Poker is among the most popular card games. Because it’s pretty easy to learn, but hard to master, it has found lots of acclaims all over the world. If you’d like to get into skill-based gambling, then poker maybe just for you. The main difference between poker and, say, roulette or slots is that you have a much larger degree of control over the game. While there is some randomness in poker, it’s not a totally random game. So, if you want to learn the basics of poker, here’s a beginner’s guide. But, if you’d like to try out sports betting, here’s a great provider lvbet.com/en/casino/.
Live poker is emerging and gaining popularity also in the Netherlands, according to Kansino. The most likely reason is the fact that live poker games are played against a real dealer, waiting times are limited and there are a lot of betting options that makes the game accessible for everyone.
Table of Contents
Poker is fairly straightforward, even for people that didn’t have much to do with card games. I’m going to cover the most popular version of the game – the No-Limit Texas Hold’em.
How each round is played:
- First, each player is dealt two cards, faces down of course.
- Then, each player either calls raises or folds.
- Next, the dealer lays out three cards in the middle. These go faces up.
- After that, there’s the next round of betting with an additional card put on the table, and then once again.
- The total number of cards on the table is five.
- Now, if you didn’t fold, you compare your five-card hand with other players.
- One with the best hand wins the pot.
You can bet as much as you want in the four rounds, which really makes poker mostly about psychological tricks and analysis. That’s why it’s so interesting and popular.
Different combinations have different rankings, just like individual cards.
- Royal Flush – A-K-Q-J-T – all in the same suit
- Straight Flush – e.g. 6-5-4-3-2 – all in the same suit
- Four of a Kind – four equal cards, e.g. K-K-K-K
- Full House – Three of a Kind and a Pair, e.g. K-K-K-9-9
- Flush – any cards, all of the same suit
- Straight – any sequence, e.g. 8-7-6-5-4 in any suit
- Three of a Kind – any three cards of the same value, e.g. 3-3-3
- Two-Pair – two pairs, e.g. – 6-6 and J-J
- Pair – any two equal cards
- High Card – if nobody has any combination, the highest card wins
Blind – when a player is on a blind, he can’t fold his hand immediately. This acts as a forced bet. Two players are on a blind each round – a small one and a big one. Small blinds force you to bet half the minimal amount, while big blinds force you to bet the entire minimal amount.
Call – a bet equal to the last.
Check – if nobody makes a bet, you get to check. This allows you to see what other players will do.
Raise – if you raise, that means that you’ve increased the current bet by any amount
Fold – if you deem your cards aren’t any good, you can fold. This ends your participation in the current round.
All-In – going all-in means that you’re betting all you have.
Hole Cards – These are the two cards you get at the beginning of each round
Community Cards – the cards that the dealer puts on the table during the rounds
Flop – that’s when the first three community cards are on the table
Pot – the sum of all bets
Kicker – the decisive card when two players have equally powerful combinations, e.g. two players have a pair of nines. The player that wins is the one that has a card of a bigger value.
Now, perhaps the most important thing to remember about poker is not to overdo it with your bets. Don’t play too many hands. In fact, you’re going to fold the majority of them.
The good hands include 9-9, T-T, J-J, Q-Q, K-K, A-A, A-J, A-Q, A-K. You fold the rest of them. If there are fewer than eight people at your table, you can go in with more combinations, especially pairs. Try to get a feel for the game, don’t call too much. Look what your opponents are doing, make an effort to read their strategy.
Raising and calling
The main difference between raising and calling is that calling is much more passive. When you raise, you’ve got a chance to win the pot without the round going much further. It creates the impression that you’ve got a strong hand and may result in the rest of the players, or at least some of them, folding.
Identifying different hands
It’s pretty easy to see, based on the flop, and the behavior of the opponent, if they either have a flush or a straight. It’s also pretty easy to identify for the opponents whether you’ve got a Three of a Kind. Say, the flop is 7-7-A, you raise because you’ve got a 7 in your hand. That’s a strong signal that you’ve got something powerful.
Where to play poker?
Poker can be played through online providers. It’s pretty easy to start off. You can practice on free-for-all tournaments, too. You don’t even need to pay a membership or an entry fee. While the free tournaments mostly let you win just a few dollars, it’s a great way to get a feel for the game. There are plenty of mobile apps as well if you’re keen on playing on your smartphone. Poker is also a great way to integrate with your friends. Buy some chips, a deck of cards and you’re set. Whether playing for real money or just chips, either way, it’s entertaining. Because the rules are so simple to get a hang of, people are more than likely to like it.