Interview with RAIG Chairman Clive Hawkswood
January 15, 2020
Clive Hawkswood is the chairman of Responsible Affiliates in Gambling (RAiG), an independent body that aims to promote safer, responsible gambling.
Bitcoin poker features the exciting betting action of online poker but offers exclusive perks to your betting experience. Know more about the game here.
Bitcoin poker is one of the most popular games in Bitcoin casinos. It shares the essential rules of standard poker games, but the former offers special tweaks to your gaming experience per se. When playing Bitcoin poker, you place your bets using bitcoins (BTC)—which lets you enjoy exclusive Bitcoin gaming perks.
For the uninitiated, dissecting the nitty-gritty of bitcoins can be complex. But in essence, bitcoins are virtual and decentralized mediums of exchange. That means no central bank, company, or any third party controls Bitcoin. These features of bitcoins allow you to send and receive money anytime, anywhere.
Now, imagine using this innovative digital currency when playing online poker. You can play anonymously on various Bitcoin poker platforms, enjoy lightning-fast deposits and cash-outs, pay minimal transaction fees, and more. The best part is you can enjoy these exclusive perks in a variety of Bitcoin poker game variants. But before placing your crypto bet, you must first get the hang of the game through this guide.
You can enjoy playing Bitcoin poker in two ways–via tournaments or RNG (Random Number Generator) games. RNG games involve going against a software, while tournaments involve joining a poker room and virtually going against players around the world.
Whichever game you pick, becoming acquainted with the slangs, terms, and jargons associated with Bitcoin poker is necessary for understanding the game. Know your way around the poker tables by understanding these basic poker jargons:
1 | Ante – An ante is a small portion of the money that each player must contribute to the pot at the beginning of a poker hand. It is considered as a forced bet as players are required to seed a predetermined amount prior to receiving their cards.
2 | Blinds – These are mandatory bets placed by two players before the game starts. Blinds can be classified as big blinds (contributes a larger amount to the pot) and small blinds (contributes half the amount of big blind). Typically, the first two players to the left of the dealer or the button toss in the small and big blinds, respectively.
3 | Buy-in – This refers to the minimum amount of money that a player needs to participate in a poker game.
4 | Hole Cards – These are the facedown cards dealt to a player. In Hold ‘em games, the hole cards are the first two initial cards dealt to the player.
5 | Community Cards – Face-up cards that all players share in the game. In Texas Hold ‘em, players must make the best poker hand possible by combining their hole cards with some of the community cards.
6 | Action – this refers to the player’s turn to act. Players can deal with their cards through the following:
Bitcoin poker offers a rich glossary, and while some terminologies are easy to decipher, some words might come as ambiguous.
Before digging into the essential rules of Bitcoin poker, you must know first the hands involve in the game. Bitcoin poker uses the same hand rankings of standard poker variants. Each hand typically consists of five playing cards and falls into a ranking system. Your payout will depend on the ranking of your hand.
Note that the cards included in a certain hand are viewed according to their pip value. This means face cards are ranked as, from highest to lowest, A-K-Q-J. Meanwhile, the game ranks number cards with 10 being the highest and 1 as the lowest.
If you are playing a 52-card deck poker game, you have a shot to score 9 poker hands. Here are the best and worst hands you can assemble in Bitcoin poker:
Rank 1: Royal Flush – This hand holds the highest possible rank in the game. It consists of an Ace, King, Queen, Jack, and a 10-card, all in matching suits.
Rank 2: Straight Flush – This hand covers five sequential cards in matching suits.
Rank 3: Four of a Kind – This hand covers four cards with the same value and a single random card.
Rank 4: Full House – This hand covers a three-of-a-kind and a pair.
Rank 5: Flush – This hand covers five non-consecutive cards in matching suits.
Rank 6: Straight – This hand covers five sequential cards in different suits.
Rank 7: Three of a Kind – This hand covers three cards with the same value and two cards with different values.
Rank 8: Two-Pair – This hand covers one random card and two Pairs.
Rank 9: Pair – This hand covers two cards of the same value and three random cards.
To rake in life-changing wins, you must aim getting a royal flush as this hand holds the highest payout. The catch is it also has the most elusive probability. Meanwhile, if no one in the game formed any of the abovementioned hands, the hand with the highest card values win.
One of the player-favorite poker variants to play is Texas Hold ‘em. The game features simple gameplay and gripping betting action. The goal when playing Texas Hold ‘em is to make the best five-card hand possible through the hole cards and the community cards. Get the hang of Texas Hold ‘em below.
After the four betting rounds, the game will conclude with a showdown. The remaining players (those who did not fold) will reveal their five-card hands. Whoever holds the highest-ranking hand will win the pot.
Using bitcoins to play online poker does not require mad skills or complex processes. In fact, you can play bitcoin poker in three easy steps:
Before making your first deposit in Bitcoin casinos, you need first to have a wallet. Bitcoin wallets are software programs you need to store the digital currency. You can choose from among the basic kinds of e-wallets: hot and cold. Hot wallets are Bitcoin wallets connected to the internet like mobile and desktop wallets. In contrast, cold wallets are offline e-wallets. An example of which are hardware wallets that can be connected to a computer via a USB port. Most players prefer cold wallets because they pose a lesser risk to hackers and to other illicit online activities.
After acquiring your preferred e-wallet, you can proceed to buy your bitcoins. You can purchase the digital currency in various exchanges. Some of the popular options are Cubits, Coinbase, Bitfinex, Bitstamp, and more. Your bitcoins will be credited to your wallet after purchase.
Now that you get your hands on some bitcoins, you can go the cashier or payment section of your selected Bitcoin poker room and choose BTC as your mode of payment. Crypto transactions will require you to provide your Bitcoin address in order to deposit the crypto into your poker account.
By following these three steps, you can gain access to faster deposits and cash outs, anonymous gaming, and more.
If you are joining a poker tournament, you should note that not all poker rooms accept Bitcoins. That being the case, an established online casino is the ideal choice to play Bitcoin poker as they offer a safer and more reliable payment environment. In addition, established poker rooms collaborate with top-tier software providers. With that in mind, you can look forward to a smooth running game experience. Apart from those, you should also consider the following factors before placing your first bitcoin deposit.
Laws surrounding online gaming differ on each territory. For instance, the US gaming space is a grey area, thanks to its interstate gaming regulations. If online gaming is legal in your country, then it is likely that Bitcoin gaming is legal as well. Some countries that permit online gaming are the UK, Sweden, Mexico, and Germany.
Texas Hold ‘em is one of the most popular poker games in the gaming space. Many Bitcoin casinos offer the game in various betting limits and table sizes. But playing the same poker variant on a loop can be ho-hum. If you want to expand your poker skills or to simply enjoy another poker variants, choose a poker room that houses a wide game library. Some popular poker variants are Omaha hi, razz, stud, and more.
Poker freerolls are poker tournaments that do not require a buy-in. In other words—you can play for free. The best part is most freeroll tournaments award real-money prizes. Playing on poker rooms that offer freerolls is like catching two birds with one stone—you get to practice your poker skills without risking your stash, and you get a shot to win the pot. However, you should note that most free poker tournaments do not offer huge prize pools.
Imagine entering a legitimate poker room with top-notch software and wide game library, only to find out that you have only one or two players to play with. If a Bitcoin poker room has low player traffic, chances are the prize pools are nominal as well. High-traffic poker rooms host a large number of players. This sustains poker rooms, allowing them to run fancier and bigger jackpots and promotions. The catch is if you play in high-traffic Bitcoin poker rooms, expect that you will be competing with typically thousands of players.
Apart from the abovementioned poker room features, you must also keep an eye on sites that offer stellar bonuses and promotions. One of the factors that make online casino an ideal gaming destination is its bonuses. So make sure to maximize these perks and enjoy wads of deposit bonuses, cashback rewards, loyalty incentives and more to make the most out of your betting sessions. Toss in the benefits of Bitcoin gaming to these perks and you will definitely enjoy a no-frills and rewarding online gaming experience—all in the comfort of your home.