BEST CANADIAN ONLINE CASINOS
The Oldest Game In The West
History of Poker
- 969 A.D - Mu-tsung, emperor of China, is said to have played an early form of poker with his wife.
- 1834 - Writer Jonathan H. Green makes the first reference to poker in his book about gambling, An Exposure of the Arts and Miseries of Gambling.
- 1875 - The "wildcard" was introduced to poker, along with several other features during and after the American Civil War.
- 2009 - The International Federation of Poker was founded in Switzerland. The Federation became the official body for the game.
Poker is said to have developed over ten centuries through a variety of different forms. All the previous games that gave birth to poker, however, involved ranked cards and the use of bluffing to deceive opponents and to win the game. For example, in 969 A.D., Chinese Emperor Mu-tsung is said to have played "domino cards" with his wife on New Year's Eve. This game was probably an early rendition of poker.
The French brought "Pogue" with them when they arrived in Canada. Subsequent travels to the Mississippi River made the game spread throughout North America. Poker could soon be found in nearly every saloon and bar from coast to coast and was extremely popular during the American Civil War. During this period, the full 52 card set was introduced along with jokers, which were used as wild cards. Here is a short timeline of important poker events in history.
The Down And Dirty Of The Game
With the popularity of Texas Hold'em having taken hold of the poker world it is important to understand the ins and outs. While seeming simple on the surface, the game is quite complex, with players having to consider where they sit at the table, what order the cards are dealt, how big the bet is, and a thousand other considerations. A couple of initial points that you should bear in mind before playing are:
Poker is played with 52 cards divided into 4 suits, with thirteen cards in each suit
There are 2,598,960 distinct 5 card hands in poker
The probability of being dealt a straight flush, the best hand in poker is 1 in 64,974
Poker was initially only played with a 20-card deck
Learning the Ropes
With so much action going on, you can easily get a little swept away when you sit down to play your first game of poker. We've got you covered with this little step by step guide, to cover all the important aspects of online poker play.
The first player begins the game by placing the "Small Blind" bet. Then the second player places the "Big Blind" bet.
The dealer gives out two "Pocket Cards" to each player, face down. The cards are given out in a clockwise manner, starting from the player sitting to the left of the Big Blind.
The first player starts the first betting round and it continues in a clockwise direction around the table from player to player. Every player has to "call" the Big Blind if they want to stay in the game.
The dealer introduces the initial three "Community Boardcards" in the middle of the table, face up. These are to be shared by all players.
The first player who has not folded sitting to the left of the dealer starts the next round of betting, moving forward in a clockwise fashion.
Now the dealer puts a fourth Community Boardcard in the middle of the table, face up.
The first active player sitting on the left of the dealer begins the third round and the game progresses.
After the 4th round, a "Showdown" occurs if there are multiple players active. Each player combines 2 of their Pocket Cards and the 5 Community Broadcards to form the highest value 5-card hand possible.
Whoever has the highest hand wins the pot, not including the rake.
The action moves around the table to the small blind who, if there have been no raises, may call the initial bet or choose to fold. The big blind is then given an option of raising or calling. The dealer puts down three community cards, which are shared amongst the players. These first three cards are called the flop. The players initiate another round of betting with action starting with the player in the position of the small blind. The dealer puts a fourth card down, this card is called the turn. There is another round of betting again starting with the player in the small blind position. A fifth and final card, called the river, is dealt and a final round of betting ensues.
The betting structure varies within Texas Hold'em but there are three main variants, limit, pot limit, and no limit. The first variety limit of Texas Hold'em has a structured version of betting in which the players are only allowed to bet a certain amount per round. There is a cap to the amount of raises allowed in limit poker and when the cap is reached, players can no longer raise, they are only given the option of calling or folding. Pot limit allows more leeway for players to increase their bets, but allows players to only bet the amount already in the pot. No Limit Texas Hold'em is a game for the brave. With no cap as to how much can be wagered, players can bully each other with large bets ranging from $1 to tens of thousands of Canadian Dollars. The only limit is how many chips the player has in front of them.
Hand Rankings 101
While there are 2,598,960 distinct 5-card hands in poker, there are only nine different hand rankings. The hands are ranked according to the probability of achievement so the hands that are more difficult to obtain are more valuable than easier to earn.
- High Card - No matching cards, it is the highest value card in your hand.
- One Pair - Two cards of the same rank along with three other cards
- Two Pair - Two couples of matched cards
- Three of a Kind - Three matching cards of the same rank.
- Straight - A five-card hand in sequence, not of the same suit.
- Flush - Any five cards of the same suit, but not in sequential order.
- Full House - A hand that contains two pair along with three pair.
- Four of a Kind - All four cards of the same rank along with one additional card
- Straight Flush - Five cards in sequential order of the same suit.
- Royal Flush - An Ace high straight flush.
Explore Top Poker Variations
With poker booming throughout the world, it is easily played for free, for real money, as well as being played online against a computer or against a live dealer. There are advantages to all types of play and players must decide for themselves what they are most comfortable with.
Free play allows players to practice and learn the rules of the game. It becomes much easier to learn when and how to bet, how the game is paced, along with the hand rankings and how antes work. Unfortunately, without the added element of actual money, players can throw the game off with wagers that don't make sense. This makes the game unbalanced and difficult to understand how betting patterns work.
Real cash play is a great way to earn money and have fun. In addition, real money play involves more complexities and the stakes of bluffing, semi-bluffing, and having a hand become much, much more real. With real money at stake, players can bully each other with large size pots skewing the risk versus reward ratio. Also, more information can be gained by playing with real money such as hand strength, tells, or psychological cues that indicate a player's hand and their betting patterns.
Live Dealer Poker
With the increase of online games available there is a real debate between whether to play against a computer or to play with a live dealer. Playing against a computer is a lot of fun, a great way to be dealt more hands per hour, and to play multiple games at a time, but this can get confusing. Playing with a live dealer is much slower but is easier to pick up on clues & tells since all the action is transmitted via video.
- Ante - A forced bet that travels around the table. This bet is made before the cards are dealt and antes contribute to the pot value before the game begins.
- All In - A bet that puts all of a player's chips into the pot and if the player loses, they no longer have any chips to play with.
- Bad Beat - A player that loses a hand to another player who has a statistical disadvantage. The first player having lost the hand is said to have suffered from a bad beat.
- Blind - A forced ante that starts the game. There is a big blind and a small blind in Texas Hold'em. The small blind is generally half the size of the large blind.
- Board - The cards that are shared amongst all players in the game. This is particularly relevant in Texas Hold'em in which the board, when fully dealt, is composed of five cards.
- Burn - Discarding the top card before each round of betting is considered burning the card. By burning a card, the dealer conceals the next card to be dealt.
- Button - The position of dealer and the seat to the right of the small blind. This position is considered to be the most advantageous as the player is able to get the most information from other players before acting on their turn.
- Call - To answer the raise made by a player but not to raise further.
- Check - To make no bet when the action, or bet comes to the player.
- Flop - The three community cards that are first dealt by the dealer after the initial round of betting.
- Fold - To surrender a player's hand and admit a loss.
- Heads-Up - When two players play directly against each other with no other players.
- Muck - The discarded pile of cards. If a player chooses to fold, their hand is placed into the muck.
- Nuts - The best possible hand given the cards displayed.
- River - The last of the five shared cards on the board.
Tips from the Pros Themselves
If you think you have what it takes to start playing online poker with pros, then it's essential that you get some pro tips to perform to your utmost best. Playing poker online is in no way easy, however, if you have the right strategies and tips at hand, the experience can be much more successful.
- Keep an eye out for a "fish". This is a player who is considered weak and doesn't have a strong idea of what's really going on. The may be less experienced, which of course can work to your advantage.
- Always make sure that your focus is at 110%. One of the most common issues players face while playing poker is that they'll lose concentration. So work on building your mental strength and improving your endurance.
Starting Your Game Right
You've conditioned yourself mentally and have learned all the best poker strategies that exist, from spotting a fish to putting your opponent on tilt. Now you should make your way to a casino online that gives you the ideal platform to perform. Since poker is hugely popular in Canada, you'll find online casinos offering poker a dime a dozen. That's why you have to make a wise choice when deciding what casino to play at.
At CasinoOnline.ca, we've done the hard work for you. We've put countless casinos online through different tests to ensure that they're legitimate and fair to players. Browse through our full list and then decide where to start play for real money winnings.
Play casino online poker now!
The sites that are recommended by CasinoOnline.ca have all been licensed and properly established by gambling authorities. Currently in Canada, online gambling is legalized and sites that are offshore, but use Canada as their host adhere to Canadian gambling laws are also fine. This certifies online gambling through the Canadian law. So, as a Canadian player, you can enjoy poker on any accredited gambling site.
Poker, particularly Texas Hold'em, is enormously popular both worldwide and in Canada. Millions of people play online poker every day and the game continues to grow. With the ease and availability of play at a casino online, the growth of poker does not look like it's stopping any time soon.
Depending on the type of casino online you're playing at to the type of bets you make, you can win anywhere from a few Canadian Dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars. The higher your bets, usually the better the payout if you win. However, keep in mind that poker, like most other casino online games, is a game of chance and the house usually has the advantage. So bet wisely whenever you're playing.
Many sites offer the ability to play against the computer. The computer will play hands according to hand calculations and the difficulty level can often be changed from hard, to medium, to easy. Most games are played against other players for real money though. With the introduction of live dealer online casino poker, you can enjoy playing with a real dealer and players from the comfort of your home.
Playing heads up or one on one or in a multi-player game is simple and there is plenty of choice. Games will be organized by the amount of players allowed at the table and the stakes. Some games will be tournaments with multiple tables being reduced into single tables as the game progresses. All the sites will have listed tables and availability, making it easy to choose according the player's needs and desires.
Since Canada gambling authorities oversee the process of gambling at certified sites, all of the games accredited are fair. Poker online casinos are also intrinsically interested in giving players a fair shake, as a returning player is good for the casino's reputation. There are also online sites that have been blacklisted by the online community for having rigged games, but you won't find any of these recommended on our site. However, players can easily do a little research to find out which ones they should avoid.
Playing for free is as easy as playing for real money. Sign up for a table to play at under the free money section and get ready to be dealt a hand. Playing for free still allows you to play heads up, in tournaments, or in normal single table games. Playing for free is also a great way to get your feet wet and to understand the rules of the game along with any incentives the casino online may offer.