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Tips on How to Play Poker

Poker is one of the most popular card games found in casinos and in the internet. It is possible to learn how to play poker by reading books on poker, taking part in home games and by watching live poker tournaments as well as poker games in online casinos. If you want to have some fun and win some money playing poker, you have to learn how to play poker first.

By learning the basics of how to play poker you will be able to play other variations of the game. Through practice, you can develop your own strategies for playing the game successfully. That way, you can enjoy playing poker even more. Follow these tips to help you learn how to play poker.

Memorize the hand rankings

The first thing to do is to memorize the hand rankings of poker. This is because you have to create the highest five card hand in all the different forms of poker.

The order for poker hand rankings starts from the Royal Flush, then the Straight Flush, Four of a Kind, Full House, Flush, Straight, Three of a Kind, Two Pair, One Pair and the High Card. By learning these hands by heart, as well as the low hand rankings, you will be able to concentrate more on playing the game.

Know the different types of poker games

Besides learning the hand rankings of poker, you must also know more about the different types of poker played in casinos.

  • Stud Poker - where you must make the best hands with the cards you are dealt.
  • Draw Poker - is another game to try out when you are learning how to play poker where you have to discard a specific number of cards after the initial deal, and in return get new cards to form the best hand.
  • Texas Hold'em - is very popular game, it has four betting rounds. With a player acting as the dealer, the first round is dealt clockwise. The two players to the left of the dealer will post the small and big blinds, and are the only people who have money in the pot before the dealing of cards.

Each player is given two hole cards by the dealer with which the first betting round starts with the first person on the left of the big blind. A player may choose to place a bet or fold. Once the betting is over, the flop, or three community cards are placed face up on the table.

This is when a second round of betting starts, this time with the player on the dealer's left going clockwise. A fourth community card is flipped at the end of the round, called the turn. With this, another round of betting commences.

At the end of this round, a fifth community card is flipped face up on the table called the river to be followed by a fourth betting round. All throughout, the players try to combine hold cards with community cards to create the best hand in order to win the pot. After the fourth round, when only one player stays with a bet and all others fold, that player wins. If there's more than one, a showdown occurs with the player having a better hand winning. The hand rankings here follow the ranking of a typical poker game.

  • Omaha Poker. Similar to Texas Hold'em Omaha is also a game that uses community cards but with only three betting rounds. However, here players can use any combination of their hole or community cards to get a five card hand. A player has to use two hold cards and three community cards to complete the hand.
  • Omaha High - Low. This is a split pot game where half the pot is given to the player with the best high hand and the other half to a player with the best low hand. The goal of the game is to win both halves and thus acquire the entire pot.

Though the high hand is similar to regular Omaha and Texas Hold'em, the low hand is difficult to make. All cards for the low hand have to be eight or lower. When there are no hands that qualify for low, the high hand winner takes the whole pot.

  • Seven Card Stud - is just like Texas Hold'em but has five, not four, betting rounds. The game is played with antes instead of blinds; so all players have a forced bet to make.

The players receive two hole cards face-down and one "door" card facing up. The player with the lowest door card begins the betting round which goes clockwise. Players may choose to call, raise or fold. Each player (who does not fold) then gets a face-up card for 3 consecutive betting rounds, and finally one more face-down card. The player with the highest five-card hand takes the pot.

Don't expect to learn how to play poker overnight

It takes time and practice to learn how to play poker. You will have to learn the rules of the game and play regularly. Once you learn how to play poker and all its versions, you will be able to participate in tournaments and perhaps end up with a seat at the World Series of Poker.


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