Online poker is catching fire all over the world. There are a multitude of games available anytime, day or night. The flexibility and convenience of online play provide total access to the game of poker. It's a gamer's dream! At any moment, without leaving your home or getting out of your pajamas, you can log on and participate in a game.
When getting started in online poker, it's a good idea to begin with play money. This will help you get a feel for the mechanics of the site and the overall experience of playing. Do not expect strategy to play a big part in your play money experience. Players will often play loose and see their hand to the very end, even if they have nothing.
Once you are comfortable playing your game with the website's tools, move on to the money games. This is where you will experience true online poker.
Here are four types of online poker games:
In cash games, you play hand for hand with real money. Stakes vary anywhere from pennies to hundreds of dollars per hand. When entering a cash game, it's a good idea to survey the room for a little while before taking your seat, so that you can get a feel for your competition. An aggressive player might pop right out at you before you even sit down.
Sit and Go
A sit and go game is a mini-tournament, usually made up of one or two ten-person tables. A sit and go game requires a single buy-in and in return you receive a predetermined amount of chips (usually about 1,000 to 1,500). In a one-table sit and go game, the prize pool is split between first, second and third places. In a two-table game, the pool is usually split amongst the top four.
Tournaments are where real fame and fortune are created. Those who win tournaments do so with a combination of skill and luck. Tournament qualifiers begin the game on a multitude of tables that decrease as the game wears on. As the game progresses, the players either lose all their chips and bust out, or take everyone's chips and win it all. A tournament win can be a very prestigious thing.
Most tournaments have a pre-determined start time and buy-in, and, depending on the size of the buy-in and number of participants, a massive prize pool. If you are going to win a large tournament, expect to spend a lot of time in front of your computer. Large tournaments can take hours to complete, so prepare yourself for the long haul and plan your day accordingly.
A satellite tournament is a tournament in which the prize is an entry to another tournament. Your tournament win equals a seat into a game with bigger stakes. For example, Chris Moneymaker entered an online poker satellite tournament where the prize was a seat at the World Series of Poker. He took that satellite win and turned it into a World Series of Poker title.
When playing online poker, you will want to give yourself the best possible chance for winning. Take time explore the different styles of games that are available, and pick one that matches your lifestyle and style of play. Good luck with your journey in online poker!