If you’re just starting out with poker then you’re probably feeling a bit overwhelmed by all the potentialities out there. Sure, the game is relatively simple and straightforward, but within its seemingly plain confines there exists a rather complex game. In poker, it isn’t just about letting lady luck decide your fate, you see, it’s also about learning its many nuances so that you can coax winnings from it more frequently. Easier said than done though, right?
Before you actually pull up a chair to the poker table, let’s take some time to learn about some of the game’s general rules…
52 cards + hand rankings
As you might have already guessed, poker is played with a standard 52 card deck (which may or many not include the use of jokers). The cards are divided into 4 suits, each composed of numbered cards from 2 – 10 and a royal section, jack, queen, king and ace. The game itself relies on various “hands”, or assortments of card combinations of varying strength. In other words, the better or “stronger” your hand is, the higher its rank. It is the interplay amongst these combos which ultimately adds the drama to the game, thus allowing for a more dynamic overall experience. The hands are as follows:
(Source: Wikipedia) – Ranked from low to high
- No pairs, Ace high
- One pair
- Two pairs
- Three of a kind
- Straight (five cards in consecutive order, aces present lending additional strength)
- Flush (five cards of the same suit)
- Full house (three of a kind + one pair)
- Four of a kind
- Straight flush (five cards of the same suit in consecutive order)
- Royal flush (five cards of the same suit in consecutive order consisting of a 10, Jack, Queen, King and Ace)
How the game is played
Starting off, each player at the table places a bet, this usually entails chips or money being placed in the pot, aka – the center of the playing area. Following this, cards are dealt out to each player courtesy of the dealer. Next, everyone will take their time and examine their cards and then decide upon whether or not to keep playing or fold. If they choose to keep going then they will need to meet all subsequent bets. During this time someone might choose to raise the bet level, which means that you will need to pony up the dough (or sit out that particular round). There are also opportunities to exchange cards following this, which can either yield positive or negative results. When the last round of betting has been reached, everyone has to show their five cards so that the winner (possessing the strongest hand) can be crowned. Assuming that everyone folds before this round is reached the last player standing automatically wins the pool.
If you’re from America, you’ll find a variety of usa poker sites to play at. Take on board all of the tips discussed within this article to ensure you begin as best as possible.