How online poker works

Thoughts of poker often bring up nostalgic images of old saloons and high-stakes games. Modern-day amateurs and professionals alike gather around virtual tables in online casinos to try their hand at what is arguably the most popular card game today: online poker.

This article explores the ins and outs of online poker.

What is online poker?

Online poker is just like live poker but played over the internet. As with its land-based cousin, online poker is played with real money, where actual wins and losses occur.

The online version of this table game also features all the different versions of poker, from Texas hold’em to twists such as pai gow poker. Online poker has gained a lot of traction since its first appearance in the mid-1990s.

Today, online casinos even host huge poker tournaments with lucrative prizes. The best online poker games offer demo plays so that you can discover how to play poker at your own pace.

Differences between online and live poker

There are significant differences between online and live poker. No matter where you play – a brick-and-mortar poker room, online, or a live dealer table – the basic poker rules for the different versions of poker are the same.

Land-based casinos have live poker rooms or tables where you can access high or low-stakes games. These are physical locations, meaning that you have to dress up and travel there.

The table games sections of online casinos offer a variety of video or other types of poker. The best online casinos let you play demo versions before placing real-money poker bets.

You’ll also find a live casino at Resorts Casino. Even though this is also an online adventure, you tap into live poker games taking place on the physical casino floor. Live dealer poker occurs in real time and brings the excitement of a buzzing casino lobby to your screen at home.

A traditional poker room can be intimidating. Novice poker players often find online poker more appealing as it lets them develop their skills at their own pace.

Online poker is available on your computer, laptop, tablet or phone when and wherever you feel like playing. This anytime access is more appealing and cost-effective than taking a drive through traffic to get to your poker venue.

How to start playing

Not all online casinos offer poker games. You will, however, find well-established poker games and live dealer options at the best online poker sites for real money.

Firstly, you need to register with an online casino. Before you dive in, do your homework and ensure that you sign up with a legal and regulated operator that offers video poker, poker and live poker installments. When registering, also check out other slots and table games for real-money bets.

You can play online poker against the house or enter live poker tournaments with huge prizes. The online poker arena features everything from low-risk tables to high-roller poker rooms. 

There are many poker variants. Some are straightforward, while others challenge the brain. When playing poker for the first time, it’s a good idea to start with Texas hold’em, which is also the most-played version worldwide.

Get to know the different poker hands and rankings before betting with real money. These, from highest to lowest, are:

  • Royal flush, where you get an ace, king, queen, jack and 10 all in the same suit.
  • Straight flush, which is a sequence of any cards in the same suit.
  • Four of a kind, which is four cards of the same type, such as four kings.
  • Full house, being three of a kind and a pair, such as three aces and two jacks.
  • Flush, which is a jumble of cards all of the same suit.
  • Straight, which is a sequence of cards with different suits.
  • Three of a kind, which is any three cards with the same value, such as three 5s.
  • Two-pair, which means that you have two pairs in hand, such as two 9s and two 5s.
  • Pair, which is two of the same card, such as two aces.
  • High card, which refers to the highest card in your five-card hand.

Learn how to play online poker for money with a step-by-step approach:

  • The pre-flop is the first step where the dealer gives each player two cards face down. The player is the only one who can see these cards. So, the dealer and other players remain blind. Players must put down their entry bets during this stage.
  • The second step is the flop. Here, the dealer deals three cards face up in the middle of the table. Players use these face-up cards to make the best combination (winning hand) with their two face-down cards. Each player put down a bet. Some players bluff, while others go according to the value of their combined face-up and face-down cards.
  • During the turn, the dealer adds another face-up card to the community cards. This initiates the third round of betting.
  • The river stage reveals the last community card. During this phase, there are five face-up cards on the table.
  • The showdown is the last stage. Players raise, see or fold their hands and reveal their two hidden cards to see who won. The combination of the best five cards takes the pot.
A custom image with a black background, blurred with playing cards on the right and text which says "Play poker at resorts and get a first deposit match of up to $500"

How much money do I need to start playing poker online?

The best online poker real-money sites ask for reasonable deposits to start a poker game. Remember, some tables cost more than others. Read the terms and conditions about the deposit and the sign-up fee before playing.

How to deposit at online poker sites?

At Resorts Casino, you can make online poker deposits using:

  • VIP Preferred ACH Bank Transfer
  • PayPal
  • Resorts Card
  • PayNearMe Cash Deposits
  • Mastercard
  • Visa

Types of poker games

Live dealer poker games include Ultimate Texas Hold’em, 3-Card Poker and Side Bet City. If you prefer the slower pace of the table games section, check out I Love Suits Poker, Casino Stud, Fortune Pai Gow Poker, Texas Hold’em Plus, and many more.

How to get a poker deal

Resorts Casino offers excellent start-up bonuses and promotions. So, before diving in, check out our excellent offers.

Author: Tanya Fields

Campaign Acquisition Manager Length with RC: 1 year, 9 months Favorite Casino Game: Starburst Background in iGaming: Opened the iGaming Department at Hard Rock Atlantic City in 2018 in both Customer Service, and then CRM, prior to moving over to RC in January 2021 Location: Based in NJ at the RC HQ Content: Occasionally, but only as it pertains to RC