Play on The Best Online Poker Site
Online poker remains one of the best casino games you can play. When you play poker online you’re not playing against the house but other players, hence there’s no house edge. Although there’s an element of luck involved, skill is the deciding factor in the long-term.
However, to succeed you need a viable poker strategy. The best players are constantly learning new tactics and analyzing the mistakes they make.
What are the Best Online Poker Sites in Philadelphia?
There are a number of online casinos in PA holding poker licenses. World-renowned poker companies like WSOP and 888 Poker are expected to move into the state soon. For now, players in Pennsylvania can sign up to PokerStars to get their daily dose of online poker!
PokerStars is the only site in PA that currently offers a poker site. There are a variety of poker tournaments and cash games you can play from your desktop or mobile device! The welcome package includes multiple bonuses you can use for your first few games of poker.
What is Online Poker?
Online poker is the computerized version of the popular casino card game. Just like real poker tables, you’ll join a game with other players and try and beat them with the cards in your hand.
When you play poker online, there are a number of variations you could play. The most popular are virtual and live dealer poker games.
Difference between Live Dealer Poker & Virtual Poker
Below, we have listed a few of the biggest differences between live dealer poker and the virtual game.
|Live Dealer Poker||Virtual Poker|
|Play with live dealer||RNG software|
|Not available 24/7||Available 24/7|
|Not available to play for free||Play for free or real money|
|Fast pace||Slow pace|
While the two types of poker are very different, you can still claim bonuses and promotions exclusive to both.
How Poker Online works?
For newer players, it’s vital to get used to the way poker is played. If you’re used to playing slots and other table games, online poker is a far more complex game to master.
Every player will receive two cards. These are hidden from all other players on the table. The first person to act is the player to the left of the person who posted the big blind. They can fold their hand, call the big blind, or raise.
Once everyone has acted, the first three community cards hit the table. This is known as the flop. You’ll use all the eventual community cards to help you create the best possible hand. Once the flop has been dealt, there’s another round of betting.
The fourth community card hits the table, known as the turn. Another round of betting follows. Of course, you can ‘check’ and choose not to bet, make a bet, or fold your hand.
The fifth and final community card lands on the table. Known as the river, there’s one final round of betting.
Assuming there are two or more players in the hand, the hand will enter what’s known as the showdown. During the showdown, there are no more bets and the remaining players will flip their cards over to see who has the best hand.
Poker Betting Systems and Strategies
- Royal Flush - The hand that can not be beaten and must contain an ace, king, queen, jack, and ten of the same suits.
- Straight Flush - Five cards that make a sequence in the same suit, wins the hand if there is a tie.
- Four of a Kind - Four cards with the same rank and a “kicker” which is used in the event of a tie and win goes to the player with the highest “kicker.”
- Full House - Three cards that are the same and two different but matching a suit from the three. In the event of a tie, the winner holds the highest three cards.
- Flush - Five cards in the same suit in no particular order. In the event of a draw, the winner is holding the highest card.
- Straight - Five cards in sequence but not in the same suit. The highest card in the sequence is the winner.
- Three of a Kind - Three cards worth the same and two in no order. The highest side card wins the hand.
- Two Pair - Two cards that match rank, two cards that have different match rank, and one “kicker.” If players have matching doubles then the winner goes to the player holding the highest “kicker.”
The position is everything in online poker. The person who acts last has a distinct advantage over the person acting first.
At the start of a round, how you play in each position can define whether you win or lose. The hands you should play with are dependent on which position you’re in.
The most powerful position is known as the ‘button’. It’s the final position before the blinds. The weakest position is known as ‘under the gun’ and the player in this position is always the one to act first.
Download a hand chart to help you understand which hands you should be playing per position. When you’re under the gun, you should play nothing but the strongest of hands. When you’re on the button, you have a lot more flexibility in what you can play.
Maximizing the Value of Your Strongest Hands
Newer players are usually best served by playing tight. In other words, they fold most hands and only play their strongest offerings.
The way to make a profit from playing online poker in this way is to get the maximum amount of value from your biggest hands.
When you get two aces or two kings, you should be betting big. Don’t be afraid to go all-in, if necessary. These are the hands that don’t come along often and the worst thing that can happen is you don’t get a big win from them.
Novices using a tight strategy must win big in order to stay profitable when they’re playing so few hands.
Knowing How to Bet
Are you tempted to start out a hand by calling the big blind and seeing three cards? It may seem like a good idea, but it’s actually a mistake.
Don’t think of it as getting three community cards on a budget, think of it as other players getting three community cards on a budget.
If you’re going into a hand you need to make it expensive for your opponents to see another community card.
Nobody should be opening a hand with a simple call. You should be betting at least 3x the big blind. From there, you should be betting at least 50% - 75% of the pot. If you’re not willing to do this, get out of the way.
When you’ve got a hand, go hard.
Bluffing is perhaps the most satisfying part of playing poker, next to winning a huge tournament. When playing with novices, bluffing should be avoided at all costs.
People who don’t know how to play poker will call anything. Bluffing only works successfully on a consistent basis when the other player knows what they’re doing.
This is a tactic you should employ sparingly to shake things up. If you acquire the reputation of being a maniac at the table, your bluffs won’t work because other players will just call you out.
Playing a Balanced Style
The poker pros will tell you that it’s important to play a balanced style. In other words, you shouldn’t play tight the whole time because whenever you wade into a hand all but the strongest hands will instantly fold. You’ll never get any action at the table this way.
That’s why when you hit the higher levels you need to employ a balanced style. Mix things up a little by, say, playing tight but working some weaker semi-bluff hands into your play.
A balanced style is unimportant at the lower levels, or if you’re specializing in tournaments. Either the players you’re facing will be idiots or you won’t be playing with the same people long enough for them to get a read on you.
When you reach the point where you need to implement an advanced poker strategy, you’ll start spotting the same players time and time again.
Play with Ranges Not Hands
An average poker player will try to put their opponent on a specific hand. A great poker player thinks in terms of ranges.
Let’s take a look at how this works in practice:
You have an ace and a king against one other player. The community cards dealt are an ace, king, and a ten. Two of these are of the same suit.
The other player responds by making a large bet. What would you do in this situation?
Newer players would go in with all guns blazing because they have two pairs. Two pair, however, is the third weakest hand in all of poker. It’s not an impressive hand and there’s a lot of hands that could beat it.
Instead, the smart player considers the range. Here’s what they’re thinking:
- They don’t have a top pair because you have the top pair. They also don’t have a middle pair because you have a middle pair.
- They may have a flush draw. They may also have a straight draw.
- It’s also likely that if they bet aggressively there’s a chance they have a pocket pair. That could have given them three tens.
- Alternatively, it may be a stone-cold bluff.
These are the thoughts that a smart player has. They’re considering whether they’re beaten. And they go through this process on every betting street. It’s all about trying to pinpoint whether the other player has you beat, rather than figuring out which hand they have.
Of course, you’re also adding how the player is behaving in your thought process. A sudden all in with a big stack is a likely sign they have the best hand, for example.
Poker Rules Every Player Should Follow
Online poker is a complex game because there are different ways to play at every level. There are certain rules everyone should follow, though.
Manage Your Bankroll
Bad bankroll management is the number one reason why players go bust and have to get their credit cards out again. Playing at tables you don’t have the bankroll for will lead to disaster.
Unless you have at least 50 buy-ins for the table you want to play, it’s time to leave your ego at the door and move down a level.
Be Prepared for Big Swings
Poker is a game of skill in the long-term and a game of luck in the short-term. Even the best players experience long losing streaks where the cards just won’t fall for them.
You must be prepared to deal with these big swings. The idea is that over tens of thousands of hands playing with the correct poker strategy will lead to a profit.
You need the right mindset to handle these big swings.
Tilting is a term for getting angry when playing poker. Someone who tilts is no longer playing with the correct poker strategy, they’re playing with emotions.
This most often occurs when you have a strong hand yet you still lose because of a bad card, known as a bad beat. Sometimes, though, it can even happen when someone is on a long winning streak and they get cocky.
Tilting happens and you shouldn’t feel bad about it. What separates a bad player from a good player is knowing when to walk away and take a break.
Why Play Online Poker?
If you haven’t already been convinced to sign up to PokerStars and start playing online poker, we have a few more reasons:
- It’s convenient!
- Play whenever you want, anywhere in Pennsylvania.
- You can access online poker games from your mobile device.
- No waiting in lines at the land-based venue.
- Play for free before wagering real money online.
Classic Texas Hold’em poker, which is by far the most popular form of online poker, uses the same poker hand ranking system as other forms of poker.
The royal flush is the strongest hand in the game and a high card is the weakest hand. Unlike video poker, it’s not important which hand you finish up with. The only aim is to beat the hands of the players opposing you.
Even if you have no hand, you can still defeat other players through clever bluffing.
If you know how to play Texas Hold’Em, then Omaha will be no problem. The two are played with similar rules, except for the hole cards used in Omaha.
You are dealt four hole cards and must include two of them in your final hand along with the community cards. Compared to Hold’Em, the hands in Omaha have a higher value.
Three Cards Poker
If you’re new to poker online, Three Cards Poker is a great place to start. Compared to other variations, it’s much easier to learn. You don’t play with 5 cards like most poker games, but 3 cards. There are different bets you can make, depending on where you’re playing.
The end goal of Three Cards Poker is to have a better hand than the dealer with 3 cards.
Is Online Poker Legal in Philadelphia?
Online poker has been legal in Pennsylvania since 2017. When online gambling was legalized in the state, operators had the chance to pay millions for a poker license. While a lot of online casinos are allowed to offer poker, the games haven’t been launched just yet. PokerStars is the only exception and has been live in PA since the Fall of 2019.
Are Online Poker Games Rigged?
Online poker games can not be rigged because of the Random Number Generator software used by each online casino.
Can you Play Online Poker for Free?
There are free poker games available online for you to practice before playing for real money. Free poker games are played against the computer instead of versus other online players.
Live dealer poker can not be played for free. These types of games are available between the hours of 1 pm to 3 am and require real money wagers at each table.