How To Play Poker
Poker games are among the most popular casino titles. Unlike other products, they demand a lot of skills and practice. Each real money poker game can provide you with decent rewards, but you must learn how to play it first.
That’s exactly what we at BestPoker will talk about in this article. We’ll explain the hand rankings, explain some poker slang for beginners, basic poker rules and more. Let’s start breaking down the details.
Understanding Poker Hand Rankings
There are 10 winning hands in all poker variants and we’ve explained them below. They are listed in chronological order, from weakest to strongest hand.
A high card is not usually considered one of the winning poker hands, but it is worth mentioning. When no poker player on the table has any of the below-listed winning hands, a high card will determine the winner. Usually, the Ace is the highest-ranking hand. If multiple players have an Ace, then the winner is decided by the second card.
Moving on, the first formal winning combination at a poker table. When one of your hole cards is identical in value to one of the community cards, you will form a pair. For example, you can have two 7s or two Aces.
A pair is formed if there are two identical cards in the community section. However, instead of the pair being your winning hand, it is a hand that every player on the table has.
Similar to one pair, when you play at a poker app and you have two sets of identical cards, you will have two pairs. For example, once you combine your hole cards with the community cards, you can see that you have two 2s and 2 4s.
Three of A Kind
Three of a kind is different from forming a pair. Instead of having two identical card values, this winning hand includes three cards of the same value. Keep in mind that they aren’t in the same suit.
Even though there are different poker card games, the winning hands are the same in all of them. If you have 5 cards in consecutive order, then you have the straight winning hand. For example, you can have 7-8-9-10-J. The cards don’t need to be in the same suit, all it matters is their consecutiveness.
Unlike straight winning hands, a flush requires you to have the same suit of cards. However, they don’t have to be in consecutive order. All it matters is that you have 5 cards in spades, heart, clover or diamond.
Next up, we go to the hands that rarely drop in standard poker games and online tournaments. A full house is a combination of three of a kind and one pair. For example, you can have three 3s and a pair of 7s.
Four of a Kind
Four of a kind follows the same logic as three of a kind. However, just as the name of the winning hand suggests, you need 4 cards of the same value. They don’t have to be in the same suit.
A straight flush is a combination of both straight and flush winning hands. In other words, you must have 5 cards in consecutive order. They also need to be in the same suit. A good example of this winning hand is 2-3-4-5-6 in spades.
A royal flush is by far the strongest hand in a poker game. When the final round of betting comes, if you have this hand, then you will definitely win. A royal flush means that you have the cards 10-A in an identical suit.
Step-by-Step Guide on How to Play Poker for Beginners
Learning the hand rankings in the various types of poker games is just the start. There’s far more to this variant and you should know the details. The good thing about playing poker is that there are a lot of freerolls where you play poker for free.
Once you get familiar with the details, you can move on to implement various poker tips and strategies and use them to play poker for real money and win rewards.
Once you join a poker table, whether that is in online casinos or land-based ones, you will gain a certain seat. There are several poker positions and they can influence the game.
The player right next to the dealer is called the small blind. This player puts one or two-thirds of the starting bet in the game. The big blind sits next to the small blind and this player wagers the full starting bet.
The next two positions are called early positions, then we have two middle positions and finally, we have 2 late positions. Strategically looking, early positions are the worst starting positions for poker players.
Speaking of poker strategy, it is worth noting that you are allowed to use cheat sheets when playing this game.
Once the dealer hands players their hole cards, the first betting round in poker starts. The big and small blind place the wagers. The other players need to either call the bet, raise or fold. Call means that they accept the current bet. Raise means that they are upping the stakes and fold means that they are quitting.
After players set their bets, the dealer flushes one card and deals the first three community cards. They are placed face up. The second betting round begins. Players place their wagers. The first player also has the option to “check” a bet.
This means that they do not raise nor fold. When all bets are settled, the dealer flushes one more card and deals the fourth community card. This card is also known as the turn. Players repeat the betting cycle.
When the bets are settled, the dealer flushes one more card and deals the final community card. After the bets in the final rounds are settled, a so-called showdown follows. Players reveal their hole cards. The one with the strongest hand wins.
Basic Rules for Other Poker Variations
The beauty of playing poker is that there are numerous variants of it. The three main categorizations of this game include:
- Stud poker
- Community poker
- Draw poker
Regardless of the poker type, a majority of the rules remain the same. There are some slight differences between specific variants of this game and we at BestPoker explained some of them below.
Omaha poker is among the most popular games in this category. This variant is extremely similar to Hold’em, but it has one difference. Players are required to use at least 2 of the 4 featured community cards.
Texas Hold’em is by far the most popular online poker variant. Dealers hand you exactly two hole cards that you must use with the community cards. The winning hands are the same as the ones we explained above.
Seven Card Stud
Interestingly enough, seven card stud poker is played with two face-down cards and one face-up card before the betting round starts. This is followed by 3 additional face up cards and one face-down card. After the final face-down card is dealt, the showdown begins.
Video poker is among the oldest casino games. Unlike all other types of poker, this game has only one round. Since it’s played on a slot-like machine, you press the button to receive your hole cards. If you don’t like them, you can replace them. After you set your bet, the machine reveals all of the community cards and if your bet is correct, then you win the prize pool.
Quick Tips for New Players
Just like mentioned earlier, poker requires a lot of practice to master it. That is why this beginners guide to poker by BestPoker will help you do that in the shortest possible time. Before we close things off, we wanted to share a few quick tips for new players.
They will help you learn how to play poker without wasting real money in the process. Let’s check them out.
Get Familiar with Poker Tools
This tool can help you determine how big the chances of forming certain winning combinations are after the final card is dealt.
Try Out Poker for Free First
Before you try live poker for real money, it is worth trying demo versions. Why? Because demo versions will allow you to play poker variants for free. As a result, you won’t lose any money.
Demo versions will help you learn how to play games that have a fixed limit on their pot, get familiar with the betting patterns and shed light on all other poker rules. Of course, if you manage to win a round, you should keep in mind that the rewards are also not real money prizes.
Use Bonuses and Promotions at Online Casinos
When you play draw, community or stud games at online casinos, you should always remember to take a look at the featured bonuses and promotions. Casino sites offer promos such as:
- Welcome bonuses
- Match and reload bonuses
- Bonus money
By using them, you can potentially increase your winnings in a poker game. However, there are a few things that you should keep in mind when claiming these promos. First, not all promos are eligible for poker games and second, they come with terms and conditions.
Before you can withdraw any bonus winnings, you must meet the T&Cs. These include minimum deposit, wagering requirements, maximum bet and win, bonus validity period, etc.
Get Familiar With the Starting Hands
When implementing a certain strategy, you should know that there are both good and bad hands in poker. Get familiar with them to see which is the best hand at the start of the round.
Vice versa, learning which hand is a bad hand will help you determine whether you should call/check or fold your cards.
Frequently asked questions
How to play poker with chips?
Poker chips have a certain value. You use them depending on how much you want to wager at a cash game of this character. Since poker rules apply, you should check if there’s a betting limit.
How to play poker in a casino?
To play poker in a casino, you must be of legal age. Enter the casino, exchange cash for chips and join a poker table. Wait for the round of betting to finish and then start playing. Keep in mind that you will also have to get familiar with the poker rules.
How to play poker with 2 people?
Playing poker with 2 people is the same as playing with 5 or 8 players. The betting rounds, limits and winning hands are identical. In other words, the standard poker rules apply here.
How old do you have to be to play poker?
Each country has laws that regulate gambling. In most cases, if you want to play poker, you must be at least 18 years old. Keep in mind that the age limit in some states can be 19 or even 21.
How to play poker online for real money?
To play a poker game online for real money, you must first register at a licensed and regulated online casino. Then, choose a payment method through which you will deposit funds to your account. The final step of the process is accessing an online poker variant and using the funds to play the game for real money.
How many people do you need to play poker?
To play poker, you must have at least 2 players on a table. However, there are certain variants in which one player can go up against the dealer. Video poker is a good example of this case.