Poker Playing Dogs


American artist Cassius Marcellus Coolidge is the guy who immortalised the poker-playing dogs in this world-famous painting.
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Does anybody remember the days when poker was not trendy? Played by old men in smoky backrooms and was devoid of all glamour and glitz?

Those days are well and truly gone, and now poker, thanks to the internet, is available any time of day or night and always at the touch of your fingertips.

There were books, online guides, and youtube tutorials, and they all promised to turn you from a fish to a shark.

Of course, the rise of Poker superstars also helped the game. Live tournaments and tv footage of WSOP tournaments turned players into household names. Huge wins, amazing bluffs, and tense final tables had us glued to the tv.

It was all so exciting. And even better, we could join in!! We could signup and play in minutes. With a bit of practice, a smidge of skill, and a dash of luck, we were on our way to being great.

Then suddenly, the shine of poker diminished slightly. As every player was in the same boat, winning wasn’t as easy. Often online, small players were being picked off rather unfairly by the bigger players. It seemed that no matter how well you played the game, others were continually bluffing their way to big pots.

Suddenly it wasn’t as much fun. But all that said, online poker is still incredibly popular. 

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Unlike other gaming sections such as bingo, sports betting, and slots, Online Poker is played a little differently.

On UK bookmaker sites, you have to actually download or stream games within your browser.

The next issue is the device you use. Check your bookmaker or casino first to ensure your device is supported.

If you have already signed up with the casino just log in and navigate to the Poker section. If not, you will have to register an account.

Once you opened your account and have deposited cash, once that’s done, you are ready to play.

The poker lobby should open automatically. They will also include the cost of the buy-in and blinds. Tip: if you’re new to online poker, go with the lowest cost possible. That way, you won’t spend too much money getting to grips with the system.

Once you’ve picked your game, the virtual poker table will pop up. Here you can see where you are sitting and the other players in the room.

You will be dealt cards with the next new hand. Your two cards appear, and no other player can see them.

Play starts with the dealer and moves clockwise around the table. Each player is given a limited amount of time to fold, check, or raise.

As the game moves around the table, your name is highlighted when it’s your turn. And that’s it. You are playing online poker.


There are lots of advantages to playing poker online. It’s easy, it’s quick, and quite often, it’s cheap.

The problem with it is that you can’t see your opponents. They are random players from all over the world, and you have no idea how they play or if they are bluffing.

The only real way to combat that is to really study and learn the game. Don’t punt on every pair of cards you get dealt with. Make some strategic moves and vary your style of play.

If you only play when you have a good hand, you’ll soon get found out. Likewise, with your opponents. If they frequently fold and then suddenly make large bets, it’s because they think they have a good hand.

When you’re playing for pennies, it won’t make much difference, but it will give some insight into the others at the poker table.

Make sure you know when you have a good starting hand and when you are holding rubbish.

Playing with a five and an eight hoping to hit a straight, is not a good idea. Give yourself a fighting chance at winning, and play smart.

Once you’ve got the basics down and have practiced a lot, try moving up the tables to those with higher buy-ins.

The players there will have more experience, but by then, so will you. The potential winnings are higher but so are the stakes.

The only way to really win at poker is to be very good at it. Read the books and guides, watch the tutorials and tips, take the advice, and practice.


This is a tough question to answer. Like everything else, where you like playing poker online will completely depend on you. Do you like a huge variety of games? Or maybe you prefer playing online poker tournaments.

Are you very experienced, in which case you’ll already know where you like to play? Or are you brand new to playing online poker and need help picking a good place to start? On the basis that you just want to dabble and haven’t decided where you want to play, you need to think about a few things.
How well do you know the game?
Thankfully, nearly every single online UK casino offers poker, and most will have a specially designated poker room for new players. It doesn’t matter if you’re playing poker for real or virtually; the game is played the same way.

These rooms have very low buy-ins, and everybody playing is at the same level of experience.

You may not win a huge amount of money, but you can definitely get to grips with how the game is played online.

Do you want to play with strangers or friends?
Most of the time, when you start playing online poker, you will be up against strangers.

Once you venture out of the newbie rooms, depending on the game, you could be up against a few sharks who will happily take your cash.

Betfair offers a great alternative. They will help facilitate ‘private home games’ on your behalf. So if you want to invite family or friends for a friendly game, they will tailor the game, including buy-ins and blind configuration.

All you have to do is invite the rest of the players, and Betfair Poker will take care of managing the funds and the pot and all in your own private online poker room.

Are welcome bonuses important to you?
Nobody will turn down free money or free credits, and certainly not when they are just starting out playing online poker.

And while most casinos have an offer for you, there are a few things to remember. Firstly, there will be terms and conditions, so you may have to spend your bonus money and then some before you can withdraw any winnings.

Others place time limits on the bonus, so if you don’t use it and play, you lose it. It’s always very important to properly read the t&cs!

Ultimately, there is no single ‘best online poker site’. The best poker site is the one that is regulated in the UK, has great customer service, offers you a decent welcome offer, has a great range of games, friendly players, great graphics, and is a place you feel comfortable playing a few hands.

Have a look around, go to all the big sites, check what they have on offer and pick the one you like the most.


Most people learn to play poker with friends and family. This is usually a fun and rewarding experience where people learn together and start building their skills.

It’s also pretty cheap as no money is involved. Once they feel experienced enough, many players will go online to learn more about poker by reading articles or watching videos, learning the basics of popular games like Texas Hold’em and Omaha.

As you can imagine, YouTube has a wealth of information on playing poker. Just make sure you watch videos suitable for your level of skill. And it’s always good to get beginner tips from the professionals who regularly post on the channel.

For many people, reading articles or watching videos is a great way to learn poker at their own pace. This works especially well when the person already has some knowledge about the game and, therefore, can learn faster.

However, it might not be suitable for everyone. Some people learn better by doing it themselves.

I always recommend printing out a list of the winning hands so you always know how good or bad your chances are based on the cards you are holding.

With that you can start to play with others that are on a similar level. The best way to learn poker online is by playing in a freeroll tournament.

With no entry fee required, they are often used by players starting out since they don’t have to spend any money, only their time. It means that you can learn the mechanics of the game without losing real money.

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