Many Canadians have developed an interest in the various online poker games thanks to local poker heroes gaining attention and fame worldwide. This article is meant precisely for those of you in Canada who are at the beginning of the road are looking for initial guidance.
The first and most important thing to realize is that poker has a number of different variants you can play, and the one that I will expand on is called Texas Holdem, which the most common and most popular among the gaming public in Canada and abroad.
The main differences between the different variants of poker are generally the number of cards you play with, the number of shared cards (if any) and the number of allowed replacements.
In Texas Holdem, as it is played in Canada and elsewhere, each player is being dealt 2 personal cards and two cards are exposed on the table and are common to all players. The winner is the one who manages to combine the two personal with the shared cards to form the strongest hand.
The game itself has four phases:
First phase – Two private cards are dealt and the first betting round takes place. It’s important to note that each player can examine his personal cards at any stage of the game, and it’s important to keep them concealed from the other players.
Second phase – The dealer burns one card to prevent cheating and exposes the three shared cards, which are also known as flops. After exposing the cards, a second betting round takes place. Please note that at this stage, each player knows the strength of his hand so this is where Canadians who know what they’re doing tend to employ mind games – the attempt by each player to decipher the strength of the other player’s hands by observing their behavior and body language.
Third phase – The dealer burns another cards and adds another one to the shared cards, which is called a turn. Another betting round takes place, which reflects the new state.
When playing Texas Holdem, or any other online poker game, there are a number of very important elements besides the hand being dealt, that might help us win the game. Canadian beginners who haven’t grown up around poker or casinos aren’t usually aware of those details, but they may in fact contribute to our chances of winning.
The first thing to pay attention to is your position at the table. At the beginning of the game, the player to left of the dealer places the initial bet and then the round proceeds clockwise, so it’s always better to be to the right of the dealer, so you can observe the bets placed by the other players.
The second thing to look into is of course the number of players. If there is a high number of players, i.e. more than five, you should avoid making a bet if your hand isn’t strong enough. On the other hand, if there are fewer than five players then it might be better to play more freely.
The third element is the style of the game. It’s important to pay attention to the opponent’s style and play accordingly: If most players play aggressively, then it’s better to play only when you have a good hand. On the other hand, if most players are calculated, then an aggressive style might help you win the pot.
The fourth element is that upon entering a game that is already ongoing, it’s better to wait a few rounds, during which you can observe the players and their styles so you know what you are up against. Many Canadians feel the urge to jump in right away rather than play patiently, but it pays off in the end to keep calm and focus on the game even if your hand isn’t the best.
The fifth and final element is the number of chips at your disposal – If you only have a few, then you should be careful not to make hurried bets. Be more tight, and place a bet only when you have a good hand. Even then, you should be careful not to waste all of your chips at the earliest stages of the game. Again, be patient!
Sometimes it’s better to take a risk and play aggressively than to lose everything without entering the game. If you have a heap of chips, it might serve to give you an intimidating image in the eyes of the other players, so don’t be afraid of pushing them aside occasionally with high bets. Canadian players often struggle with this balance of patience and aggression, but practice will make it easier to know what is appropriate and when.