Starting Your Journey: How does online poker work?

The concept of online poker came to fruition in the late 1990’s. Before that traditional, also known as brick-and-mortar casinos and poker rooms were the only place where the players could play poker. Though a physical poker game can be much more interesting to play than the virtual game, live venues were limiting the players because of their geographical locations or their terms and conditions.

On top of that, not every casino had a poker room for the players; the reason was that the venue generated by the casinos from the poker tables is estimated to be only 1% which was almost negligible. The casinos make much more money by removing the poker tables and adding slot machines instead.

The Earliest Origins of Online Poker

Online poker was being played as a free game in as early as the late 1990s as IRC poker. The first online real money games for USA players were offered by Planet Poker in 1998 and the first real money hand was dealt on 1st January 1998. In October 1999, Mike Caro became the face of Planet Poker.

Why players flocked to the online game

The major benefit of online poker is that it could be played from literally anywhere in the world as long as the player has a running internet connection. The geographical limitations do not exist anymore and a person who wishes to play can play a game with as low as 1 cent.

Playing poker online is extremely simple. All you have to do is log in on to a trusted poker website and enter your details. You will get a verification email and when you click on the link you are set to play the game. What goes on behind the screen, which is keeping the game intact, is another story entirely and we will answer this mystery for you in this article.

Types of Poker Games Available Online

Basically, there are two types of online poker games, the cash games, and the tournaments.

Cash Games

The cash games involve the moment of actual cash from player to player. There are certain table limits for buy-ins and a player can enter with as much little amount within limits as possible.

Tournaments

In the case of tournaments you need to pay a set buy-in and all the people play until the pot is won. On the famous poker sites, there are set times for the tournaments to start and these draws hundreds of players from all over the world. Then there are SNG (Sit & Go) tournaments which have a limit of a particular amount of players and as soon as the registration is done the game starts.

Rake: How Online Poker Site Make Money

Rake is the fee that a physical and a virtual gaming room charge players for a hand. Rake for every site is different, but on average it is the 5% of every pot. There are two types of rakes; the dealt rake and the contributed rake.

The dealt rake is the fee which a player is charged when is dealt a hand, whether he then loses, folds or wins the hand. A contributed rake, on the other hand, is charged to the player when he contributes to the pot.

Keeping the Games Secure

Poker sites boast that they are safer than the online shopping websites from where the credit card numbers and other information is very frequently stolen. People usually become weary when they are asked to enter their personal details, but the sites require these details to verify that you are a real human being, an account has not been made in your name already, you are old enough to play the game and lastly to pay you are in case you win the game.

Auditing Agencies and RNGs

The poker sites hire agencies to audit the game to ensure that there are no cheating and collusion. Moreover to ensure a fair play the cards are dealt randomly by a ‘Random Number Generator’ or RNG.

The cards dealt are protected by high technology encryption algorithms so that you can see your own cards only and not even the staff at the poker site know which cards are dealt to the players until the game is finished. If everyone folded and you win the game then no one will know whether you were bluffing or not.

Real Money Deposits and Withdrawals

When you are playing for real money, then you will definitely need to either withdraw the money if deposit the money into your account. In that case, there are three available options for a player to use.

  1. Debit/credit card
  2. E-wallets (PayPal, Moneybookers etc.)
  3. Cash vouchers available at the local supermarkets, convenience stores, and corner shops throughout the UK and the USA

Many poker sites are using similar software and they share the traffic and the players. Before starting the game always read the rules and regulations of the poker site and remember, don’t play with funds that you can’t afford to lose!