Introduction To Poker
Poker is the term used to describe the popular card game played by multiple players at the same time using a hand of cards that they have been dealt.
People tend to play poker offline at local casinos or online at online poker rooms. There are a number of poker variations to play and each one uses a different number of cards per dealt hand along with different ranking scores, also known as a hand and the number of betting rounds.
However, the three most popular games are:
Texas Hold'em is by far the most popular of all variations and made famous by different TV channels broadcasting poker tournaments live.
Online Poker Basics
Regardless of the number of players in poker, each player is dealt the same number of cards and players take it in turn to carry out an action, or make their move.
The order in which players are called upon is always clockwise around the table. There are a number of 'moves' a player can do when it is their turn, including:
- Bet, whereby a bet is placed in the middle of the table providing no other players have also bet during the game round. Bets usually carry a minimum stake to begin.
- Call, is where a player matches the previous highest bet during the game round.
- Check, a move where a player passes the play to the next player without betting, but keeps their current hand and remains in the game.
- Fold, means that a players hand is discarded and forfeited, resulting in the player exiting the game round.
- Raise, whereby a larger bet is placed and therefore 'raises' the minimum bet for the current game round. Once a raise move has been made then all other players must match the specified amount if they wish to remain in the game round.
Poker Hands and Rankings
The aim of any poker game is to win against your opponents, usually by having the best ranking poker hand.
However, it is worth noting that poker is famous for its individual skill and the best ranking hand does not always land you the win. Depending on how each game round plays out, only in the event of a Showdown will the best ranking hand win the game round.
Below is a list of poker hands and rankings in order:
- Royal Flush
- Straight Flush
- Four Of A Kind
- Full House
- Three Of A Kind
- Two Pairs
- High Card
If you are going to play poker online, it is beneficial to learn the core terminology of the game first before you jump in a play:
- Ante: is a small required bet that is placed by all players before any hands are dealt. These bets are placed in the middle of the table and provide the basis of winnings to the game-round winner.
- Blind: is a term used to describe a required bet that is forced upon the two players to the left of the dealer button; small blind and big blind.
- Buy-in: is a specified amount of cash required to enter a poker tournament.
- No-limit: is a particular game rule in some poker games, whereby there is no maximum bet amount for players.
- Pot: is the term used to describe the amount a player will win during a game round. All bets are placed in the pot and the overall winner of the game round wins the pot.
- Flop: is the first three cards dealt in the middle of the table in Texas Hold'em, also known as community cards.
- Turn: is the fourth community card dealt.
- River: is the fifth and final community card dealt.
- Showdown: is the term used to describe a final reveal of poker hands by remaining players in the game round. The best ranking poker hand will win the pot.