Poker is a game that’s loved by many, as there’s never any shortage of new aspects to learn. However, this can make it seem a little daunting for new players. Thankfully, it really shouldn’t be; getting to know how to play poker is surprisingly easy. It’s only once you’ve got the basics down that you can start finding more complicated theories. So, for now, we’re going to teach you how to get started with one of the most widely played varieties, Texas Hold’em. Cards and chips at the ready; let’s learn.
Where to Play
By the end of this short read, you should be feeling confident enough to get some practice in. The simplest place to start is online, as there are always people available to play with, and you don’t need to feel self-conscious or embarrassed like you might at an actual casino. It’s quick to get started playing online, particularly if you’re playing poker in US, as it’s easy to find some useful tips on the best online poker rooms to head to in New Jersey.
Online poker is a good place to start because there’s no need to work on your bluffing or your ability to tell if others are bluffing. Instead, you can just work on your game strategy as you get to know your way around the rules. As you play, you might find it useful to use a poker tracker. These are exciting bits of technology, that track your progress and give you detailed feedback on how you are progressing as a player. Most professionals use them to keep track of the things that they don’t always spot themselves.
Now that you know where to play, we can start by teaching you what all the different terms mean, as this is usually the part that people find the most confusing. Hand rankings refer to the cards that you’re holding and whether they’re highly ranked, a good hand, or low ranked a poor one. The highest-ranking hand that it is possible to get in a game of poker is called a royal flush and is made up of a run of cards from 10 to Ace in one suit. A straight flush comes next and can be any five cards of the same suit. This is followed by four of a kind, which would see you holding four of the same rank, for example, four Queens.
It’s worth remembering that if you have four Aces, then it’s not possible for anybody to get a Royal Flush. Next on the list is a full house, containing a three-pair and a two-pair. Next is a flush, which is any five cards of the same suit. This is followed by a straight, which can be five consecutive cards of any suit, then a three pair and nothing in the remaining two cards, followed by a two pair and finally ‘nothing’ also known as the high card, when your five cards are unrelated.
How Play Progresses
Now that you know what you’re aiming for, it’s time to look at how to play. Everyone is dealt two cards face down and is allowed to look at them. There’s an opportunity to bet; if you think your hand is strong, then you can raise; if you think it’s weak, then you can fold. The dealer will hand out a further card once this has happened and the betting round starts again.
This continues until everybody has four cards in their hand and the dealer has dealt three cards face up into the center of the table. These are known as the community cards, and you can use all of them, or just one of them, to make up your best five-card hand. The winner is the one with the highest-ranking hand or the only one who hasn’t folded once the game is over.