If you have frequented a brick-and-mortar or online casino, the chances are that you have come across a game of poker in action before. Perhaps you have even played at home or against your friends in a fun (but definitely serious) game with cash or peanuts on the line.
With that in mind, you might be wondering what in the world is Bitcoin poker?
Well, the answer is a simple one – it’s the same as normal poker, except that you deposit your Bitcoin to play with rather than fiat money.
See, we told you it was simple!
More and more people are turning to Bitcoin as an everyday payment option, and the upshot of that is that a greater number of websites and even physical shops are willing to take your Bitcoin as tender.
There is a growing number of Bitcoin casinos appearing on the circuit, but in our humble opinion, few if any can offer the sheer variety and quality of Bitcoin poker games that we do. However, that’s just our take.
Anyway, the point is that it has become much easier to play poker online with Bitcoin, and with excellent welcome bonuses and super-fun games available, there really has never been a better time to get started.
Consider this your guide to everything you need to know about Bitcoin poker. We’ve heard all the questions before.
Don’t worry. We’ll answer these questions, and many more, as we progress through this complete guide to Bitcoin poker.
It’s a good question, and the easy answer is – why not!
The gameplay is still the same, and here at Bitcasino, you can choose between a range of different poker options. From Casino and Texas Hold‘em to 3-Card Poker, there’s a variation for everyone to enjoy.
Also, these are designed to suit all budgets. Our Satoshi Hold’em Poker game features buy-ins from as little as 0.01mBTC per hand, while High Roller Hold’em Poker – as the name might suggest – is far more liberal with the maximum wagers. Here, you can bet as much as 0.40mBTC per round.
Bitcoin poker also benefits you by increasing the security of your personal data while ensuring faster payments, courtesy of the unique authorisation procedures of Bitcoin transactions.
You can stay safe, win big and get your hands on your winnings much faster with Bitcoin poker.
To reiterate, as far as the actual mechanics of the game are concerned, including the rules of poker, how to place a bet and so on, there is no difference between Bitcoin poker and other forms of the game.
The difference comes in the background with regards to how you manage your account and how your stakes and winnings are paid out.
Think about all the advantages of using Bitcoin as a payment method for any product or service. These are safe, anonymous transactions that you can complete without concern about having your personal data stolen.
That’s not to say online casinos put you at risk of fraud in general. It’s just that at here at Bitcasino, we can guarantee the security of your information courtesy of the blockchain.
Also, think about when the time comes to withdraw your winnings. With traditional online casinos, you must wait for the operator to process and agree to your transaction, and then there’s all the back-end stuff that your bank must do. Before you know it, five working days have passed, and there’s still no sign of your money.
With Bitcoin poker, you can rest assured that your withdrawal request is sent through to the blockchain immediately, and once the transaction has been approved, your Bitcoin will be winging its way to your wallet.
Also, with many traditional online casino brands, you will have to pay fees on your withdrawals. That’s hardly fair, and it is a source of huge frustration for gamers.
However, here’s the thing. With Bitcoin poker, these transaction fees are significantly lower, as there is less administration required to process the request. This is crucial if you’re operating on a smaller budget and don’t want to see your winnings disappear before your eyes.
So, what are the key differences between Bitcoin poker and traditional forms of the game?
Those are three good reasons to give Bitcoin poker a go at Bitcasino today.
As you may know, the games library here at Bitcasino is forever changing.
We always keep the most popular casino games on our site because we know our players love them, but then we are always tweaking our library with the latest releases and new games we think you are going to love.
As far as Bitcoin poker is concerned, we’re always on the lookout for the most enjoyable titles to play, and we believe that our poker section has some of the finest titles available.
Here’s a quick run-through of the most popular types of Bitcoin poker to play.
This is your classic game of poker, where rather than taking on a table of opponents, it’s you against the dealer in a straight battle of wits.
All you must do is make a better five-card hand than the dealer to win the round. However, it is not as straightforward as it sounds.
Here’s how the action unfolds.
The hole cards. You are dealt two hole cards face down onto the table, and the dealer gets a pair in the same way. Neither of you can see each other’s cards, and it is at this point that you will have a flavour of how strong your hand may potentially be.
The community cards. At this point, three community cards are dealt face up onto the middle of the table. You will now have five cards at your disposal, and the object is to have a strong hand here or at the least the makings of a good hand with two more community cards to follow.
Place your bets. Now, based on the cards in front of you, it is the time to decide how to proceed. You have two choices. You can call, which means matching the dealer’s wager and proceeding with the rest of the round, or you can fold if you believe your hand isn’t strong enough to beat the dealer’s. Here, you lose your ante money if that rule is in play, but you lose nothing else.
Community cards four and five. The dealer now adds an additional two community cards onto the middle of the table. You have to create the best possible five-card hand using your two hole cards and any three from the community cards. Don’t worry – our software calculates this on your behalf.
The reveal. You and the dealer now reveal your cards, and the best hand takes the pot. If you both have the identical hand, the round is considered a tie and your stake is returned. Here is the paytable for Casino Hold’em.
Straight or less
Four of a kind
So, if you wagered 1mBTC and won with a straight, you’d receive 2mBTC back. For a flush, you’d receive 3mBTC and so on up to 101mBTC for a royal flush.
Some Casino Hold’em games feature a progressive jackpot, where the top prize is usually reserved for players who achieve a special hand. Often, this will be a straight flush using your two hole cards and all five community cards.
When you watch poker played on TV and in major tournaments, such as the World Series of Poker, often it’s Texas Hold’em that they are playing.
It is, in essence, the same game as Casino Hold’em. You’ll place your ante bet before anything else, and then receive your two hole cards as per the Bitcoin poker variant described above.
The difference is that you make your first wager now, prior to seeing the community cards. So, if your hole cards are disappointing, you can fold, but if they suggest possibilities, you can call.
The three community cards are then dealt. This is known as the flop. You can now fold, check (proceed without wagering), call or – when playing a tournament game – raise.
The next community card – known as the turn – is dealt, and another betting round takes place.
The fifth and final community card – the river – follows, as does a final betting round.
If you have the winning hand, you will be paid out 1:1 on the flop plus an additional 1:1 on your ante stake should you land a hand of a straight or better.
Here’s another Bitcoin variant where it’s you against the dealer in a one-on-one contest.
Caribbean Stud differs in that players are dealt five hole cards face down, while the dealer gets five cards as well – four face down but one face up.
As usual, this is where your dilemma comes in. Do you have a strong hand? If you think you do, be sure to call – this requires placing a bet twice the amount of the ante. If you believe your hand is weak, you can fold your cards and carry on with the next round.
At this point, Caribbean Stud is the same as any other variant of poker – you are looking to show a better hand than the dealer.
If you do so, you will be paid out according to the paytable below as well as 1:1 on your ante wager.
However, if the dealer’s hand doesn’t satisfy the minimum-hand requirements of an ace or king high, you can only win 1:1 on your ante bet.
Here is the Caribbean Stud paytable.
Three of a kind
Four of a kind
As you can see, there are more winning combinations in Caribbean Stud than there are in Casino Hold’em, and most of the better winning hands also pay out at a higher rate.
However, you only have your five hole cards to work with here, without the chance to select the best five from seven cards as is the case in Casino Hold’em.
This is another form of poker where you’re looking to one-up the dealer.
After placing the ante bet, both you and the dealer are given three cards. Interestingly, your trio is handed out face up and the dealer’s face down.
Look at your cards and decide whether you want to call or fold, with your call played at the same stake as the ante.
The play then revolves around the dealer. If the dealer’s hand is weaker than a queen high, the dealer must fold, with your ante bet paid out at 1:1 and your call stake returned to you.
However, if the dealer’s hand is a king high or better, the following apply.
Before the round begins, you have the option of placing two side bets – the Pair Plus and the Six Card Bonus wagers.
If you place the Pair Plus Bonus wager and your hand reveals a pair or better, you are paid out at the going rate. This ranges from 1:1 for the standard pair right through to a handsome 100:1 for a mini royal of a suited ace-king-queen combo.
As far as the Six Card Bonus is concerned, this collates your three cards and those of the dealer. The theoretical best five-card poker hand is made, and the payout available here runs from a three-of-a-kind, paid at 7:1, through to the royal flush, which earns a tasty 1000:1.
Understanding the house edge
When you think about the house edge, it is usually easier to first frame it in the context of online roulette.
Consider the simplest bet – you’re going to wager on red.
So, what do you know about the maths? Well, you know that there are equal numbers of red and black pockets on a roulette wheel, which means that you have a 50% chance of your wager winning.
In an ideal world, that would be true. In the real world, not so much.
Anybody who has seen a roulette wheel knows that there is one green zero pocket in European roulette and two in American roulette.
The upshot? That’s where the casino’s house edge comes in.
In short, it means that if you wagered on red an infinite amount of times, you would eventually lose money, as the house edge is 2.70% in European roulette and 5.26% in the American version. That ensures you never get fair odds of 50% on your 50/50 bets.
The house edge in Bitcoin poker
It’s a bit harder to calculate the house edge in the various Bitcoin poker games because you don’t know how good an individual player is.
However, assuming that you learn and play perfect strategy with each hand, it’s possible to make some calculations.
The house edge in Casino Hold’em is somewhere around 2.20% for standard play (that doesn’t include side bets), and roughly the same is true for Texas Hold’em.
The house edge in Caribbean Stud is 5.20%, and that’s because you don’t have the community cards to select from – just your five hole cards.
In Triple Card Poker, the house edge is 3.37% in standard play and 7.28% when playing the Pair Plus side game.
The standard logic might be to stick with games with a lower house edge because you think that gives you more chance of winning.
Technically, you might think that is correct, but the reality is that you can still win or lose in a session playing any specific game.
The house edge refers to an infinite number of games, so if you played infinite rounds of Casino Hold’em, you’d end up returning 97.20% of your stake, and so on.
The takeaway point is to simply play the games you enjoy. Fun should always override thoughts of money-making in casino gaming and gambling.
Bitcoin poker bankroll management
Most of you exercise some type of bank management in how you go about your everyday spending.
Some of you are conservative, while others are more frivolous when it comes to purchasing cars, holidays, clothes and so on. However, you all basically understand that spending more than you earn is a bad idea.
You can also apply the same simple financial rules when playing Bitcoin poker.
So, how do you know how much to stake per round? Well, some individuals – including professional gamblers – follow the methods prescribed by several prominent mathematicians.
Flat staking. You can always try flat staking, where the idea is that you bet the same amount per game and rely on luck (and a little bit of skill) to win more hands than you lose.
This is a fair strategy if you are betting on a tighter bankroll and want to control how much you are wagering, but it does determine that you will lose money if you don’t enjoy a specific number of winning hands.
The Martingale strategy. This is a tactic invented by John Henry Martingale, a casino owner and statistician who was convinced that his customers could claw back losses if they utilised an organised system of staking.
Thus, the Martingale strategy was born, where players double their stake after every loss.
Therefore, if you wagered $10 and lost, you would then bet $20, then $40, and so on.
In theory, it’s a principle that works. You will surely win a hand of Bitcoin poker at some point in the chain, and you will claw back your losses if you stay diligent.
The problem is that if you lost, say, ten hands in a row, you may need to add extra funds to your bankroll.
Here’s the staking plan for ten consecutive hands, starting at a nominal $10:
$10 -> $20 -> $40 -> $80 -> $160 -> $320 -> $640 -> $1280 -> $2560 -> $5120
So, you can see why the Martingale strategy is not for everyone.
The Fibonacci system. Leonardo Pisano was an Italian mathematician who was revered by his colleagues for the complexity of the numerical systems he created.
He invented a sequencing system that is still used in many areas of gambling to this day. It starts with a chain of numbers: 1-2-3-5-8-13-21-34.
The idea is that you bet from the left-hand side of the chain, moving to the next number after a loss.
So, if you lose your bet at $1, move on to $2, then $3, $5 and so on.
The Fibonacci rule creates a sequence where the two previous numbers are added together to create the next one in the chain.
The benefit to bettors is discipline and a proven system to follow, with stakes rising much less dramatically than with the Martingale system.
However, a losing streak does put your bankroll in jeopardy again, so the over-riding message is to think very carefully about how you stake in Bitcoin poker.
Ante. This is a small bet placed before any cards are dealt. It has different meanings in various Bitcoin poker games, but it usually acts as a side wager for players to utilise.
Call. When you call, you are telling the dealer you wish to proceed with your hand. The call acts as your command to the dealer to take your stake and continue with the game.
Check. In some versions of Bitcoin poker, you can check rather than call. This is free and allows you to see the next round without making a bet.
Community cards. These are the cards dealt onto the middle of the table for both you and the dealer to use in your hands.
Dealer. The dealer is the typically smartly dressed lady or gent that dishes out the cards.
Flush. This is several cards of the same suit, such as the 3-4-5-6 of diamonds.
Fold. The basis of any poker game is knowing when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em – thanks to Kenny Rogers for that gem. Folding is basically scrapping your cards and moving on to the next game.
Four of a kind. When you have four cards of the same numerical value, such as four aces, you have one of the best hands in Bitcoin poker – four of a kind.
Hole cards. The cards that are dealt to you face down by the dealer are known as your hole cards. Only you will see these prior to the reveal at the end of the betting.
House edge. This is the theoretical percentage advantage that the house (the casino) has over players. This varies for different varieties of poker games.
Pair. Two cards of the same numerical denomination are a pair, such as a pair of tens.
Pocket. This is essentially the same thing as the hole, so if you have pocket aces, these are your hole cards.
Royal flush. This is the big daddy of them all in Bitcoin poker. This hand features the royal aspect (A-K-Q-J-10) and the flush part (all five cards of the same suit).
Side bet. Some variants of Bitcoin poker feature options to place side bets. These are based on the main action, but you can win or lose these side bets regardless of whether your main hand wins.
Straight. This is also known in some circles as a run, and it features several cards that are numerically linked, such as 2-3-4-5-6 or 8-9-10-J-Q.
Hopefully, by now, you have learnt a lot more about Bitcoin poker, its variations and why staking your Bitcoin is a good idea for all sorts of reasons.
So, where should you play Bitcoin poker?
Well, here at Bitcasino, we are naturally rather biased, but we believe we have everything a poker player could need.
We’ll welcome you with a range of fantastic bonuses and promotions and invite you to take part in regular tournaments against players from around the world.
However, if you want to step up and go one-on-one with the dealer, there is no problem. We have a varied selection of Bitcoin poker games for you to try and love.
Also, if you want to dip your toe into the water without investing your own money at first, you can find all manner of free-play games in our library.
Have we done enough to convince you? All you need to do to get started is to sign up for a new player account today.
Words: Sean McNulty