A beginners guide to Poker
Welcome to a beginners guide to Poker from the home of free bets. Poker is a game where you get dealt five cards and you play to get the best hand betting as you go. The Ace is the high card of the pack with a 2 being low all the suits have an equal standing in Poker.
If you are going to win at Poker you will need to learn the different hands and how they rank against each other. The worst possible hand you can get is where you rely only on your highest ranking card.
The next hand to consider is a pair, as the name suggests this is when you have two of a kind like a pair of 4’s or pair of ace’s when two people have a pair the highest pair will be the winner. If you both have the same pair like both having a pair of 6’s then the next highest card of your hand determines the winner of the hand.
Moving onto a better hand, next comes a three of a kind hand where you have three of the same i.e. 3 kings and like a pair if two people have a pair then it’s the higher ranked of the 3 of a kind that will be the winner.
After three of a kind it’s a straight where your hand has subsequent cards in a row 2,3,4,5,6 they do not need to be of the same suit but if they are it’s a better hand again which we will show you later. In the event of two players having a straight then the higher of the two wins. The ace can be used in a high or low straight coming before a two or after a king but you can span over high and low i.e. king,ace,2,3,4.
Next up is called a flush where all you cards are in the same suit, so all diamonds for example and again two flushes will mean the highest flush wins. After a flush its the hand called a Full House where you have three of a kind and a pair. If two players have a full house then, you guessed it, the highest of the two hands wins with the three of a kind being the first you consider.
Four of a kind is next up a really great hand but you will not see it often and if in the super rare case of two four of a kind hands the higher of the two will win.
Early we talked about a straight and a flush hand but you can get both a straight flush where you have a straight hand all in the same suit. The best hand in this case is an ace high straight flush, known in poker as a royal flush the best possible hand in poker.
Playing Texas Hold’em
You now know how your hand ranks it’s time to play poker. You will be dealt two hole cards that you can and only you can use to make a hand with the dealt board cards. The board cards can be used by everyone to make up a 5 card hand.
When playing you will not have to use both of your hole cards to make up a hand. Lets take a look at a few hands to get you started the first to look at is a highest card wins hand in the example below the best you can do is an ace high hand followed by a king, queen, jack and 8. It’s a shame you didn’t have a 10 here, as that would have given you an ace high straight!
Here is a few more for you to get used to how to play Texas Hold’em!
The nuts hand!
With any collection of cards there will be a best hand possible and this is known as the nuts. It’s a hand that cannot be beaten.
At the table
You are now ready for your first hand the dealer will deal everyone their first hole card, remember this is face down and for your eyes only. There can be up to ten players on a table and the minimum you need is just two and the dealer will deal clockwise starting with the person immediately to his or her left. Once you have been dealt you two hole cards you can place your first bet or choose to leave the game for that round.
The dealer then puts down three cards into the community area for everyone to use before everyone that is left has another bet of again leaves the game for that hand. The fourth card is then dealt into the community area and the players left can place another bet.
The final card is put into the community area and everyone gets the chance to place a final bet before everyone reveals what they have. The winner is the one with the best hand although if two people have the same hand the pot is split between them. There is another way of winning and that is being left with no-one to play against due to drop outs in this case it is the last man standing that’s wins.
Betting on poker
There are five main actions you can take whilst playing. To start betting the first player stakes an amount on that round which everyone else has to either follow on from or fold. Folding means you throw in your hand and take no further part in that game.
Checking is when you pass you chance to bet for a time until others make their move you can then either bet to match what has been done, raise or fold your hand. If no-one has bet on that round the next card is dealt and the same process begins again.
You can also call or raise the bet, to call the bet means you match what the highest bet is on the table so that you can carry on and see the next card dealt.
The last action is to raise the bet, if you think you have a killer hand or are going to bluff with your best poker face you can up the stakes. Raising means the original bet will need to up his or her bet to match you. The original bettor can also re-raise the hand putting the bet back in your hands and so on. Generally in a game there will be a limit on the number of raises in a hand typically a bet and three raises before the game ends.
Who deals the hand.
As we mentioned the dealer always deals and the person to the left has the first option. The role of dealer passes clockwise every new round and if a house dealer is used a white button passes around to show who the dealer is. The first two players to the left side of the dealer are the blinds they have to place a bet to get the hand started. Normally the player to the left (the small blind) will place a bet around half of the total bet first and the second will place a bet for the full bet for that round and once the cards are dealt the small blind player may choose to call by matching the initial big blinds bet, fold the hand or raise the bet.
If once the pot gets back to the small blind and it is not raised he can complete his blind by making up the difference between his and the big blinds bet.
The big blind will always make the first bet after this initial first round if the pot is raised he will need to match or raise it to continue in the game but if by the time it gets back to him everyone else is out he takes the pot including the small blinds stake.
For subsequent rounds the small blind will always bet first unless he is out in which case it’s always the person to the left of the dealer for that hand. If you want to watch a great guide to playing click here.
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