Online Poker in New Jersey
Poker is one of the major draws for Atlantic City casinos but players in New Jersey no longer need to trek to the coast to ante up. Online poker is now available to all adults in the state over 21 years of age right on your phone or computer.
Though online gambling is fully legal in New Jersey and nearly two dozen online casinos have already launched, finding an online poker room remains a bit harder than finding online slots or blackjack. Currently, online poker is offered at PokerStars, Borgata Poker, Party Poker, playMGM, WSOP, 888 Poker, and Pala Poker. Some casinos, like Betfair and Golden Nugget, offer live dealer hold’em-style games but do not offer a full-fledged poker room.
Unlike other games, poker pits you against other players rather than the casino, though the casino takes a percentage of the pot. The other main difference is that poker is largely a game of skill, though a good bit of luck is involved in the cards you are dealt.
If you are new to online poker, here is a quick primer on how to play and a few tips on how to win.
Online Poker NJ Rules
The most common type of poker you will find at online casinos is Texas Hold’em. Every player is dealt two cards face down (called “hole” cards) and must put in an “ante” or “blind;” a small prerequisite bet, in order to join the “pot,” which every player contributes to and then goes to the winner of the hand.
After the antes and blinds are placed on the table, there is a round of betting. If a player bets, the other players in the hand must “call,” or match the bet, “raise,” or increase the bet, or fold, and give up. Once each player calls, raises, or folds to his desires, the first round of betting is over.
Next the community cards are dealt; these are cards every player can use in conjunction with their own two-“hole” cards to make the best five-card hand. At first, three community cards are dealt up on the table. This is called “the flop.” There is a round of betting after the flop. Once that round of betting is over a fourth community card (called “the Turn”) is dealt.
Following the turn is another round of betting. Once that round of betting concludes, the fifth community card (known as “the river”) is dealt. The round of betting following the River is the last round of betting. If two or more players refuse to fold, the hand goes to a “showdown” where the last player to bet traditionally shows his cards. The other player(s) can then decide to show if their cards are better or “muck” (fold) their cards. If nobody bet after the river and every player remaining checked, the player to the left of the dealer shows his cards first.
Hold’em may be played with a set limit or pot limit (you can’t bet more than is in the pot) though most games are played with no limit, meaning you can bet all your money at any time.
The player with the best five-card hand wins. The hand rankings are as follows:
Royal flush: 10, J, Q, K, A of the same suit
Straight flush: five consecutive cards of the same suit
Four of a kind
Full house: Three of a kind and a pair
Flush: five cards of the same suit
Straight: five consecutive cards
Three of a kind
There are two other types of poker that are common in online poker rooms. Seven-card stud works similarly to hold’em but each player is dealt their own cards. Three of the cards are dealt face down and four cards are dealt face up with five rounds of betting after the cards are dealt. Omaha also works similarly to hold’em except that each player is dealt four cards instead of two and must use exactly two of them when making the best five-card hand from the community cards. Some sites also offer variations of both of these games, as well as limit and no-limit version.
Online Poker Play
Online poker play can last for hours so it is important to be ready for the long haul. Poker is a game of patience and decision-making so players that chase every hand will quickly find themselves out of money.
Beginners should focus on learning the odds of drawing the cards they need, which can take a long time but will pay off in the long run, and spend less time focusing on things that have been dramatized in the media, like bluffing, at least at first.
While you should be focused on your own cards, pay attention to what other players are doing. If a player is betting big and representing a strong hand, it may be worth it to fold unless you have the goods to match them.
Be sure to only deposit an amount you are comfortable losing. Everyone has big dreams of winning it big but it’s important to have a budget and stick with it if you lose rather than chasing your losses with even more perfectly good money.