“It takes a minute to learn, but a lifetime to master.”
“It takes a minute to learn, but a lifetime to master.”
That's the old saying about poker. If you're interested in learning poker, you've come to the right place.
We strive for simplicity, explaining the rules of poker and the dynamics that define the game.
Let's take the most popular form of poker, no-limit Texas hold'em, as a typical example, and consider a few other forms of poker.
Among the topics we’ll cover are:
Cash games aim to win cash prizes, while tournaments aim to get to the top of the leaderboard and win high stakes. The mechanics of the two are slightly different and will be explained in more detail later. The aim is the same: to have the best hand at the right time and to win the pot.
To win at poker, you must either bluff your opponent or have the best possible hand at the end (also known as a showdown). In poker, it is important to have the best possible five-card hand. These hands can vary from high cards to royal flushes.
The following are the best possible combinations that can be used according to the standard poker rules, in descending order:
The following is a general description of how to play a hand according to the poker rules, with examples below. A game of Texas hold'em without limit starts with each player being dealt two cards face up, called 'hole cards'.
It is a bet, a tie, a raise and a fold.
A player can win by using any combination of his own two cards and the five community cards on the board to form the best five-card hand.
Remember that after the players are dealt their cards, there is a pre-flop betting round. Each "street" or subsequent round has a different name.
FlopThe first three community cards called ..." are drawn.the flop". All other players can use these community cards to try to make the best poker hand. Play continues in betting rounds. The action starts with the first player to the left of the dealer's button following the hand.
TurnAt the end of the flop and turn (AKA Fourth Street) betting round, community cards are dealt. The active player has a total of two hole cards and four community cards, which means that he has the best five-card hand.
Another round of betting follows. This one also starts with the first remaining player sitting to the left of the button. The game continues clockwise. Once all players have completed their actions, the betting round is over.
River – The riveris the fifth and last community card. The last betting round follows. When the cards are revealed (when all the action is over), the players show their cards. The player who bets last is called the last attacker and must show his cards first; the player with five cards wins the pot. This action ends the game and a new hand is played.
ExampleIn $1/2 no-limit hold'em games, you are the first to act after the big blind (more on the blind later). You have a blind of $2, so you can call, raise or fold.
Suppose A♦K♣ raises to $6. The other players fold, and the player in the big blind calls and adds $4.
The flop is A♣5♠6♥ . The player in the big blind starts first and can check or bet. There is no bet, so he does not have to fold. Both players check, and you bet $10 with the highest pair.
The player in the big blind calls and K♦ is turned over. Your opponent checks again. You bet $25 for two pair. The big bettor calls again and the river completes the hand with 2♣.
Your opponent checks, for a third time, and calls when you bet $100.
The action is over, so it’s time to show your cards.
You turn over a double pair (your A♦K♣ and A♣K♦6♥ on the board form your best possible five-card hand).
Show that his opponent had only a pair of A♥Q♠ aces, so he lost. (A♥Q♠ plus A♣K♦6♥ is his best five-card hand).
Congratulations, you won a nice pot!
The rules of poker are even more complex when it comes to how to play a hand and compete with other players. There are several other things to consider, such as where the dealer sits.
For most games, the dealer is responsible for distributing the games. In home poker, it is not uncommon for players to take turns.
If there is a special divider, the button indicates who is sharing. This button moves one point clockwise at the end of each game. The purpose of the button is to determine where the process starts each time.
The action always starts with the first person left of the button.
The player immediately to the left of the button must place (pay) the small blind before the cards are dealt. The player to his left must pay the big blind.
These “blinds"Blind" is a forced bet that allows the player to chase. In poker, if there are no blinds, players do not "blind out". They do not lose chips by folding before the flop.
The player waited until the aces were dealt and went all-in.
For example, if the game is no-limit hold'em with a limit of $1-$2, the player to the left of the button must make a small blind of $1. The next player must place a big bet of $2. If the player refuses to do so, he must leave the game according to the poker rules.
When playing poker with other players, you can play in one of two ways - tournaments or cash games (also called ring games), which each have their own poker rules.
The above basics are the same, but have four main differences.
An ante is used to increase the pot before the flop. Ante encourages players to fight for the pot;dead money in the middle.
Note that to save time, the normal ante has been replaced by a "button" or "big blind" ante (a higher ante taken from the player by the player). This format is used to speed up the pace of play, especially in tournaments.
All players have a button ante in each orbit, as the blinds are exchanged at the end of each hand.
While Texas Hold’emIt is the most popular form of poker, but not the only one. There are dozens of variants, many of which are trying to catch up with the popularity of holdem.
Here’s a look at some of poker’s other variants: