Poker FAQ

In this poker FAQ we have listed a wide range of commonly
asked questions that relate to playing poker both live and
online. We have provided you with helpful answers to these
questions and links to additional information on topics that we
feel need further explanation.

This page has been provided as a reference tool for anyone
that has a specific poker related question, but if you’re
looking for more information and advice on poker we can help
with that too. Our website features a detailed beginner’s guide
to playing poker
and a section on playing poker online.

General Poker FAQ

Online Poker FAQ

General Poker FAQ: Answers

Is poker hard to learn?

No, playing poker is certainly not difficult! You only really
need to know the basic rules to start playing and the rules of
most variations of the game are pretty simple. Learning how to
play well can be more challenging, but you don’t necessarily
need to worry about that if you’re just playing for fun.

Can I win money playing poker?

You can definitely win money by playing poker, and in fact,
anyone can win money, even if they’re not a particularly
experienced or skilled player. You can improve your chances of
winning by learning how to play the game better than your
opponents, but there’s enough luck involved in poker that even a
complete beginner has the potential to win.

Why is poker so popular?

Poker is popular for a number of reasons. It’s a simple game
to learn for starters and many people really enjoy playing it.
The possibility of winning money is also very appealing and it’s
even a game that’s suitable for all budgets.

Is poker all about the cards you are dealt?

Not entirely, no. Obviously the cards play a major part in
determining who wins and who loses, but there’s more to poker
than that. The actions of players, including their betting
strategies, are also a fundamental part of the game. Good cards
will help you win, but skilled players can find ways to win even
when they aren’t dealt a good hand.

What is poker strategy?

Poker strategy is a very broad subject. It’s not something
that can easily be explained in just a sentence or two but, in
very basic terms, it’s about learning how to play the game to
it’s full potential. Poker is a game based on decisions and
poker strategy essentially teaches you how to make the right
decisions at the right times.

Are poker winnings taxable?

Poker tax laws vary from one country to the next, so there’s
no definitive answer to this question. If you start winning
significant amounts of money while playing poker, then you
should check your local tax laws to see how they apply to you.
Alternatively, you could consult with a qualified tax
professional and seek their advice if you have even more
concerns or questions that you need answered.

What is the best form of poker to play?

There are several different variations of poker and none of
them could really be described as the “best.” With that being
said, it makes a lot of sense for beginners to start with Texas
Hold’em. This is the most popular form of the game these days
and it’s also one of the easiest to learn. Once you are familiar
with Texas Hold’em, you can then start learning other forms of
poker more easily.

Is it better to play tournaments or cash games?

Tournaments and cash games are two distinct types of poker.
They both have their own set of characteristics and come with
their own advantages and disadvantages. A lot of players prefer
to specialize in one type or the other, but there’s no reason
why you can’t enjoy playing both. You should certainly at least
try both styles once, as you may be able to clearly see that you
prefer one over the other. However, neither one could
definitively be described as better than the other, as it’s
completely based on a player’s preference.

What is the difference between fixed limit and no limit?

Limit and no limit are two different types of betting
structures used in poker. There are others as well but these are
the two most commonly used. A betting structure basically
defines the limits for how much each player can bet when it’s
their turn to act. In fixed limit, a player can only bet or
raise a fixed amount. In no limit, a player can bet or raise any
amount providing they have the required chips to do so.

What is rake?

Rake is essentially a commission charged by a casino, online
poker site, or any other organizer of a poker game. In cash
games, rake usually appears in the form of a small percentage
taken out of each pot and in tournaments rake is generally a
small percentage taken out of each entry fee, otherwise referred
to as a buy in.

Online Poker FAQ: Answers

What’s the difference between live and online poker?

Poker is fundamentally the same regardless of whether it’s
played live or online. The basic rules are the same and the game
is played largely in the same way. There are, however, a few
notable differences that you need to focus on. A particularly
significant one is the pace of the game, as playing online is
much faster than playing live. Playing online is also much more
convenient; it offers a greater selection of games, and it has a
wide range of stakes available to suit your own personal needs.

Is online poker legal?

The laws relating to the different types of online gambling
vary from one part of the world to the next. In some regions the
laws are very clear about online poker, but in some they are
very confusing. If you’re uncertain about the laws in your
region, then you should check them using a reliable source. It’s
also worth noting, though, that online gambling laws tend to
apply more to those providing the services (i.e. running a poker
site) than those who just simply use them.

Is online poker fixed?

No. This is a common concern among people who play online
poker, but it’s a largely unfounded one. Although there have
been some cases where poker sites have cheated their players,
these are extremely rare and it has become increasingly
difficult for a site to get away with it. In any case, if you
play at reputable sites, then you really don’t have anything to
worry about. It doesn’t benefit the site in any way to fix the
games, as who wins is unimportant to them. They get paid either
way every time a player pays rake.

Can I trust poker sites with my money?

Yes, but it’s still important to be cautious. You can trust
most poker sites with your money, the vast majority in fact.
There are a few sites that we would consider to be
untrustworthy, but if you steer clear of these you really have
nothing to worry about. You just need to make sure you use sites
that are reputable and that have a good track record, which
describes any of the sites that we recommend on our site.

Which are the best poker sites to use?

This is a matter of opinion to some extent, as the best poker
site for one player may not be the most suitable option for
another. When you are deciding where to play, the important
thing is to try to find a site that’s right for you. There are
certain criteria which all good poker sites should meet (being
trustworthy for example), but there are several other factors
which come down to personal preference.

Can I play at more than one poker site?

Yes. There’s nothing wrong with playing at only one site as
long as it offers everything you need, but there’s nothing wrong
with playing at a few different ones either. You might like to
use one site for your tournament play, for example, and another
one for playing cash games. You might also use one site to take
advantage of a monthly reload bonus and another because the
standard of the opposition is quite weak.

Do I have to download software to play?

Not necessarily. There was a time when all poker sites
required you to download software before you could play, but
more often than not we are seeing sites that offer the option of
playing directly from your web browser.

Can I play online poker with a Mac?

You can, but not at every site. There are a few sites that
use software that’s only compatible with a standard PC. There
are still plenty of options for Mac users though, including the
majority of the bigger sites.

Can I play online poker using my phone or tablet?

Yes. It has taken a while for mobile poker to take off and it
still has a long way to go, but there are now several poker
sites that allow you to play from the convenience of your own
mobile device.

Do I pay rake online?

Yes, rake is charged in online cash games and online
tournaments. This is how the poker sites make their money. The
exact rake structure will vary from one site to the next, but
you usually will pay less in rake than if you were playing live.

Which poker games are available online?

All the popular poker variants are available online. Texas
Hold’em is easily the most popular and the most widely
available, but there’ll be a variety of options at most sites.
Omaha, Razz, Seven Card Stud, and even some mixed game formats,
are all pretty common too.

What stakes can I play for online?

You can play for almost any stake you could imagine, as most
sites have a wide enough range of stakes to suit all players.
You’ll find cash games starting at stakes as low as $.01/$.02
blinds and tournaments that cost just $1 to enter. The very
highest stakes are only available at a few sites, but almost
every site has high enough stakes to please its players.

What are poker bonuses?

Poker bonuses are extra funds that poker sites add to your
account. They are typically offered as an incentive to new
customers to join and make a deposit or to existing customers as
a way to reward them for their playing activity. These bonuses
usually have to be “cleared” before you can withdraw them, which
means you have to play a certain amount of times at the tables

What is a poker loyalty program?

A poker loyalty program is a specific method that poker sites
use to reward their customers. Some sites may refer to it as a
VIP scheme, but either term essentially refers to the same
thing. The main focus of a loyalty program is to give customers
something back in return for the rake they pay and their
commitment to the site. These rewards often come in the form of
cash, additional bonuses, entries into tournaments, or a variety
of other things. For more information, please read the above
page that focuses on bonuses and rewards.