Most people think of player vs. player poker when they hear online poker. But that’s not the only form of poker that’s available to online bettors. If you know the values of the different poker hands (such as pair, two pair, flush, etc.), then you have three different versions of online poker to choose from. Here’s an overview of each one.
Player Vs. Player Poker
When people say, “Online poker,” they usually mean player vs. player (multiplayer) online poker. Some of the top sites include:
This form of online poker is just like playing poker at a brick-and-mortar card room. You sit at a table and face off against other poker players. The small and big blinds rotate between hands, and the goal of the game is to get other players to give you their chips.
Online poker formats include Texas Hold’em, Omaha, Crazy Pineapple, and beyond, and you can find these types of games:
- Ring Games: You can sit at a table, play for a bit, and leave at any time. You’re not committed to anything other than the small and big blinds.
- Tournaments: Players progress through a multi-table tournament by defeating all players at a given table, then progressing to the next round. The most famous poker tournament is the annual World Series of Poker, which you can qualify for online.
- Sit ‘n’ Go: Single-table tournament where the winner is the last player standing.
Multiplayer poker is only legal in the following states, and not all have every poker site:
However, everyone in the US (except for those in the State of Washington) can legally play sweepstakes poker at Global Poker, where you can win cash prizes by beating other players at the poker tables.
Read our complete guide on Legal Online Poker In The US.
Casino poker is where you’re playing against the house rather than against other players. It’s like blackjack, except the value of your poker hand corresponds with your payout. For example, a flush in casino poker usually pays better than two pair.
However, each type of casino poker comes with its own unique set of rules. Here are the most common variations you’ll find:
- Casino Hold’em
- Three-Card Poker
- Four-Card Poker
- Mississippi Stud
- DJ Wild Stud
- I Luv Suits
You’ll also see “pai gow poker,” but that’s playing the game of pai gow using playing cards instead of dominoes, not the game of poker with a pai gow twist.
Other card games that fall outside of blackjack but aren’t poker include casino war and baccarat, both of which are player vs. house at both online casinos and brick-and-mortar card rooms.
One of the most approachable games in Las Vegas is video poker, which must be why it’s built into almost every bartop on the Strip. It’s also available at almost every online casino in the US, and the Jacks or Better variation is among the casino games with the best odds, second only to blackjack.
In video poker, you receive five cards from a deck. You then select the cars you want to keep and select draw. You can also keep all five cards or replace all five cards. The goal of the game is to create the best possible poker hand.
The minimum to receive a prize in Video Poker is usually a pair of Jacks. The top prize is always a Royal Flush.
Pro-tip: The more coins you play, the bigger your payout. But you can’t receive the top prize unless you bet the max. So it’s better to play five coins at a lower value than it is to play one coin at a higher value.