How to Start Playing Poker for Free – and for Real Money

It’s been over 15 years since Bodog Online Poker first hit the scene. In that time, we’ve become one of the largest online poker rooms in the world, with thousands of players across Canada, Mexico and South America – and many more joining the player pool via the global PaiWangLuo network. The experience of playing poker online at Bodog has only improved since our debut; the pool just keeps on growing, and the gaming platform keeps getting stronger in our Online Casino Canada Real Money.

Today, Bodog Poker is the No. 1 destination for new players and seasoned pro-players alike. In this online poker guide, we’ll show you how you can join in the fun and play real money poker today on your desktop or mobile device. It only takes a few moments to get started; you don’t even have to download poker software if you’re going mobile, as most people do these days.


Getting Started

The first thing you’ll need to do before signing up at Bodog Poker is to make sure that you have the right tools to play online poker. If you want to play our real poker on a desktop (or laptop), you’ll need a computer that’s running Windows 7 or later, or at least Mac OS X 10.7. You’ll also need at least 1 GB of RAM, and Flash Player 16 or later. Pretty much any computer bought in the last five years should do, as well as any Android, iOS or Windows smartphone or tablet.

Once you’ve got your equipment, the next step is to sign up for your free, Bodog Online Poker membership, using our simple one-page form. Players must be at least 18 years of age, and reside within our jurisdiction. After you’ve been verified, you’ll be able to log into the Bodog Poker lobby on your mobile device and start playing right away. If you’re on a desktop, you’ll need to complete the next step and download poker software before you can play.


Download the Poker Software

In our opinion (and that of several independent reviewers on the internet), the Bodog online Poker client is the best desktop platform in online poker. We’ve gone to great lengths over the past 15 years to improve and upgrade the client, so you can have the best poker experience and bonuses in the industry. Click here to download the Windows version; click here if you’re on a Macintosh. This will start the installation process, which will be complete in a matter of minutes. Once it’s ready, clicking the Bodog Poker desktop icon will then allow you to log in and access the poker lobby, where you’ll find the full list of the best poker games available to play.

It’s easy to see why. With 243 ways to win and outstanding graphics, you’ll have the time of your life chasing down that massive 5000X jackpot with our poker squads. Note that you’ll need to use the Chrome browser to play Lara Croft: Temples and Tombs at Bodog.


Find Freeroll Tourneys

With your free Bodog Online Poker membership, you'll also receive 1,000 free Play Money chips, which you can use at any of our Play Money tables and games. This is a perfect opportunity to kick the tires on our poker software and make sure everything is set up to your satisfaction. Anytime you dip below 500 Play Money chips, you can add another 1,000 for free; just open your Account tab and select “Play Money” to reload. It's that easy!

In addition to Play Money games, keep an eye out for special “freeroll” poker tournaments that allow you to compete for a real cash prize without risking a single penny. They don’t come along every day, but if you find one of these freerolls on the schedule, give it a try – select “Scheduled Tournaments” from the menu at the top-left of your Bodog Poker lobby display to see what’s on tap


Start Playing for Real Money

Now that you’ve had a chance to play some of the free games at Bodog Casino poker room, it’s time to take the next step and play for real money. To do this, you’ll need to make your first cash deposit into your new Bodog Poker account. Visa, MasterCard, and American Express are all accepted; you can also make a direct bank transfer, or deposit with Bitcoin or Bitcoin Cash if you’re using cryptocurrency.

Don’t forget to collect your 100% Poker Bonus when you make your first deposit at Bodog. We’ll match that deposit dollar-for-dollar, for up to $1,000 in bonus cash; the more poker you play in the first 30 days after your deposit, the more free money you’ll get. This is a great way for new players to stay in the game while they’re learning the ins and outs of online poker. And it’s just one of several new bonuses you can collect at Bodog Poker – check out our Promotions page to learn more.


How to Play Texas Hold’em

If you’re brand new to poker, the sheer number of different games you can play at Bodog can seem overwhelming at first. Not a problem; here’s a breakdown of what you’ll find in our poker lobby, and some strategies you can use to get the most out of your poker experience.


Card Games (Texas Hold’em, Omaha, Omaha Hi/Lo)

There are lots of different poker games out there, but chances are you’re interested in Texas Hold’em – the Cadillac of Poker. This is still the most popular game in the world, although Omaha and Omaha Hi/Lo are getting bigger every year. You can narrow down the list of games by making your selections under the “Card Game” menu at the top of your display.


Betting Limits (Fixed Limit, Pot Limit, No Limit)

There are three different betting structures, or limits, that are used in online poker. Fixed Limit (FL) allows you to make small bets of a standard size, Pot Limit (PL) allows you to bet or raise up to the size of the pot, and No Limit (NL) allows you to bet as many chips as you have in front of you. No-Limit Hold’em is the preferred choice for most players, but if you’re just getting started, you might want to play Fixed Limit (aka “Limit” for short) in order to protect yourself from making expensive mistakes while you’re learning the ropes.


Game Types (Cash, Tournament, Sit & Go)

Cash poker is the original way to play the game – just sit down with your chips in front of you and start playing your best hands. Your stack will go up or down depending on how well you do, and you can reload or cash out real cash at any time. Tournaments require you to navigate through a larger field of players, but if you last long enough, you’ll win a prize, with the biggest reward going to the sole survivor. Sit & Gos are smaller tournaments that start once the required number of players have signed up; they strike a balance between cash games and regular tournaments and are a particularly good idea for newer players.

Each game at Bodog Poker has its own sub-categories, so take a moment to explore the lobby and see all of the different ways you can play. Then, if you’re serious about your poker, take a moment to look at our growing collection of strategy articles too; select “Poker” from the list to find out all the tips and tricks you’ll need to elevate your game and get a leg up on the competition. Remember, you don’t have to be as good as Phil Ivey to win at poker – you just have to be better than your opponents. Best of luck at the tables.