Why learn poker?
It's a great game, and if you do it right, it's not gambling. This is what makes it attractive to many and anyone can learn poker. Unlike black jack which is more lucky, you have direct influence.
A deck of cards (not a normal deck of cards but a poker deck of cards), a dealer, dealer button, opponents and a strong poker strategy. Am I bluffing, on safe? When to bet and when not to bet. All-in! Flop, turn and river. So many terms, so many possibilities and haven't even started on the probability calculation yet. But how does it work when you're new? In this blog we try to create a logical and easy to implement overview for beginners.
The basics of the poker game
First of all, most poker tables have a maximum of 9 players. When there are 6 people at a table we speak of a short stack tournament. Next, there are different forms of Texas Hold'em poker. So you can play a cash game. Here your chips are equal to the money, for which you buy-in based on how high the blinds (see below) are. In addition, there is a tournament where everyone pays an x amount, gets the same number of chips and where the price is divided (with fixed percentages) over the number of top players (depends on the number of registrations). There is also a small tournament called sit and go.
The game begins!
Are you ready for it? The game begins. The dealer starts dealing the poker cards to the one with the dealer button. Each new round, the button is moved clockwise. The first two players behind the dealer button must make a mandatory deposit. This is called the small blind and the big blind. The first player behind the dealer button has the small blind and the second player has the big blind. When the cards are dealt, the player after the big blind may start betting. Then clockwise up to the big blind, poker players may start betting based on their cards (note this must be a minimum bet from the big blind). When someone bets and thus raises we call this a raise, when someone goes along we call it a call and when someone raises again we call it a re-raise. When there is no bet we call this a check. And if you don't trust your cards you can't participate, this is called fold or folding.
Because people don't know each other's poker cards (of course) we can bluff very easily, but beware, it's not that easy. Besides the good poker cards, there is also a lot of psychology involved. After the first round of betting, the dealer collects the chips, the pot. The dealer puts down the first 3 cards, this is called the flop, after he burns the top card of the deck. It may be that poker players at the poker table have folded and to determine who starts we use the dealer button. The first poker player still in the game on the left hand of the dealer button may decide based on the flop and his hand.
Same round goes off again. Check, raise, call or reraise. Then the dealer collects the chips again, burns another card and then puts the turn on, this is the fourth poker card on the board (board are all 5 poker cards together). Then the players start bidding, bluffing, calling and folding again until they agree on the next card. This is called the river. The river is the last card of the board on the poker table. This card determines everything. Now the remaining poker players are going to bluff, bid, call and fold again one round. In the end there remains one winner (sometimes two if they have the same deck value, then the pot is divided, this is called split pot) and he wins all the chips based on the outcome of his cards. Here is the ranking of the possible poker combinations in Texas Hold'em, which is very useful to know by heart if you want to learn how to play poker:
- High card (best card)
- Pair (two identical cards, in the hand or in combination with the board and your hand)
- Two pair (two times two same cards e.g. 10 10 & J)
- Three of a kind (3 same cards for example: QQQ)
- Straight (5 consecutive)
- Flush (5 same shapes)
- Full house (1 pair and 3 of a kind)
- Four of a kind (4 same)
- Straight flush (street with all cards the same shape)
- Royal flush (Highest street 10 - A in the same shapes
This makes it possible to determine who wins. The highest always wins.
Besides playing poker in real life, you can also play poker online. A well-known poker room is Pokerstars. You might know Pokerstars from television where you watched Phill Ivey play. Pokerstars is known for its red clubs logo. When you have learned to play poker, the basics, you can always read some books about it to get better.
Start now to learn poker
This blog will hopefully provide you with a clear overview of the poker rules, so you can start learning poker right away. Good luck at the poker table. And to make it even more fun, we've created a unique card game. So you can have fun playing poker with your friends in real life, or organize a poker tournament and use these cards. You can also use them as a prize.