There are so many Americans who wish to learn how to play poker. With the game being one of the most popular gambling games in the world and a huge part of US culture, it really isn’t a surprise. We know that some of our players wish to become pro poker players, especially seeing as the game is so entrenched in popular culture. It is for this reason we have created the ultimate guide to learning how to play poker. Here players will learn all they need to know about the card game. This includes the different poker hands, game rules, strategies, tips and tricks and game terminology.
It doesn’t matter which variation of poker you would like to learn how to play (especially as they are all very similar). Our all-encompassing guide has you covered!
Beginner’s How to Play Poker Guide
We know that poker can be a rather daunting game to learn how to play. In order to be successful at poker, you will need to learn the different possible hands available within the game (We have listed this further down on this page.) Once you have learnt these, you can proceed in following our guide to play here:
- Select a game – there are so many different types of poker games available online. Pick one and you’re good to begin your journey. Just keep in mind that the variation you pick will ultimately dictate how you play the game, so pick one that you understand.
- Set a bet – you will begin every round by placing a bet. It is possible to expand on this throughout each game.
- Cards dealt – players will then be dealt cards. Depending on the variation, you may be made to show some of your cards to other players.
- Follow-up on your bet – once players have their cards, they will be given the option to bet again. During this period of the game, they can respond by either matching, betting or folding. The response is dictated by the strength of your hand.
- Showdown – players reveal their hands to each other, and the hand with the highest value wins.
List of Poker Hands
As previously mentioned, it is important that every player know the different possible hands available in poker. How else are you going to know whether you should raise your bet or fold? Below we have listed the common hands seen in most different types of poker. Once you know these, you should be good to begin testing new game-related strategies.
- Royal Flush – a hand the features an ace, king, queen, jack and 10 all of the same suit.
- Straight Flush – five cards in numerical order of the same suit.
- Four of a Kind – four cards of the same value (for example, four queens).
- Full House – three of a kind and a pair.
- Flush – five cards all of the same suit.
- Straight – simply five cards in numerical order.
- Three of a Kind – three cards of the same value.
- Two Pairs – two sets of two cards of the same value.
- One Pair – two cards of the same value.
- High Card – a hand that does not feature any of the patterns listed above. In such instances, your highest value card is taken as the value of the hand.
Common Poker Rules
Most variations of poker tend to make use of the same rules. Below are the rules players can expect to deal with when playing this classic casino card game online or in real life:
- The game makes use of a standard deck.
- Each game must have at least two players.
- Players will be dealt between five and seven cards throughout the game, depending on the variation.
Once the above criteria have been met, rules are dependent on which variation of poker is being played. There are two popular types of poker: stud and draw. We break down the rules involved with each variation down below:
- Draw Poker Rules – in variations following draw rules, players place a bet after receiving five cards. Players will then be able to draw and discard cards if they like but this is limited. It is only if a player is holding an Ace that they are allowed to discard all four other cards.
- Stud Poker Rules – in such games, players are dealt either five or seven cards. Players then place bets. It is possible to win on the basis of your hand or opponents refusing to match your bet.
- Full House – 33%
- Straight – 32%
- Four of a Kind – 35%
- Two of a Kind – 11.76%
- A pair – 59%
- Aces – 0.45%
Popular Poker Strategies
Poker is probably the casino game based most on strategy. Every play should approach a poker game with some form of strategy to increase their odds of winning. It is important to note though that no strategy is guaranteed to make sure that you win every single time. Below are some of our favourite strategies that have helped improve our winning streaks in the past:
- Aggressive Tactic – as the name implies, this strategy involves intimidating other players. Players place big bets or raise in an attempt to get other players to abandon their hands.
- Tight Poker Strategy – this is more of a common-sense strategy. It involves analysing your hand and selecting the right time to bet or fold.
- In Position Approach – this strategy involves making no further additions to your bet at the end of the round. Players will then be able to analyse the response of their opponents and act accordingly.
How to Play Poker Tips and Tricks
Aside from strategies, there are a couple of general tips and tricks every player should keep in mind while playing any form of poker game. Some may seem simple-minded but you’ll be surprised what you forget when there is a big cash prize in front of you.
- Think About Your Options – this may seem like a rather obvious fact but many players tend to treat every poker game they play as the be all and end all. Players will win games and they will lose games. If you see you are likely to lose a game, adjust your decisions accordingly.
- Decide on Your Goals at the Beginning of a Game Session – you need to decided whether you are playing for fun or playing to win at the beginning of a game session. If you’re playing for fun, you’re more likely to make uncalculated risks. You should also be able to walk away from any losses, from such risks without feeling bad about it. If you’re playing to win, you should be making use of strong strategies and only taking thought-out risks.
- Ignore Your Emotions – this tip is more for when you’re playing with other live players. Basically, people will try to use your emotions against you by trying to entice you to make bad decisions. So, don’t play while you’re emotional. Or else, you’re going to have a bad time.
- Common Theme – pay attention to your first hand. If you start with a winning hand, the mathematics of poker suggest that you are more likely to get more winning hands. While this theory is not bound to work every time, it does make you pay more attention to whether you’re having a good or a bad day.
If you’re wish to learn to play poker like a pro, you are going to need to get familiar with all the lingo associated with the game. Below is a list of common terms used in poker games:
- Check – avoiding placing a bet until another player places a bet.
- Community Cards – cards that all players share to make a hand.
- Flop – the first three cards in a player’s hand.
- Fold – leaving a game. (When you accept a loss.)
- Match – making an equal bet to the one a player made before you.
- Raise – when a player increases the bet level within a round.
- River – the last card dealt to players.
More Poker tips & tricks
Learn How to Play Poker Online
These are the best casinos to learn how to play poker. These gambling sites allow players to try casino games for free. This means that you can learn the dynamics of each game without any risk.