Poker is very fun to play, whether it’s with friends, in a casino, or online. It’s a fantastic game with lots of variations, which makes it easy to play happily for hours without getting bored. Often times, finding a group to play with can be the most difficult part. While you could go to a casino almost any time of the day or night, casinos can be expensive, and most don’t offer many poker games except the infamous Texas Hold’em. Believe it or not, one of the best and easiest ways to play poker is in the comfort of your own home.
Online poker first started to get popular around the turn of the century; ever since, it has been growing faster than most other industries. Online casinos seem to be popping up left and right, and for good reason – people love playing poker and other casino games online! Nothing beats the convenience of playing in the comfort of your own home, at any time of the day or night. Plus, you don’t have to find a group or commit to any schedule – you can play whenever you have the desire and the free time to do so. (more…)
If you’ve read our article – “Basic Poker Tips for Beginners”, you should already have a basic knowledge of poker tips, and hopefully a good homemade strategy. I am of the opinion that you shouldn’t follow specific strategies unless you are a professional. There are too many rules and “what if’s” to most professional strategies, and a lot of them make the game more of a math problem than an enjoyable pastime. This article will give you some basic tips that can help you improve your game, without stuffing your head with algorithms and advanced techniques.
Fold more often – It can be easy to always think “well, these cards suck, but maybe the flop/draw will make them better”. This kind of thinking is responsible for a lot of poker losses. Statistically, you will do much better if you fold more often on hands that are bad or “so-so”. Of course you shouldn’t fold all the time, but don’t be afraid to throw your cards down every once in a while! (more…)
Poker is one of America’s favorite pastimes, and it is popular in other areas of the world as well. Most casinos offer poker games, although it is generally limited to Texas Hold’em at casinos. Online casinos certainly offer more variety in games, but playing in front of a computer with people you’ve never met before just leaves something to be desired. In my opinion, the absolute best way to enjoy the game of poker is to set up a regular (weekly, monthly, whatever works) game with friends. Below you will find some tips on how to set up a regular game and have fun amongst friends! (more…)
Most poker variations start out with some sort of forced bet. These bets are forced on some or all players, to help get the pot started before the actual betting begins. There are two main types of forced blinds; blinds and antes. We will go over the details of these below.
Antes are forced bets that all players must submit. The purpose of the ante is to get the ball rolling, and increase the advantages of staying in the hand vs. folding. Since everyone must ante, nobody folds right away, which keeps more players in the game and ultimately leads to a larger pot. Antes are generally fairly small dollar amounts, but they do add up eventually. Antes, like all forced bets, are the first step in many poker games. Every player must submit their ante, and only after that can the cards be dealt. If someone forgets, it’s up to the other players to mention “the pot is light” or something along those lines, prompting the forgetful player to submit his or her ante. (more…)
Poker is relatively easy to pick up, but almost impossible to master. Every regular player has their own strategy it seems, which makes for a lot of misinformation. Some choose to go the mathematical route, weighing each decision based on the statistical probability of hitting the card they want. Others choose to set their own personal rules, while some simply play the game and hope for good luck. While following an advanced strategy is a little too extreme for beginner players, there are a few tips that all players could benefit from.
Practice your “poker face”
In poker, regardless of the stakes of the game, it is important to remain stoic and not give away anything to other players. If you get a good hand and instantly crack a huge smile, your opponents are going to know that something is up, and they will likely fold. Alternately, if you scowl when you pick up your cards, your opponents will likely assume that you have bad cards and therefore will have more confidence. Having a good “poker face” means being able to disguise your emotions while playing. It doesn’t mean you can’t smile or have fun – it simply means you shouldn’t give your opponents any hints regarding the contents of your hand. (more…)
Although poker is a very popular game, it does get a little confusing for newbies, especially when it comes to what cards beat what? Below is a short article explaining the hierarchy of poker cards and which cards beat others.
Royal Straight Flush – A royal straight flush is when you have 10-J-Q-K-A, all of the same suit. This is the hardest hand to achieve, and therefore beats every other hand. You will rarely see a royal straight flush, even if you play often.
Straight Flush – Five cards (of the same suit) in order, such as 7-8-9-10-jack all of hearts, or 4-5-6-7-8 all of diamonds.
Four of a Kind – Four of the same card, such as 8-8-8-8-5. Suits do not matter and can be mixed.
Full House – A set of three of a kind plus a pair, such as 10-10-10-3-3 or K-K-K-2-2.
Flush – Five cards all of the same suit, but not in order, such as 2-4-7-J-K of spades, or any other combination of 5 spades. (more…)
Poker is a very diverse game, with countless variations and sets of “house rules”. To get started, I recommend a simple game like Five Card Draw. In Five Card Draw, the dealer gives all the players 5 cards, face down. Everyone must ante before they see their cards. An “ante” is sort of a pre-bet, and basically exists to get the pot started. Antes are generally very small, maybe $0.05 to $1 depending on the stakes of the table. Five Card Draw can also be played with blinds instead of antes, but the ante method is much more popular and also easier to understand.
Once everyone has put in their ante, the first round of betting begins. The bet is made by the person to the left of the dealer. This player leads the bet, and they can wager whatever they like (up to the maximum bet, if you have one established). The lead better can also choose to “check”, which means he bets nothing but stays in the game. Once the first player has bet or checked, the bet is passed clockwise around the table. Every player must either match the bet (called), raise it (bet more), or fold. If the initial bet was a check, then checking becomes an option, as well, until someone bets. So, if nobody is too confidant in their hand, everyone could check and the game would move on with just the antes in the pot. If someone raises the bet, every player must choose to match the new, higher bet, or fold. They can also re-raise, although most tables have raise limits, meaning you cannot raise more than a certain number of times per round. (more…)
Poker has a ton of different varieties, but the most popular by far is Texas Hold’em. Sometimes referred to as Texas Hold ‘em, Texas Holdem, or simply Texas, this is the poker game that you will find in just about every casino on the face of the planet. It has quickly become the flagship game for poker, and is the variation played in almost every major tournament and event. So, if you are just learning how to play poker, learning Texas Hold’em is a great place to start, assuming you’ve already got the basics covered.
Before we get into the details, it’s important to understand that Texas Hold’em involves community cards. Community cards are exactly what they sound like – cards that all players can use. The community cards stay in the middle of the table, and players can use both the cards in their hands AND any of the community cards to make the best 5-card poker hand they can. In the game of Texas Hold’em, there will be 5 total community cards, plus 2 cards in each player’s hand. (more…)
Poker is a very popular game and pastime around the world, but it seems especially popular in America. It can be a very fun game, as long as you understand it. Poker is a betting game, so it’s not something you want to play if you don’t fully understand the rules. The best way to learn is amongst friends, who (hopefully) won’t take advantage of your lack of experience.
There are many different games of poker, which makes learning it even more difficult. However, if you get the basics out of the way and understand the game’s fundamentals, it won’t take you long to learn new games. All poker games follow the same hierarchy of hands – meaning a hand that wins the pot in Texas Holdem will also win the pot in Five Card Draw. Refer to our other article – “Poker – What Beats What” to learn more about the hierarchy of poker hands. (more…)
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