Poker is one of the fastest growing games in Australia, but it has also had an impact on the gambling population of this country, and that is in no small thanks to players like Joe Hachem, who showed his fellow Aussies just how much thus game can change your life. The game of choice for Hachem, and other players like him, is Texas Hold’em, and that’s what we will focus on here.
So, where can you play online poker for real money in Australia. And why would you want to?
This poker variant began life on Texas ranches. They tweaked the rues of Stud to create a game that was more communal and allowed for more betting rounds, and so Hold’em was born. However, it took many decades for this game to hit the spotlight, which it did thanks to its inclusion in the WSOP Main Event, and to plays like Hachem and Moneymaker, who won this event and scooped millions in prize money.
Texas Hold’em is one of the few modern gambling games that really got its start online, because while it existed in casino and card rooms prior to the online age it wasn’t until it became virtual that it really exploded in popularity.
How to Play Hold’em
This game is very easy to pickup and play, especially online. The goal of the game is to make a five card hand, and you can use your two cards (known as “Hole Cards”) and 5 community cards (which everyone sees) to do this. There are several rounds of betting, and these are dictated by the limits and the blinds, were are set before the game begins.
Some players are put off playing this game because they see film scenes and TV sketches where players lose everything, often because they have bet all their chips and cash, and now need to offer-up a house or a car in order to see the other player’s hand. That’s not how it works. If you go all-in with your chips, then no amount of additional betting on behalf of your opponent can force you to gamble more.
Also contrary to popular belief, poker is legal in most countries, including many countries that typically look down on gambling. That’s because it is considered a game of skill.
What you Need to Know
As an aspiring poker player here in Australia, here are a few things you need to bear in mind:
- Legality: You are free to play poker online, assuming you are doing so in a poker room based overseas, and you are free to play offline, assuming the premises is licensed.
- Tax: You can not be taxed if you are playing for a hobby, but you can be taxed if you are playing as a career. Joe Hachem kept all of his WSOP winnings as he claimed that he was playing as a hobby at the time.
- Live Tournaments: The biggest poker tours are the WPT and the EPT, a long way from home. However, the Aussie Millions is also on that list, and you can win tickets to this event playing in many online poker rooms.
Another thing to bear in mind is that you should always play on a poker room that has a loyalty scheme, as this can help to keep you in the black. It’s also beneficial to play on a poker room that offers a number of bonuses. And that’s where 888 Poker comes in.
888 Poker Bonuses
Most poker sites have a loyalty scheme of sorts, but you usually need to gamble a lot of money and over a long period to get anything worthwhile. Such is the case with Pokerstars. We consider ourselves to be very good poker players and like to play this game at least a couple of times a week, often for medium stakes. But even after 6 months of this, we only earned enough points on Pokerstars to unlock a keyring. Hardly anything to get excited about.
On 888 Poker, however, you can find a loyalty scheme that’ll benefit you regardless of how much you gamble or how often you play, a loyalty scheme that allows everyone to unlock some prizes, and one that, thankfully, doesn’t include a keyring! There are other loyalty promotions on 888 Poker as well, and these will appear from time to time. You should get these in your email inbox by default, but it may be worth checking your account to make sure. In the past we missed out on a promotion that we would have qualified for and would have met the terms, and as a result we lost out on a big tournament ticket. So, pay attention to all promotions and make sure you opt it. These include all of the following:
- Matched deposit bonus
- Guaranteed tournaments
- VIP tournaments