5 Tips If You Want To Get Into Online Poker


It’s well understood at this point that the COVID pandemic boosted online gaming. From mobile RPGs to console adventures, people sought out any and all ways to interact online and keep themselves entertained. And within the broader growth of online gaming, it has become clear that internet poker has seen increased activity as well.

According to a MarketWatch.com report that was published this past June, the popularity of the mobile poker industry in particular increased “due to global lockdown” in 2020. In the time since this initial spike, we have also seen individual poker platforms reporting stronger-than-normal business. For instance, active users on Zynga mobile games (including the wildly popular Zynga Poker) have increased from 21 million in Q1 2020 to 40 million in Q1 2022.

Naturally this is terrific for the online poker industry, and there’s no reason to expect the growth to stop; we appear to be in the midst of a sort of second golden age of internet poker. At the same time though, this means that there are quite literally millions of new poker players jumping into the fray –– and it’s important for those players to be properly equipped for a good experience.

To that end, here are our five key tips for those who want to catch the wave and get into online poker in 2022.

1 – Learn hand rankings inside and out

Before you start playing online poker, it’s vital to make sure you understand the standard hand rankings inside and out. Online poker moves quickly (significantly more so than in person), which means that as you play, you’ll need to recognize and react to cards quickly. The better you know the hand rankings, the better you’ll be able to keep up.

If you could use a refresher (and even many semi-regular players can!), a guide at Liveabout.com covers the hand rankings clearly. The basic list –– from strongest and rarest to weakest and most common –– is royal flush, straight flush, four of a kind, full house, flush, straight, three of a kind, two pair, one pair, and high card.

2 – Lean how to play Hold’em

Following the hand rankings, you’ll also want to make sure you’re fluent in the rules and processes of Texas Hold’em –– far and away the most popular game at online sites and apps.

Poker.org explains in a thorough explanation of the game that this variety of poker typically takes place between anywhere from six to ten players (which holds true online as well). Each player is dealt two cards face down, after which the player to the left of the “dealer button” (which rotates after each hand) places an initial bet. Each player then decides whether to match the bet, raise, or fold, before three community cards are displayed face up. This process is repeated before a fourth and fifth card are ultimately revealed, and then players get a final chance to bet or fold before trying to win the pot with their own two cards and any three of the five communal ones. It’s pretty easy to pick up, but as with hand rankings it’s best to know the game inside and out before you dive into online games.

3 – Compare sites and apps diligently

While many poker platforms you might consider are ultimately quite similar, there remain subtle differences. Some have larger player bases or more tournament formats; some focus on tips and game education; some include playful animations or social features. Of course, you can switch your primary app or site at any time, but it’s best to compare them diligently before you really dive into one. That way you can be confident that you’re playing in an environment you’ll favor above others.

Some popular online poker sites to look into include 888poker, PokerStars, GGPoker, and Americas Cardroom. Notable apps, meanwhile, include Zynga, WSOP, WPT Global, and even Apple’s native Texas Hold’em app.

4 – Go ahead and get a gaming chair

The popularity and appeal of gaming chairs are subjects we’ve discussed in our “Gaming” section before, and an accessory like this is an excellent idea for a poker hobbyist as well. While we tend to think of the lengthy gaming sessions for which high-end chairs are recommended as those in the MMORPG and/or eSports spaces, regular online poker can easily lead you to hours-long tournaments. Thus, it’s a good idea to make yourself comfortable!

As of 2022, some of the best gaming chairs you might want to compare include the Cougar Explore S, the Secretlab Omega, the noblechairs Icon, and Secretlab’s Titan Evo (which might be the best of the bunch).

5 – Snatch up some gaming headphones, too

Alongside your gaming chair, you can also enhance your poker atmosphere with a nice set of gaming headphones. While you don’t need the kind with a microphone to communicate with other players, and ultra-high-end sets may be unnecessary, there’s definitely something to be said for shutting out sounds to focus more clearly on the virtual poker table in front of you.

We’d recommend taking a look at the SteelSeries Arctis 3, the Turtle Beach Recon 70, and the Gioteck TX70 –– though for these purposes, nice wireless sets from the likes of Apple, Bose, Sony, and Jabra will do just fine as well.

Address these steps, and you’ll be ready to join the millions diving into online poker! When you understand the game (at online speed), choose the right platform, and set up your gaming atmosphere, you’ll be sure to get the most out of the experience.


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