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ULTIMATE POKER GUIDE
Poker has a long history! It was first known in 16th Century Germany as “Pochen”, a bluffing game that soon also had a French counterpart which was then called “Poque”.
The popular casino game eventually reached the United States through riverboats in New Orleans, getting its modern name around 1830. During the American Civil War, an important part of the game was added: you could now draw cards to improve your cards’ value!
What is Poker?
Poker is one of the most popular casino games that uses the standard deck of cards, luck and playing strategy.
To play a Game of Poker, gamblers must make bets or wagers over who has the Poker hand (5 cards) with the higher value!
We’ll teach you how to play the most popular Poker variant, Texas Hold’em. It’s usually the version played in Traditional Casinos and Online Casinos.
3 Easy Steps on How To Play Texas Hold’em Poker:
1. Each Player at the table is given or dealt 2 cards face down.
These 2 cards are called Hole Cards.
Remember that this casino game has a lot of terms, like Hole Cards, Community Cards, Poker Hand and Pot. Good thing, we have a Poker Dictionary for all the gaming terms down below!
2. Dealer will deal the 5 Community Cards face up in the center of the table.
COMMUNITY CARDS – 5 cards that are shared by all players
The goal is to make the best Poker hand using all the cards available to the players: this includes both the Community Cards and their 2 Hole Cards!
HAND – a Set of 5 Cards
They can choose to use their 2 hole cards, or just 1 or none to make the best Poker hand combination using the Community Cards.
3. Player to Dealer’s Left can either Bet or Check
BET– wager an amount
CHECK – basically do nothing
How to Know Whether to Bet or Check:
Based on your cards, see if it’s worth to bet or check
4. If Any of the Players Decide to Bet, the Other Players can Call, Fold, or Raise
CALL – make a bet of the same amount as the one raised into the Pot (the place where all the money goes to)
FOLD – player accepts defeat and gives up their cards and all the chips/bet/money they already put into the Pot
RAISE – make an even higher bet
5. This goes on until all Players have Either Called or All Poker Chips are in the Middle of the Table
There are also Betting Rounds for every game of Texas Hold’em. They’re called:
The Flop – after 1st round of betting is complete, dealer gives 3 cards face up
The Turn – after 2nd round of betting, dealer puts 4th community card face up
The River – after 3rd Round of betting, 5th and final community card is dealt face up
6. Player with the Best Hand wins the Pot! (all the money/chips!)
If more than 1 player is still left after the final betting round, all cards are shown and the player with the best Poker Hand wins the whole pot!
So now you’re probably thinking, how do you make the “Best Hand”?
Other Texas Hold’em Terms:
BLINDS – bet amount that 2 players on the direct left of the dealer (Small Blind & Big Blind) are forced to put in the pot before every round starts.
Why are they called “Blinds”?
Because they’re forced to make a bet without even seeing what their cards are in the first place.
To win a Game of Poker, player must have the Highest Hand Ranking out of all the other players.
Poker Hand Ranking
(Highest to Lowest)
1. Royal Flush
2. Straight Flush
3. Four of a Kind
4. Full House
7. Three of a Kind
8. Two Pair
10. High Card
Of course, if Hands have highest to lowest value, so do cards.
The highest value is the Ace, followed by the Face Cards (King, Queen, Jack). Then it’s 10 all the way down to 2 (card with lowest value).
So for Example:
Player A's Cards:
Heart Suite of A, K, Q, J, 10
Player B's Cards:
Clover Suite of 9, 8, 7, 6, 5
Conclusion: Player A wins because Ace is a higher card than 9 in Poker.
- This is currently the most popular poker variation.
- Two cards (hole cards), are dealt or given to each player.
- 5 community cards are dealt face up in 3 stages/rounds.
- Players have betting options to check, call, raise, or fold.
3 Card Poker
- Up to 7 Players and a Dealer use three cards.
- The goal is to win by having a better hand than the dealer, or by at least getting a pair.
- Straight Flush
- Three of a Kind
3 Card Poker’s Betting System
- Ante – Initial bet to play
- Play – Equal bet to the ante bet to continue the hand
- Pair Plus – Additional wetting bet if you have at least a pair
- Omaha Poker is a variation of Hold ‘Em.
- Each player starts with 4 hole cards instead of 2.
- Omaha also uses a standard 53-card deck.
5 Card Stud Poker
- Card Stud Poker is the earliest form of stud poker. Before all poker games were “closed”, only the players know their cards.
- Stud Poker, on the other hand, is an “open game”, where most of the player’s cards are showed on the table. Players have an idea of how strong other player’s hands are, and then bet accordingly.
- Each player has at least 1 “hole” card which isn’t shown until the showdown.
Seven-Card Stud Poker
- Card Stud Poker used to be the most popular poker variation played before Texas Hold’em Poker.
- In this poker variation, 2-8 players are allowed. Players are each dealt with 7 cards, but only the 5 best 5-card poker hands will be used to determine the winner.
Open Face Chinese Poker
- Players take turns drawing cards from a single deck in hopes of making the best hand.
- No bets are placed during the rounds. Players instead play per point, and the game is scored in points.
- After that, players will arrange 13 cards into 3 hands: the “top”, “middle”, “bottom”.
- Players compare their “top” with each other, and so on to the middle and bottom.
- The player with the most points wins!
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Don’t play too many Hands
Playing more doesn’t always mean you’ll get more chances of winning. Play only if you know you have a good chance of winning based on your hole cards.
You Have Good Hands if Your Hole Cards are:
9-9, T-T, J-J, Q-Q, K-K, A-A and A-J, A-Q and A-K.
Don’t Call Too Much
Calling too much is a mistake often done by new players because they just don’t know whether they have good cards or not.
Whatever your cards are, try to Bet More than Calling. You can still win the pot by betting, but you can’t if you keep on calling.
Sometimes it’s best to take the risk and actually see how your hand unfolds.
Different Styles of Betting
Tight – careful kind of betting; play few hands and don’t take too many risks
Loose – going on all out; playing many hands with risky bets
Aggressive – making lots of big bets to put pressure into other players
Passive – making more calls than bets; you let other players decide how the game will go
Taking Advantage of Your Position at the Table
In Texas Hold’em, all players get to exprience the role of Dealer or “Button”.
They’re also the ones who get to bet last, and this is a good advantage because you’ll see how other players behave or act before you can make your move.
Play more hands when you’re in the ‘later’ position (when you get to bet last) than in the early ones.
Use your Bluffs Wisely
Bluffs can be powerful, but only if they’re used right. The point of bluffing is that you want your opponent to fold or give up their best hand, tricking them into thinking they don’t stand a chance against yours.
Make sure that you can achieve this, because if not, then there’s no point to your strategy.
Why is Poker Famous?
It can be said that Poker is one of the most popular casino games in the world. Although it’s most popular in the US, almost all Asian countries have their own variation of Poker. An example of this is “Big 2“, which is a type of Chinese Poker.
✓ Poker Tournaments and World Competitions are held every year
✓ Player can fold or call anytime
✓ It needs skill and intelligence, not just luck
✓ Players need understanding of psychology and people’s behaviors
✓ Can have only 2 players or as many as 10 players
✓ “Bluffing” is entertaining to watch
Poker in Popular Culture
In Popular Culture, you can see Poker played in a lot of movies and media. The famous James Bond film Casino Royale shows the titular 007 agent playing Poker in a high-stakes Poker game (betting millions of dollars!)
Popular video games such as CS:GO (Counter-Strike: Global Offensive) and Red Dead Redemption 2 have option to play Poker Online!
What are you waiting for?