Everything you need to know to learn to how to play poker.
For many poker is the classic card game. Dating back centuries, it’s a game that involves both luck and skill, and it’s the card game that most people want to learn how to play.
So, if you’ve decided it’s finally time to try your hand at poker and don’t know where to start, then read on.
Types of poker
One of the first things to do is decide which type of poker you want to play. There are so many variations of poker that it might seem overwhelming at first, but most can be classified into four categories depending on the procedures for dealing and betting.
– Straight poker: the oldest of the lot. In straight poker, a complete hand is dealt to each player and players then bet in a single round.
– Stud poker: cards are dealt in fixed combinations of face-down and face-up rounds with a round of betting after each. There are several popular modern varieties, such as seven-card stud.
– Community card poker: this is a variant of stud poker in which players are dealt an incomplete hand of four face-down cards, then a number of community cards are dealt face-up in the centre of the table to be used with players’ own cards to make 5-card hands. This category includes the hugely popular Texas Hold’em, which we’d recommend most beginners start with since it’s one of the easiest kinds of poker to learn.
– Draw poker: complete hands are dealt face-down. After the first round of betting, players can choose to discard cards and receive new ones. The most popular modern version of this is the five-card draw.
How to play poker?
We’ll talk about Texas Hold’em, a form of community card poker, because this is one of the most played forms of poker. It’s also one of the most emblematic thanks to its appearance in films from Casino Royale to Ocean’s Eleven.
The goal in Texas Hold’em, like other forms of poker, is to form a hand that’s worth more than the other players’ by making sets of cards based on their suit or rank.
Below we clarify what poker plays are like, one of the most frequently asked questions is what is a straight in poker? We explain how the possible plays are.
In order from the strongest, the possible card combinations poker are:
– Straight flush: five consecutive cards in the same suit, the best being the Royal Flush: ace, king, queen, jack and ten in the same suit.
– Four of a kind: Four cards of the same rank, for example four queens.
– Full house: three cards the same, and a pair of another set of cards.
– Flush: five cards in the same suit.
– Straight: five cards of consecutive ranks.
– Three of a kind: three cards of the same rank.
– Two pair: two cards of one rank, and two another.
– One pair: two cards of the same rank.
– High card: if you have none of the above, your hand is ranked according to its highest card, for instance, a hand with a king beats a hand in which the highest card is a queen.
See also: How to Play Goldfish?
Starting to play poker
To start a hand in Texas Hold’em, two players need to make small bets to ensure there’s some cash to play for. These are called the blinds, and they’re made by the two players to the left of the dealer.
The first player to the left of the dealer makes the small blind, and the next player pays the big blind. The dealer will then quickly deal two face-down cards to each player. Now, how to deal poker? are divided into two betting and game phases:
After the blinds comes the pre-flop phase where the first bets are made. Pre-flop means it comes before the three face-up community cards are dealt.
When you can bet depends on how far you are from the dealer. Positions further along the queue give more opportunity to judge what other players have.
The player whose turn it is has three choices: to fold their hand, giving up on the game; to call, which means match the current bet; or to raise the bet to a higher amount.
In no-limit games, the raise has to be at least the same size as the last bet or raise.
The community cards
After the pre-flop, the dealer spreads three community cards face up in the centre of the table for all players to use to complete their five-card hand. Players may check, declining to bet, until the first bet is made. After this round, the dealer adds a fourth community card, called the turn.
This means each remaining player now has six cards available, but still only your best five-card hand is counted. This process is repeated again with a final, fifth community card called the river.
If more than one player remains in the hand following this final round of betting, then players will have to reveal their hands and the player with the best hand will win the whole pot. The pot is split only if there is an exact draw.
Where to play poker?
Once you know how to play, you need to decide where to play poker
Playing poker at a land-based casino or card room may have more glamour and romance, but many poker players now find that playing poker online is more practical, convenient and more affordable for regular play.
By playing online, you can play when and where you want, and try your hand at different variations, with faster games allowing you to get more practice under your belt – most online poker sites offer the option to play two or more tables at the same time.
The other advantage is that there are sites that allow you to play with free chips rather than real money, and it’s often easier for beginners to keep track of play in an online game.
How to win poker
There is no exact formula to win, you have to know your cards well and the possible strong combinations you have, there are different tips for victory, try to study and learn everything related to the modality that most interests you in poker
How to choose a poker game
The most important step in deciding what poker game to join is to consider what kind of game you want to play. No-limit games allow players to bet any amount above the minimum bet up to the total cash they have at the table.
Limit poker restricts bets and raises to a certain size. This is uncommon in tournament play but fairly readily available in cash games. Pot-limit games, meanwhile, give players the choice of how much they want to bet, but only up to the current size of the pot.
Whichever game you choose it’s important to consider your limits and how much you are prepared to stake before playing poker.
See also: How to Win More Often at the Craps Table