How to Play Poker
Have you heard about the exciting (and possibly very lucrative) game of poker, without ever daring to try it for yourself? While poker can seem daunting at first, it is actually quite easy to learn the basic rules and start playing. In this post, Bonusprince will give you a quick introduction on how to play poker – at home, in tournaments, or online!
What is a Poker Game?
Let’s start with the very basics of what poker actually is. Unlike other popular hazard games like Blackjack or Craps, poker is not actually one specific game. Instead, it’s an umbrella term used to describe various card games that are categorized as poker. This includes popular favourites such as Casino Hold’em, Texas Hold’em, Omaha and more.
While knowing Blackjack rules might sound like a good start to playing poker, it is actually quite different…
To put it simply, there are many variations of poker games. Some have similar rules while others differ slightly, but the overall aim is always the same. In poker, the goal is to have the best hand on the table – or bluff your way to the best hand. You are playing against the other players on the table and the goal is to win the prize pot you’re adding your bets into.
Depending on which poker game you are playing, your hand will be made up of a mix of individual and/or shared (table) cards. You can see your own cards and the shared cards, but you won’t know the cards your opponents have on hand. This is where it is an advantage to be able to read your opponents and predict upcoming plays.
Once the game is started, you can choose if you want to check, bet, fold, raise or call. Checking is simply declining to bet while folding is the act of withdrawing your hand – both of which actions will take you out of the round. Betting is placing a wager on the table and calling is matching your opponents bet, while raising is adding more than your opponents bet – therefore raising the stake.
The aim of a poker game is to have the best (winning) hand. So what are the different hands one can have? Let’s break them down to you, arranged from highest to lowest.
- Royal flush: A hand combining 10, Jack, Queen, King and Ace in the same suit
- Straight flush: A hand containing five cards in sequential order, in the same suit
- Four of a kind: A hand containing four numerically matching cards
- Full house: A hand containing a combination of two numerically matching cards + three numerically matching cards
- Flush: A hand of five cards of the same suit (in any order)
- Straight: A hand of five cards in sequential order (of any kind)
- Three of a kind: A hand containing three numerically matching cards
- Two pair: A hand of two (different) numerically matching pairs
- One pair: A hand containing two numerically matching cards
- High card: A combination containing at least one card of high value
Before getting started with poker, it is important to understand and learn these different hands. If you start playing online, there are many helpful tools and cheat sheets you can use to quickly see how good your hand is.
How to Play Poker Online
Poker is a game that can be played like anything from casually with friends to professionally in tournaments. The most accessible way to play it though is through online poker. Especially as a newbie to the game, it can be very helpful to start playing online.
With online poker, you can find a game that matches your budget, pace and style. You can get help and tips while playing and you can even start testing it for free while you are getting familiar with the rules and setup. And the absolute best part is that online, you won’t need to keep your poker face!
Smile as you land a great hand or curse out loud as you lose out to your opponent – no one can tell with online poker. Find your preferred online casino to play at today and get started!