Online poker sites for real money are always innovating. By coming up with fresh new formats, rooms can attract players from their rivals. What you will find is that the other sites soon bring out their own versions of new games – and then the innovation cycle starts again.
There are 5 main poker formats, each with variations within it. Here are the key options for those considering real money online poker for the first time:
Cash Games:This is the default poker format, where the chips in front of you have a real money value. Real Money No-Limit Holdem is the most popular game, though you will find many others. Pot Limit Omaha, Stud and Draw variants can all be enjoyed. Most cash game tables are either 6-max or full-ring (9 or 10 players). Heads-up poker is also common, and some sites have 4-player tables too.
Poker Tournaments:This is the most diverse format. What joins them is that you buy-in for a stack of chips, and the games run until one player has them all. Prizes are distributed depending on where you finish. A regular ‘freezeout’ tournament has a single buy-in – and pays between 10% and 15% of the field. There are also rebuy tournaments, turbo speed games, bounty tournaments (where every player gets a price on their head), satellite qualifiers (to bigger buy-in events or even live tournaments), and fast-fold format games.
Sit N Goes:1-table tournaments have lost some of their popularity recently, due to a choice of other quick poker formats. These games include multi-table games, which kick off when between 2 and 5 tables are full (no scheduled start time). You will also find double-or-nothing, knockout bounty, low stakes and turbo sit n goes played for real money.
Fast-Fold Poker: This format started off with Rush Poker at Full Tilt, and now almost every poker room offers it. The idea is to speed up both cash games and tournaments, by cutting out the waiting time between hands. You can fold out of turn, and though the others at the table will not see you go, you will be moved to a new hand with players from a ‘pool’. This is fast and entertaining. Most sites are only big enough to run NL Holdem fast-fold games, you will also find this in Omaha variations at the biggest real money rooms.
Lottery Sit N Goes: Random prize pools are awarded with this format – which goes under different names depending on which poker site you are playing on. Expect a 3 or 4 handed game, with hyper turbo blinds, and a prize pool of between 2x and 10,000x your buy-in awarded at random. There are variants of this game already being produced with different concepts. For example, Sit N Go Hero at Party Poker puts a bounty on the head of one player at random!
There are plenty of options for real money poker games online. While it can be entertaining to switch between them – a better path to profits is to pick one and get good at it. You can build a bankroll within your specialism, then try out the other games.