine with the cards in the middle.
There are four stages. The first involves the players blind betting and being dealt their cards. The second round is the flop and consists of the dealer turning three of the cards in the middle. Players can now either fold or continue betting based on their hand. The turn is the third round, and it involves the dealer turning over the fourth card and players betting accordingly. The final round is the river, where the last card in the middle is shown, and players bet again before revealing what they have. It may seem like a lot, but it is easy to get used to after a few rounds.
Omaha parallels Texas Hold’em in some ways in that there are pocket cards and community cards, but how the cards are used is a little different. Four cards are given to each player face down, and each person must choose two cards each. In contrast to Texas Hold ’em, where you can be a little more flexible with your pocket cards and use one or two of them as needed to suit your game, you have to use your pocket cards in Omaha.
There are also different types of betting in Omaha that vary in terms of aggression. These are Pot Limit, Fixed Limit, and No Limit. Each of these betting types refers to the maximum amount of money that can be staked in a game. There are also different variations of Omaha played at certain casinos. However, the rules are the same for the most part.
Similar to Texas Hold’em, Casino Hold’em involves pocket and community cards but has a couple of variations attached. For one, it is just you against the house. You win by beating the house and not having to deal with other players bluffing or manipulating. At the start, you place an ante bet that signifies that you are participating. Once all bets are in the game, you get your cards face up while the dealer gets his face down. The game progresses similarly to Texas Hold’em after this, and you win by having a better hand than the dealer unless you or the dealer fold beforehand.
Seven Card Stud
In seven-card stud, you can use seven cards to make the best five-card hand that you can. Players are given two cards face down, and one card face up after they have made their ante bet. Then once everyone looks at their two pocket cards, the player with the lowest card value on their face-up card has to place a ‘bring-in’ bet, and clockwise, players will then continue to bet or fold as the game goes on and more cards are dealt. In the end, a player will have seven cards and will use their five best cards to win or bluff their way to the jackpot.
Live Dealer Poker
Live dealer poker is one of the most exciting online poker variants because it gives users the casino experience from anywhere. The beauty of it is, many sites or apps have live poker, and that means that you can play it on your mobile, tablet, or laptop from anywhere you like. Live poker is usually very popular and competitive, and game types can range from any of the variants listed above and some others not on the list.
A game of Razz is a game of anti-poker. The aim of the game is to have the worst hand at the table. The best hand you can get in the game is the ‘wheel’, an ace,2,3,4 and 5. And the worst hand is determined from the highest card down. The only place that offers Razz online for Irish customers is Pokerstars, and there are Razz tournaments available online. Ultimately, it is a fun and refreshing take on classic poker that offers new and seasoned players something interesting.
Other Poker Games
As well as many of the games mentioned above, there are other poker alternatives that users can play and enjoy online, some of these include Five Card Draw, where there are similarities to Texas Hold’em, but you can discard and draw new cards to help aid your chances of winning at your own risk.
There is Red Dog, where the aim of the game is to have a higher card of the same suit as the card at the top of the deck. There is Three Card Poker, one of the most fast-paced variants, where you and the dealer are dealt three cards and battle to have the best hand. Finally, there is Chinese poker, where up to four players can play. Each player is dealt 13 cards, with three in the front, five in the middle and five at the back, your three rows of cards are compared to those at the table. There are different scoring rules too, but the values of the hand are the same as Texas Hold’em.
How to Win at Online Poker
There are a few types of poker players. Ultimately, each player wants to win, but players can employ a host of different strategies to do that. Some of the best players in the world use different strategies when playing in person, but in many ways, using a strategy can be more difficult online because it may be harder to convince people of your intentions. In any case, here is a list of the most common tactics used by the best in the business.
|Loose||Generally, if a player is described as ‘loose’, they are aggressive and like to play a lot of hands. They are unlikely to fold and will often raise or call a bet.|
|Tight||Tight players are often seen as easier to read because they are more predictable. Usually, they will only call when their hand is good and are usually not great at bluffing.|
|Passive||Passive players are the opposite of aggressive players and often play with a fear of losing the hand. They will not bet very much and can be easy to read.|
|Aggressive||The aggressive play style speaks for itself. Aggressive players will have no issue going all in or betting big; even if they don’t have the best hand, they can scare a lot of more cautious players away.|
|Position||A position poker player will usually read the table and decide based on where he is and how other players have decided to play rather than basing it on their own hand.|
|Bluff/Deception||Bluffing is a classic tactic used in poker and is where you may not have the best hand but will bet big or act confident, suggesting that you have a better hand than you do.|
Online Poker Real Money
Playing online poker with real money is one of the two ways that you can enjoy a game. Many poker sites will allow you to deposit money and will provide bonuses to new and existing players. Typically, there will be rooms for newer players and high rollers, and each will have an entry fee. Sites will have rooms for each game type. For example, a beginner room may have a €10 entry fee, and a high roller room could have a €500 cost to get in on the action. However, playing with real money will always involve risk, and you should always look to gamble responsibly, never playing with more than you can afford to lose.
Free Online Poker Games with Fake Money
Playing poker online with fake money is a brilliant way to introduce yourself to the different game modes and how they work. Many top online casino sites in Ireland have virtual money options where players can bet using fake money and get a feel for the game and its rules. This concept is ideal for casual players who do not like to bet money and for newer players looking to get a feel for a game without inheriting any risk.
When playing free poker, your opponents will be bots, and usually, you can set the level of difficulty higher once you start to get better. Ultimately, fake money online poker is the ultimate learning tool that will help make you a better player and will help make you more comfortable using real money.
Online Poker With Friends
Playing online poker with friends has become so much more popular since the outbreak of Covid-19. Friends who would typically have weekly poker nights in the house have had to move their games online. Luckily, many sites offer users the option of creating private rooms and inviting friends, where you can set specific rules and limits on the game before playing; it makes playing online feel like you are all there in person.
You don’t need to use real money either, so you can take a little pressure off the game and keep it to a fun and friendly night of poker, or you can set the stakes a little higher and use real money. Similarly, you can also join the same online game and compete against other users for the chance to win money and bragging rights! All in all, if you have friends that you want to play poker with online, all of the top sites have you covered.
Payment Methods Available at Online Poker Sites
As with many online casino sites, online poker sites give the players multiple ways to deposit and withdraw their money. From cards to e-wallets to crypto, online poker sites are always finding ways to make the player’s withdrawal and depositing process easier. If any problems are to arise, then users can avail of high-end customer service that looks to speed up any slow processes. Depositing will often be instant, and withdrawals will take anywhere from 6 hours to 3 or 4 days, depending on the site used and the payment method. Here are some of deposit and withdrawal methods available when it comes to online poker: Debit/Credit Card, PayPal, Skrill, Neteller, Bank Transfer, Cryptocurrency (with limited sites), and other e-wallets.
Is Online Poker Legal in Ireland
Yes, online poker is fully licensed and legal in Ireland and is one of the most popular online games in the country. There is no tax on poker winnings, and it is a game where you get better the more you play. Various software providers that we will discuss in a moment have worked hard for years to create and maintain a realistic and exciting online poker experience for players, and the growing number of players is a testament to their success in that regard.
Most poker sites are licensed by the Malta Gaming Authority, the Gibraltar Regulatory Authority, or the UK Gambling Commission. Each of them are seen as leaders in the licensing field when it comes to online gambling, so you can be sure that when you play online poker, you are safe and doing so legally.
Top Poker Software Providers in Ireland
Across each of the online poker sites in Ireland, there is one thing in common: they have robust software that helps the game run smoothly and efficiently. The software is so important because the running of the site, its game varieties, and the maintenance of traffic flow are all dependent on it. Below is a table containing some of the most popular software providers for online poker sites in Ireland:
- Digient: for the past 15 years, Digient has been providing players with a robust selection of casino and poker games. They offer a host of poker gaming options like Texas Hold ’em, Omaha, and Stud, and are audited by the accredited BMM company.
- Microgaming: since the mid-90s, Microgaming has taken the online casino industry by storm and is touted regularly as being one of the most popular software providers of high-quality gaming experiences. They specialise in slots and live casino games but have also created variants of Omaha, Seven Card Stud, Razz and Five Card Draw. As well as this, they host tournaments, have excellent customer support, and their games are found on a variety of popular sites.
- Connective Games: since 2006 Connective has been a staple in the online casino industry. Offering classics like Texas Hold ’em, Omaha and even Chinese Poker, the company is popular on some of the biggest online casino sites. They also provide mini-tournaments known as ‘sit and go’ tournaments, which last for an hour at most and offer a fun, fast, and efficient way to get a competitive game of poker in.
- PlayTech: as one of the most trusted software providers on the market, PlayTech offers users many game types that cater to all players. Regarding poker, they offer Texas Hold ’em, Omaha and its variants, and Soko. Their software can be found on many different websites and is a real mark of quality.
Ultimately, playing poker online has become the new normal. Never has playing and enjoying such a popular casino game been so accessible, and for the Irish market, there are so many sites that give players the chance to win. As a newbie or a more cautious player, you can play with fake money and fine-tune your skills, or you can play online, spending and winning big, or you can enter tournaments. Different sites provide bonuses that make it exciting for newer or existing players, and with many leading providers offering top-class casino experiences, users are spoiled for choice. So whether you have no money or €500 to spend, online poker is a great way to learn a new skill, make money, and spend your time.