There are many different types of poker that you can play, whether online or in person inside a traditional casino setting. Some of the variants include Seven-Card Stud, Omaha, Razz, and Five-Card Draw. However, it is undeniable that Texas Hold’em poker is the most popular of the lot. Luckily, it is also one of the most straight-forward versions of the game, which is great news for beginners looking to learn how to play.
Here is a short guide to the basics to help you get started.
Learn to play online
It is a good idea for new players to get a feel for the rules by playing online before they consider doing so at a traditional casino. Make sure that you select a reputable online casino by comparing the best ones on a trusted comparison and review site, like Maple Casino.
Sitting down at the table
When playing Texas Hold’em, you can expect there to be between six and nine players sitting at a table at any given time. Before you can get started, you need to have a decent understanding of the hierarchy of hands. For example, you need to know that a ‘Four of a Kind’ hand beats a ‘Full House’ hand, and that a ‘Flush’ outranks a ‘Straight’.
The game begins when the dealer deals each player two cards. From there, the ‘blinds’, or two forced bets, must be placed into the ‘pot’, which is the total amount available to be won by the players. There is a small blind and a big blind. The player on the left-hand side of the dealer places the small blind into the pot, while the player sitting on the left-hand side of the player placing the small blind must pay the big blind, which is double the amount of the small blind.
The order of actions
The order that players play is to move to the left, starting with the person sitting to the left of the player who placed the big blind. They will be the first to decide whether they want to continue with the play or ‘fold’. If they decide to push forward, they can either ‘call’, which equates to placing a bet that matches the big blind — or ‘raise’ — which means increasing the bet by a minimum of double the amount. The players following will also need to decide if they wish to ‘call’ or ‘raise’ based on the new amount put forward by the previous player.
The next steps
Once all the initial bets have been placed, the dealer will deal ‘the flop’, or the first three cards. This gives the players a better idea of the value of their cards. From there, another round of betting takes place, followed by ‘the turn’, or the fourth card, and another betting round. The final card, known as ‘the river’, is dealt to determine the outcome of the hand. All players still involved in game play must reveal their cards. The best hand wins the pot.
Sound good? Texas Hold’em is simple, but it involves endless strategizing and a solid poker face! Enjoy, and don’t forget to play responsibly.