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A Beginner’s Guide to Poker

We’re bringing you this beginner’s guide so that you can learn the basics of poker

Learn how to get to grips with this game so you can enjoy playing in casinos, tournaments, or even among friends where there are no stakes involved. If you do want to make money playing poker, however, the first step is definitely to learn more about it! 

An Introduction to Poker

Firstly, we should probably mention that there are different types of poker games you can play which each have their own rules and regulations that you will need to abide by. 

Online casinos such as typically have hundreds of games available for you to play, including the likes of Texas Hold’em Poker (arguably the most popular and the game we will be focusing on throughout this article), Omaha Poker, and 7-Card Stud Poker. 

Despite the history of poker having ancient roots, it’s still a widely played game today with the simplicity and popularity of Texas Hold’em providing the foundation for a whole host of strategy books and gambling recommendations for other beginner poker players. 

Texas Hold’em Poker - The Rules

To provide you with a quick overview, each player is dealt two cards which you do not show to any of the other players. These are called ‘Hole Cards’ or ‘Pocket Cards’, and after they’ve been dealt there is a round where every player places their bets. 

Another three cards, known as
community cards, are then dealt in the middle of the table lying face up so that every player can see the value of these cards. This is called the ‘Flop’.

Next, a fourth community card is dealt, also facing upwards (this is known as the ‘
Turn’), and is then followed by the second round of betting. A fifth and final upward-facing community card is dealt (this is known as the ‘River’) before the fourth and final round of betting. 

Now it’s time for the
Showdown - at this stage in the game, you must choose to play the best five-card hand using the cards you’re holding and the hole cards or community cards.

It’s worth noting that if two (or more) players have the same hand at the end of the game, they can split the pot evenly amongst the winning players, which is similar to the board having the best hand (essentially the five highest cards) as the pot is also split in this case. 

What You’ll Need

To play a proper game of poker, you’ll need the following supplies. 

  1. Booze and snacks (optional, but highly recommended, especially if playing at home). 
  2. Standard 52-card deck (with the Jokers removed). 
  3. Money or monetary equivalent i.e. poker chips. 
  4. A group of 1-10 (preferably) willing players.
  5. A ‘dealer’ button or an equivalent. 
  6. A table large enough to seat all of the players in attendance. 

Rank of Hands 

Here are the rankings for each possible hand that you could end up with at the end of a poker game: 

Royal Flush: This is when you’re left with an A, K, Q, J, and a 10 from the same suit. The chances of this happening are 1 in 650,000, so it’s a guaranteed win if you do! 

Straight Flush: Five cards in the same suit which follow a sequence. 

Four of a Kind: This is when you have four cards of one rank, rather than the same suit. In the event of a tie, the kicker breaks it. 

Full House: A full house is when you have three of the same card in one rank, and two of another. The highest-ranking set of three wins, or if the same, the highest-ranking pair.

Flush: A flush is five cards of the same suit with the highest card winning. 

Straight: This is five sequential cards with varying suits. 

Three of a Kind: Three of the same cards from any suit along with two unmatched cards. The player with the highest set wins.

Two Pair: This is when you have two cards of the same rank and another two cards in another rank. 

One Pair: Two cards of the same rank but different suits plus three unmatching cards.

High Card: This is when you have one high card and four lower unmatching cards. Ace is the highest card in the deck.

Final Thoughts

Now you have a better understanding of how to play poker, you’re probably itching to get practicing so you can improve your skills before your next poker night. If that’s the case, you’ll definitely want to see our article with 5 valuable tips on how to succeed at poker.