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Basics

Rules of Poker and Basics You Must Know

Poker is not that complicated to play. The complicated part comes in when you need to start strategizing and weighing your chances. The rules itself is very simple. The next part of our journey to learning poker for beginners is the rules. In our previous posts, you learned some facts and the different variants and you also learned why you should play poker. The next step is to understand the basic rules.

The Cards

Poker is played with cards. The person with the best hand at the end of the game wins. But before we get there, let’s backtrack. Each player is dealt two cards face-down before the game begins. Two players are ‘forced’ to bet to get the game started. These two players are called the big blind and the small blind. The small blind puts the minimum amount to bet in the middle of the table and the big blind usually doubles it.

Once everyone has their cards, the dealer deals three cards (community cards) into the middle of the table. After betting rounds and players calling or folding, the dealer deals another two cards in respective rounds to the middle of the table. These five cards are used to try and build the best possible five-card hand.

The Chips

The chips represent monetary value. Every poker game as a minimum buy-in to make sure that there is enough money to be won. The value of the money you put in is given to you in the form of poker chips. You will have different colored chips that represent different values, for example, red for $50 and purple for $200.

The Betting

After the initial cards are dealt and the community cards revealed, the first round of betting takes place. Several rounds of betting, raising, calling, and folding takes place until only one player is left or two players that are left reach a point where they must show their cards. A player bets according to how good they perceive their hand to be. If you have a good hand and good odds of winning, you can bet more money as your chances are higher of winning. When you see that your hand will not bring you a win, you fold. When a player is very confident in his hand, he may go ‘all-in’ which means he bets all the money that he has left on the table.

Bluffing also plays a part in betting. If you feel that you can bluff your way to a win because an opponent’s cards are likely worse than yours or at least poor enough that he would fold under pressure, you can luff. You can bet more than you feel your cards are worth and if the other players buy your bluff you may actually win the hand without having a good hand.

The Options

In poker, you have many options all the time. You have the option to stay in the game or fold. You have the option to replace the cards in your hand to try and get a better hand. You have the option to bluff. When you have the cards in your hand and on the table, you need to look at all the potential options the cards can offer. This is where starting hand strategies come in. We will look at this at a later stage in our learning process. The point is that you always have an option with poker and the one you choose can either make you win or lose.

The Winner

To win a game of poker, you must have the best five-card hand at the end or you must bluff your way to the end and to be the last man standing. There are ten different types of hands that you can get in poker. They are obviously ranked from best to worst and based on the rank of your cards, you either win or lose.

The highest possible hand is a Royal Flush which means you have 10-J-Q-K-A all in the same suit. This hand beats all others. Second in rank is the straight flush which is five consecutive numbers of the same suit. Third, is the four of a kind which means you have collected all four of the value. And so on and so forth. You can read more about the different poker hands here.

These are the basic rules and gameplay of poker. You can have a look at this Wikipedia page and this pokernews.com page to learn more about the rules and gameplay in poker.

Basics

Tools of Poker: Hardware and Software

To play poker, you need a few basic tools. These tools are both physical things as well as mental things. Poker is a versatile game that requires both human and non-human tools. You should have a look at our previous posts about the basics of the game and why you should play. Also, look out for our next post coming soon about the rules and gameplay of poker.

So, what do you need to play poker?

21 - Tools of Poker: Hardware and Software

Cards – Poker is a card-based game and you will need at least two decks of cards. If the game goes on for a long time, the first deck may get a bit damaged and then you need to replace it.

Chips – You need several chips to play poker. The number of chips will depend on the number of players. Each chip gets a value assigned to it. Read more about chips value here. If you don’t have chips, you can use any other small objects that you can assign a value to.

Friends – You need more than one person to play poker. In general, four is the lowest number to play if you want a good game. Eight or ten players are ideal.

A table – A table is quite important. You don’t need to have a proper poker table, although it does look cool. Any table that is sturdy and has enough room to seat all the players will do.

Money – If you are playing for money, you need money and you need a minimum or maximum buy-in. Everyone who wants to play must bring a specific amount to the table to make it worthwhile.

Knowledge of the Rules – This is a very important tool. If you don’t know how to play or what the rules are, you will find the game difficult. So, read up before you start playing.

Your Wits – You need to keep your wits about you to try and win the game. Everyone will be playing for themselves and with different strategies. You need to bring your own strategies to the table.

Mental Toughness – Poker is a game of skill, not only of chance. You need to bring your math skills, your problem-solving skills, and your people-reading skills. All these will help you play poker better.

The Hands – It is very important that you know the hand rankings very well. If you know them well enough, you will be able to calculate and predict to a certain point whether your cards will give you the best hands or not. This knowledge can save you from playing a losing hand and losing all your money. So, this is very important to bring with you.

Computer or Smart Device – If you want to play poker online, you don’t need all the physical stuff, but you will need the mental and human stuff.

These are the tools you will need to play poker. Once you have everything together, it is only a matter of practice and continually learning more about the game. Read some more helpful information here.

Poker

Should You Take Up Poker? Reasons Why Poker May be the Game for You

People play poker for many different reasons besides the money. The game offers several things that may appeal to you as a person. It is exciting, requires mental abilities, skill, and much more. Have a look at our reasons for playing and see whether they appeal to you. If you want a game that offers any or all of these things, poker is the game for you.

1. New Skills

11 - Should You Take Up Poker? Reasons Why Poker May be the Game for You
You get to learn several new skills when you learn to play poker. Not only do you learn to play, you also learn to reason, calculate card options, read people, control your emotions, strategize, etc. Many of these skills are transferable to real life and will be handy at work and in your personal life. Poker teaches you these skills and also helps you to hone them.

2. The Challenge

12 - Should You Take Up Poker? Reasons Why Poker May be the Game for You
If you are someone who is always up for a challenge, poker may just be the game for you. It is a game of chance and of skill and it presents many challenges. You need to learn to deal with loss, you need to learn about strategies, you need to play your opponents to help you win, etc. Poker offers many ways in which to challenge yourself and keep things interesting.

3. Entertainment Anywhere

13 - Should You Take Up Poker? Reasons Why Poker May be the Game for You
With technology today, you can play poker anywhere. You no longer need to go to a land-based casino for entertainment. You can simply go on your smartphone, laptop, or tablet and play where ever you are. There is still a certain draw and magic about land-based poker games, but the online rooms offer a new opportunity for practice and taking your after-hours entertainment anywhere you want.

4. Social Aspects

14 - Should You Take Up Poker? Reasons Why Poker May be the Game for You
One of the greatest aspects of poker is its social nature. When you play online, you have less of the social aspect, but you can still connect with other players. When you play at a land-based casino or even at home with friends, it is a social event that is always fun. Playing with friends can be entertaining and fun and you create a lot of funny memories. When you play at a casino, you can learn from more experienced players and test out your own skills.

Poker offers all of this and more. If these things are what you look for in a game or a hobby, then poker is definitely worth a try. Chances are that you will love it. Read more on why you should learn to play poker here.

Poker

Poker: Facts and History for Beginners

Poker has only been around for a few centuries but it is one of the most popular games in the world. It is played by almost all cultures in all its different variants. It originated in the United States of America during the 19th century but only became really popular in the late 20th century.

Some Interesting Facts

Poker used to be played with only 20 cards instead of a whole deck. Only four players would play at a time and the bigger game with 52 cards only came about in the 1830s.

The World Series of Poker started in the 1970s. This is the world’s most famous and biggest poker tournament and it has made many people famous and rich. The poker pros who play this tournament are usually career poker players, but amateurs have entered and won.

Poker is played by more than 20% of the American population. Poker is truly American and it is by far one of the most popular games to play for fun and for money.

More interesting facts can be read here.

Different Variants of Poker

There isn’t only one type of poker. The most famous and most-played poker variant is Texas Hold’em. However, there are three different groups of poker variants.

  1. Community Card Poker – Texas Hold’em and Omaha Hold’em are the two most popular community card poker games. The basic idea of the game is that each player gets dealt an incomplete hand of cards that they need to complete with community cards on the table.
  2. Draw Poker – The most commonly played of this poker variant is Five-Card Draw Poker. In draw poker, each player is dealt a full hand of cards and then given the opportunity to improve that hand by replacing unwanted cards.
  3. Stud poker – Five Card Stud and Seven Card Stud are the most famous games of the stud poker variant. Each player receives both face-down and face-up cards from which they must build the best possible hand.

Learn more about the different variants of poker on Wikipedia.

Where Can You Play?

Poker was once only played in saloons and casino backrooms. Today, you can play poker anywhere. The three main places to play are:

  1. Land-based casinos. These casinos usually have several poker tables and they offer most of the different poker variants.
  2. Online Poker. Online poker can be played at online casinos which have different poker rooms. The rules for online poker remain the same, but there are usually added bonuses or jackpots.
  3. At home. You can buy poker sets with cards and chips from several stores. It is readily available and many people have taken to starting their own poker nights or poker parties. Money isn’t necessarily always involved in these games and the way of play is established by the people playing.

Visit our EVENTS page for more opportunities to play poker.

These are the very basics of poker. In our next post, we will discuss a few reasons why people should play poker. It is not just about the money, so keep an eye out for the next post.

info1 - Poker: Facts and History for Beginners
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