There was something missing in the online poker world. Now it’s back: Bovada Poker has relaunched with all the great features that made it one of the most popular poker clients in the world. If you’re a former player at Bovada, welcome back. If you’re new to the poker scene, you’ve come to the right place. Bovada Poker is ideal for both recreational players and top professionals looking for the best games to play.

But enough about us: Let’s talk poker. What makes this game so popular? It’s the combination of skill and luck. Unlike any other game at the casino, it’s not you versus the house: It’s you versus the other players at your table. The cards are still dealt at random, but with practice, you can gain an edge on your opponents by learning the best times to raise, call or fold. If you get really good at it, you could make hundreds of thousands of dollars, maybe even millions – although poker still makes a better hobby than a profession. It is a game, after all.


Flop Sweat

Poker as we know it today probably came from the Persian game As-Nas, which can be traced back to the 17th Century. Then it worked its way through Europe before coming to America, where it found a home on the Mississippi riverboats. Draw and stud poker would become the most popular forms of poker until about 20 years ago when “flop” games started to take over. These are the games you can play today at Bovada Poker: Texas Hold’em, Omaha, and Omaha Hi/Lo.

Like any other poker game, the object with these three variants is to make the best poker hand possible – or to get all your opponents to fold. These are called “flop” games because they feature up to five community cards that all players can use, with the first three cards being called the flop. The fourth card is the turn, and the final card is the river. The first round of betting is pre-flop; the remaining rounds (flop, turn and river) are collectively called post-flop.


The Cards Are In the Air

To start these poker games, each player is dealt two (for Hold’em) or four cards, face-down, from a standard 52-card deck. After this round, if at least two players are still in the pot, the flop is dealt, face-up, and another round of betting ensues. Then the turn is dealt if nobody has won yet. More betting takes place, and if necessary, the river is dealt, followed by one more round of betting. Still at least two players in the pot? Then we go to showdown; everyone turns their hands over and a winner is declared.

To keep the game interesting, two players in every hand are forced to post a small amount of money: the small blind and the big blind. The amount of money depends on the stakes; in a 5c/10c game, the small blind posts five cents, and the big blind posts 10 cents. Each player at the table takes a turn being the small and big blind. There are rules about what size bets you’re allowed to make relative to the blinds, depending on whether you’re playing a fixed-limit, pot-limit or no-limit game. Players may also be required to chip in ante bets pre-flop, especially in tournaments.

We’ll look at each of these three flop games more closely, but for now, we’ll tell you that No-Limit Hold’em is by far the world’s most popular game – you’ve probably seen it played in the Main Event at the World Series of Poker. Stay tuned for more on Hold’em and all the games at Bovada Poker, including some helpful strategy tips that you can start using right away.