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Poker has achieved worldwide appeal in the last few decades. While it was mostly played in smoky poker rooms in the past, it is now played online by all kinds of players in the comfort of their own homes. While live card rooms still draw plenty of players, the bulk of poker is now played online.

The most popular form of online poker is Texas hold 'em. This game looks different to the 5 card draw poker that most people are used to, but the hand rankings are the same. The following is a simple example of how a hand of no limit Texas hold 'em is played:

The cards on the table are known as 'community cards', and they add an extra element of suspense to the game. Players have more information to work with, making for very tense (and exciting) decisions. Texas hold 'em is the king of poker games for now, as other variants just aren't as popular.

The element of skill is what makes poker so compelling. The top players, like Phil Ivey, regularly win millions in cash games on the Internet. While amateur players might wail at bad strokes of luck and give up, professionals take it in their stride and make a pretty penny with consistently good poker play.

The biggest event in the poker calendar is the World Series of Poker - a series of live poker tournaments that attract the best players in the world. Millions of people watch the Main Event each year on ESPN. Despite being such a major poker tournament, unknown talented amateurs have nevertheless won the Main Event on occasion.

The other tournaments in the World Series of Poker are also very important to the serious players, as a great deal of prestige comes with winning a WSOP bracelet. Players generally need to beat the best players in their chosen games to win a WSOP event, so these tournaments are usually incredibly challenging.

It is easy to get started playing poker online, as there are many poker sites to choose from. In fact, there are so many that it is often a good idea to visit a trusted poker portal first to get help with making a decision about the right online poker room for you.

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