How to Play Poker – Best Ways to Win Poker
Learning how to play poker is now easier than ever online because of guides like this one. Our team of expert researchers has compiled everything you need to know.
And the premium online poker casinos you can play free games at before staking real money. So, if you want to learn the odds, rules, strategies, and more, keep reading.
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Top Beginner’s How to Play Poker Guide
We know that poker can be a rather daunting game to learn how to play. 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 learned these, you can proceed in following our guide to playing 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 the one 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 – you will then receive your cards from the dealer. Depending on the variation, you may be made to show some of your cards to other players, known as “hole cards.”
- 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 strength of your hand dictates the response.
- Showdown – players reveal their hands to each other, and the hand with the highest value wins.
List of Poker Hands
As previously mentioned, every player must 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 features an ace, king, queen, jack, and 10 all of the same suit, this hand ranks the highest.
- 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 rank.
- 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 card is taken as the value of the hand.
So, with these in mind, make up your cards to get the highest hand to win the pot.
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 with 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 can discard all four other cards.
- Stud Poker Rules – in such games, players are dealt with either five or seven cards. Players then place bets. It is possible to win based on 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 mostly 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 favorite 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 analyzing 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 analyze 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 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 decide 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 take uncalculated 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 enticing 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, poker’s mathematics suggests 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 wish to learn to play poker like a pro, you will 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 – placing an equal bet on the one a player made before you.
- Raise – when a player increases the bet level in the round.
- River – the last card dealt with players.