There is no doubt that when the leading bookmakers decided to invest in the technology to enable their sports gambling customers to place their bets online from home instead of having to travel to their nearest betting shop, they changed the face of gambling for ever. In Ireland the biggest sports gambling activity has always been gambling on horse racing, followed closely by gambling on football or greyhound racing. All of these sports are of course still extremely popular but the introduction of online sports gambling has also provided us with the opportunity to follow a wide variety of other sports and sporting events which were not really on the radar for most sports gambling enthusiasts before online gambling became available. By their very nature the online sports gambling sites were far easier to update and expand than even the best run chain of betting shops, so we can now get quoted odds on a whole range of what were considered to be minority sports simple on the click of a mouse. We can even follow sporting events taking place on the other side of the world, so that Irish sports gambling fans are no longer restricted by what season it is here in the northern hemisphere they can for instance follow football all year round. The increase in gambling options as a result of the introduction of online gambling is even more obvious when it comes to the gambling games which the leading bookmakers decided to add to their online sports gambling sites. Initially the target audience for the casino gambling sections of these online gambling sites would have been their existing sports gambling customers, plus regular visitors to a real casino and perhaps the thousands of bingo fans who no longer went to their local bingo club. All of these people were catered for in the early stages in the development of the casino gambling sections of the big bookmakers’ sites, but once again operating an online gambling site is in many ways far easier than running a real casino and the number of gambling games we could play online increased very rapidly indeed. Nowadays many of these big online casino gambling sites offer as many as two hundred different gambling games for us to enjoy, and although most of these games are variations of slots games there have also been some big winners in terms of an upsurge in interest in some of the more traditional gambling games, most notably the game of poker. Although we now have online access to other traditional casino gambling games such as baccarat and craps which most of us have never had before, it is the game of poker which has undoubtedly attracted the most interest. There are now specialist online poker platforms which enable poker enthusiasts to play against each other 24 hours a day, and almost every major poker tournament is now oversubscribed due to the huge increase in the number of people playing poker seriously.
There are of course a number of different variations of the game of poker, but for serious poker players it is the Texas Hold’em format of the game which has become the game of choice. This is because the Texas Hold’em format of poker is the version of poker played at almost every poker tournament in the world so that anyone wanting to test their skills against the best must be experienced in the Texas Hold’em format of the game. Here at gambling.ie we have detailed the rules of all the most popular versions of poker, including of course Texas Hold’em on our individual casino gambling games pages, but here is a brief introduction. The Texas Hold’em format of poker uses five community cards which are dealt one at a time face up into the middle of the table and can be used by any of the players to form their showdown hand along with the two hole cards which each player has been dealt face down. The main reason why Texas Hold’em poker has become so popular among serious poker players is the multiple betting rounds associated with every hand. The first betting round takes place after each player has been dealt their two hole cards, which of course are dealt face down. There is then a further betting round after each of the five community cards has been dealt so that any player still in the hand when all five community cards have been dealt would need to have matched the highest bet for at least five betting rounds before the showdown. The size of the pot is therefore likely to be much bigger than most other formats of the game which is why it is so popular among serious players. This is perhaps also an appropriate time to point out that these multiple betting rounds also mean that the stake money risked by each player to stay in the game also tends to be much higher.
Fortunately you do not have to have a big budget which you are prepared to risk in order to enjoy playing poker online. All the online casino gambling sites offer a number of different versions of poker on their sites, all of which can be played for fixed odds against the house for very small stakes. There is even another version of poker called Omaha poker which is available on many sites and also uses community cards. This is an excellent introduction to playing poker using community cards and multiple betting rounds, but it can be played against the house and for your chosen stakes. Also available on most online casino gambling sites are draw poker and stud poker, plus several hybrid games based on the same principles as poker. We have tried to explain the rules of all of these versions of poker on this site so that new players can learn how to play poker without risking a lot of money. Remember poker, particularly Texas Hold’em poker is recognised as a gambling game where experience is a definite advantage in the long run so take the opportunity to learn at your own pace.