The 21st century has shown that poker is really a game of fun to play with your friends. It is now considered an official sport in most countries, with national and international federations, tournaments and teams.
New communities are being created and the culture of the game has taken on a higher level, opening up new doors of achievement and self-fulfilment for many people.
The rules of poker are simple enough for most of its types, which has made it popular among online casino games. The tactics and techniques used in poker depend directly on the player and his knowledge of psychology, equanimity and rational calculations, and sometimes on his mathematical skills. Only in this game actions and bets can say a lot more about a person than his words and signals. Or they can only be a masterful bluff. You can only find out the truth when you play.
Beginner Poker Rules
Learning how to play poker is easy enough, as the rules seem simple. In general, the player’s job is to win the pot by increasing the amount of your current stack.
There are several ways to win a hand:
By showing the best combination
Players’ combinations are compared if the hand has reached showdown. The winner of the stronger combination takes the betting amount;
By breaking his opponents out of the showdown with a bet
It is not necessary to bet with the strongest combination. Quite often, hands are won when you don’t have a prepared combination that has nothing to do with the board. Such bets are called a bluff. In many movies and TV shows that feature poker, it is with the help of big bluffs that millions are won. However, the reality of modern poker is that players try to minimise bluffing;
A No Limit Texas Hold’em hand starts with two required bets, the small and big blinds
These are placed by the player to the left of the dealer’s position. The poker player to the immediate left of the dealer bets the small blind. The next poker player after him uses the big compulsory bet. They are wagered before the dealer even dealt the cards;
When the blinds are in the centre of the table, the dealer deals two cards each
The first straight goes to the poker player in the small blind position, the next one to the big blind and so on. This goes on for two rounds until everyone has two in the hand.
Tip for the Game
A classic casino game is always played for money. This adds an extra element of fun, but it also increases the risk of a real financial loss. A distinction should be made between the players’ goals: for many it’s a way to earn extra or even main money, for others it’s a fun hobby and a fun way to spend your time.
For those looking for a way to learn how to play poker well from scratch, it’s better to look at online poker applications not for money but with contingent chips or an internal currency that can be given away for free. You’ll also be playing online with real players at online casino, like Betway, and all you need to get started is a computer, tablet or phone with a stable internet connection.
Learn the rules and combinations thoroughly
During the game you shouldn’t waste time trying to remember which is higher, Straight or Flush, Four of a Kind or Full House, Two Pairs or a Set. It should be obvious. All attention should be focused on watching the game.
Train your attention
Often novice poker players don’t notice that they’ve made a winning hand, throwing cards away. If you play Hold’em, try this practice at home: deal yourself two cards and five on the table, quickly trying to determine which hand you have made.
You don’t have to take part in every deal
If the hand is a bad card and you’re not on the blind, then feel free to flop. If the Hand is medium strength and you’re not in the blind, then flop at 90%. Going into every pot, you’ll lose points and chips.
Play «in position»
With a full stack, enter the game in «early position» (just after the blinds) only with a very strong hand. Remember, you might get a few raises afterwards: even if you call, it could happen again in the next round and you’ll lose. The most profitable position is the blind or the early position in front of it. All bets are placed before you, and you’re the last one to decide whether to call, raise, or fold.
Raise more often, avoiding a call if possible
By playing the raise with a strong hand, you’re giving many players with not-so-strong cards a chance to enter the game. When medium cards come up on the table, you’ll have to fold. If you were to raise, the players with weak cards would fold, and those who are left would be in a difficult position. You would be able to bet again, taking the pot. There is a chance that everyone will fold on the raises you make. In this case, the pot will be yours, you will win without a fight. Playing a call, you just have to hope for a full card match on the flop.
Concentration is important in poker: if you are not feeling well, tired, or getting enough sleep, it is not a good idea to play seriously.
Types of Poker
There are about ten variations of this card game. However, some are suitable for relaxed family fun, while others are suitable for playing poker for real money. Quite a lot of information can be found in quick guide to poker books. However, if you don’t want to waste your time looking for it, you can keep reading. The international community distinguishes between the following variations of the game:
The most popular variety, with tournaments being played in online casinos in the USA.
Omaha is a fairly popular form of poker. The main difference from Texas Hold’em is that each player holds 4 cards, locked away from the others. And only two can be used to make combinations;
One of the most difficult types of this card sport. Players are dealt three cards, one of which is revealed. After this, trading begins, at the end of which another card is dealt «face up». When the number of cards reaches seven there is a final round of bidding. The pot, which is initially divided into two equal parts, goes to the winner of the strongest and weakest combination at the table. To play this kind of poker for money, considerable practice is recommended;
Badugi is a new type of poker popular in South Korea. The main objective is to make the lowest combination of four handed cards.
Betting in Poker
You cannot learn to play poker without understanding the bets that are allowed. Knowing their names is not necessary. However, with this knowledge you will feel much more comfortable at the table offline, understanding what your opponents are talking about. For online poker, this is also important.
Here are a few examples:
- Raise — the first raise of the bets;
- A Raise is the first Raise — A demonstration of strength or lack of confidence in a previous Raise;
- Lump — A passive Bet by Calling the Big Blind. This is the type of Call often used by Newbies;
- A 3-bet is a third-betting raise. Beginners often mistake the 3-bet in the preflop. The first bet on this street is a blind, the second is a Raise. A raise is a 3-bet on the preflop;
- A 4-bet is a 3-bet raid;
- A Steele is an attempt to steal the blinds from a late position. A Steele is defined as an Opening Raise from the Button or Cut-Off when all players before you have folded;
- A continuation bet is a bet on the flop/terminus or reverse by a player who was the aggressor on the preflop.
Combinations in Poker
Another important part of understanding the game at a basic level is mastery of combinations. You don’t have to learn them by heart at the earliest stages — you can use cheat cards. However, if you want to seriously develop your passion for poker, you must know the names and ways of combinations.
Recall all combinations in ascending order of their strength, i.e., the weakest ones come in the beginning of the list, and the real «monsters» come near the end:
- Senior card. A rare situation in Hold’em, where no player has ever managed to put together a stronger combination;
- One Pair. Two similar cards;
- Two pairs. Two matches of two cards of different values;
- A set. Three cards of the same value;
- A straight. Five cards of consecutive values, regardless of their suit. An Ace is allowed multiple values to make a Straight: a minimum and a maximum;
- A Flush. Five One-Suit Cards, with no value attached;
- A Full House. Combining a Set and a single Pair;
- A Kare. Four cards of equal value;
- A straight flush. Nominally, this is the strongest combination in Texas Hold’em — five single jack cards of consecutive values;
- Royal Flush . A special case of a straight flush — from a ten to an Ace.
Before you go taking all the advice in the beginners guide to poker and spending a month’s wages at an online casino, you should remember that coolness and judgement are your best features. Even with mastery of techniques, psychology, and lots of money on the table, poker remains a game with an element of luck that can turn around at any time. The number of people who have gone broke and lost everything because of uncontrolled gambling far exceeds the number of happy players who are rich. Gambling addiction, especially in poker for money, can begin to control a person, forcing them to leave the last thing on the table. With a sensible approach, a calm game and a cool calculation, poker will be a great pastime.