How to Play Poker

Poker is a very special, unique form of gambling. In fact, this simple yet complex game of strategy and social skills is the pinnacle of the gambling world. Check out this article to learn how to play poker.

learn how to play poker

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Why?

Poker is a sport, and like all sports, it is a game of skill. The most skilled players win the majority of the time.

Learn How to Play Poker by Knowing About Blinds

the difference between small and big blinds

The best hand wins the money in the “pot,” which is the money in the middle of the table put there by the players making bets.

To start the action, Texas Hold Em and Omaha use a bet called the blinds.

Each hand, different players post the big and small blind. The player with the dealer button (which rotates one to the left after every hand) has the advantage of acting last in the hand.

The first player to the left of the dealer button is the small blind, and the player two to the left of the dealer button is the big blind. The small blind is either 1/2 or 1/3 of the big blind.

On the very first betting round, when the players only have their two starting hands, the big blind is automatically in the hand, while the small blind needs to complete the bet (in other words make the 1/2 bet a full bet) to play the hand.

For the rest of the hand, the small blind acts first, the big blind acts second, and the dealer button goes last. Remember, the player who goes first is at a disadvantage, and last at an advantage.

How Similar Card Games Can Differ

difference between poker and other card games

Want to know what that huge difference is?

Poker is a game of skill based on math, logic, heart, and psychology, and each of those skill sets can be taught and learned.

Let's be honest; the best ways to learn to win at poker is to practice. With practice, any player can improve their skills, and online poker sites offer free money tables which are the perfect place to practice and learn the game.

That means you can learn how to play poker, or just practice to get better, without risking any real money!

Online Poker Strategy: Common Mistakes at the Micro-Stake

Know the Best Hands to Play and Win Cash

learn the basic poker hands

Here's the deal–the order of winning hands is always the same. In high games, the highest hands are the best hands, and in low games, the lowest hands are the best hands.

In all forms of poker, the goal is to make the best five-card poker hand. The player that makes the best five card hand wins the “pot” which is the money up for grabs in the middle of the table.

How is a five card poker hand constructed?

  • A deck of cards is broken down into four suits: ♠Spades, ♣Clubs, ♦Diamonds and ♥Hearts
  • Each suit has cards numbered 2 (the lowest), 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, Jack, Queen, King, Ace (the highest)
  • An Ace beats a King, a King beats a Jack which beats a Ten, and so on
  • In a game with only one card, the player who picked the highest card would win
  • From this basic high card rule, you build all the poker hands

Ranked in order from the best (the highest) to the weakest (the lowest) the poker hand rankings (with a definition and example) are:

  • Royal Flush = A♣K♣Q♣J♣T♣  = 5 cards of the same suit in order of rank (picture cards are stronger than numbers)
  • Straight Flush = 7♠6♠5♠4♠3♠ =   5 cards of the same suit in numerical order
  • Four of a Kind = 8♠8♥8♦8♣ = Four of the same cards. In order of rank; for example, four eights beats four sevens and so on
  • Full House =  A♣A♥A♦Q♦Q♥  = Three of a kind plus two of a kind. In order of rank
  • Flush = A♥J♥9♥7♥3♥ = Five cards of the same suit. If two players have a flush, the player with the higher card rank wins (for example a flush with a high card Ace beats a flush with a high card Queen)
  • Straight = 6♠7♥8♣9♠10♣ =Five cards in order of rank, the suit does not matter. A straight with a high card King beats a straight with a high card Ten
  • Three of a Kind = 7♣7♠7♦ = Three of the same card
  • Two Pair = A♠A♣K♥K♠7♠ = Two pairs plus a random card
  • Pair = AA = Two of the same card
  • High Card = A = If no player makes any of the above hands, the player with the highest card in their hand wins

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