playing online poker

11 Jul 2023

A guide to playing poker online

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Poker is a strategic card game played by millions of people around the world. It’s traditionally played on tables in casinos but is now more commonly played online.

Playing poker online is popular for many reasons – you can play anytime, anywhere on your laptop, tablet or smartphone. Plus, you can play for as little or as much as you like, and it’s more fast-paced than in-person poker games.

If you’re new to playing poker online, knowing where to start can be tricky. To help you get to grips with it, this article will take you through how to choose an online poker platform, the different types of poker you can play, and how much money you need to join games.  

neon poker cards

Choosing an online poker provider

There are two options when it comes to playing poker online: poker sites and downloadable poker software. Generally speaking, poker software provides more features and better playability than most poker sites, but either option is suitable for beginners and advanced players alike. 

playing poker online

There are hundreds of online poker sites to choose from and there are no hard and fast rules on how to choose which one is best for you. However, the main factor to consider when making your choice is the variants of poker offered by the platform – do they offer the type of poker you want to play? 

In the world of online poker, Texas Hold'em reigns supreme, and is the main offering of most online poker providers. If you want to play a variation of Texas Hold'em or another variation of the game, it’s important to do your research to make sure it’s offered by the platform you’re looking to sign up to.  

Other types of poker you may wish to play include:

  • Pot-Limit Omaha
  • Omaha Hi-Lo
  • 7 Card Stud
  • 5 Card Draw
  • Short Deck Hold'em
  • Razz
  • Chinese Poker

Online poker games are available in all kinds of formats, from standard cash games to tournaments to sit-and-gos (smaller, faster tournaments), so make sure the provider you choose offers your preferred type of play.

It’s also wise to consider the calibre of players on the platform – will you be playing against seasoned players or beginners like yourself? Finally, before you choose a platform, weigh up the various welcome bonuses on offer, as these can help you get started with paid play if you choose to bet with real money.

How much money do you need to play online poker?

For absolute beginners, free play is a great way to get started and immerse yourself in the game without the risk of losing money. Free play is offered on most sites and downloadable software and is a good place to start when you’re learning the ropes, as you’re not risking your money.

Once you feel practised at poker, you may decide you’d like to play for money. When starting out, most people choose to deposit a small amount to their online poker provider; usually in the range of £50 to £200. This amount is generally enough to keep play going for a while in low-stake tournaments with £1 or £2 buy-ins, especially if you make back some money through winnings. 

On some sites, it’s even possible to play cash games for as little as 1p or 2p, which makes a deposit of £50 go a long way. A generous welcome bonus can also help your funds go further with paid play. 


poker board

Making deposits and withdrawing winnings

If you wish to play poker online with money, you’ll need to choose a deposit and withdrawal method. Most sites accept card payments, as well as digital wallets (e-wallets) like Skrill.

Skrill makes moving money to and from poker sites quick and easy. To deposit, you simply need to enter your Skrill login credentials; there’s no need to enter your bank details or card number. And when you’re ready to withdraw, accessing your money is just as straightforward.

Open a Skrill account today to pay and play without the need to rely on your bank.

Open a Skrill account

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