Poker is undoubtedly one of the most popular casino games. So much so that online casinos, even bookie software products always tend to include poker. It is, after all, and enjoyable card game where you can win money as well. There are different types of poker games, although the most popular is the Texas Hold’em. So, for today, we’ll help you learn the basics of poker, Hold’em style.
The Basics of Poker: How to Play
The first thing you need to know learning how to play poker, is that when the first round begins, you will be given two cards face down. You will, of course, need to place your wager for the round. You “call” for the same amount, “check” to pass the action, “raise” when you want to increase your wager for the round, or “fold” if you forfeit the round. You’ll be basing this decision on the value of your cards, your read on the table (and other players), and your bluffing skills.
The goal of the game is to have the best hand, or at least bluff your way to making everyone fold thinking you have the best hand. So we begin with your two cards. The Dealer will add three community cards, called the Flop. From here, you can make the best 5-card hand you can with your two cards, plus the community cards. You’ll each have the chance to check, raise, or fold, to complete the round.
The Flop, Turn and River Cards
Once all wagers are made, the remaining players will get one more community card from the dealer, called the Turn. Once this is laid down, everyone will begin another round of betting. After which, the last round, where the Dealer will lay down the last community card called the River.
Again, a round of wagering will happen, but this is the last round for this game. So the betting won’t end until everyone can match the highest bet, or folds until one person is left. Once this is done, the remaining players will be putting down their cards, and the one with the best hand wins.
Here are the possible hands you can make, from the lowest, to the highest rank:
- High Card. If all 5 cards do not form any hand, then the highest card will be the High Card.
- Pair. A pair is made up of two cards of the same value, plus three extra cards.
- Two Pair. When you have two sets of pair, plus one extra card.
- Three of a Kind. This is when you have three cards of the same value, plus two cards.
- Straight. A straight is when you have 5 cards with consecutive value, but different suits.
- Flush. A flush is when you have 5 cards that share the same suit.
- Full House. A Full house is made up of one pair and one three of a kind.
- Four of a Kind. This is also called quads, where you have four cards of the same value, plus one extra card.
- Straight Flush. This is when you have a straight, but they are all from the same suit.
- Royal Flush. The highest ranked hand, this is when you have A,K,Q,J and 10, and all of them are from the same suit.
Of course, knowing the hands and the process will help you familiarize yourself with the game. Its also best that you try to play frequently so you can get a hang of it. Because when it comes to poker, knowledge of the game is only half of it. You’ll also need to learn strategy, specially bluffing. We’ll be expounding on that on future gambling tutorials. For now, try playing some poker games, and try to learn its variations, until you are comfortable enough to take it to the next level to bet and win on real money.