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How To Play Poker

Historians claim that poker can be traced back to the 10th Century where a Chinese emperor played a domino-card game whilst other people claim it was invented in the 16th Century and is a direct descendant of the Persian card game ‘As Nas’. No matter where the origin of the game comes from, one thing we can say about poker is that it’s a popular casino game that can be very lucrative indeed.

Aim of the Poker game

Don’t give the game away is the main objective in this game! You got to know how to read other players expressions whilst trying to hide your own. You need to display a ‘Poker Face’ to fool other players into thinking you have a worse or better hand than you actually do. Bluffing is a big part of poker and you got to be able to do this really well if you want to win.

The basic rules are that this game is played typically with a 52 card deck of cards. The rules vary with the different variations of the game you play though. In the basic 5 draw poker game, every player will be dealt 5 cards. The remaining cards will be laid face down in the centre of the table. The goal is simple, create the best hand by exchanging cards you are not happy with from the deck in the centre of the table. Your bets you place will reflect entirely on how confident you are in your own hand. If you have a bad hand but bet high – this is known as ‘bluffing’. You can win a poker game with a bad hand – if you can manage to make the other players think you have a great hand and making them give up (known as folding).

The hands to play

There are different hands that can be played in poker, so it’s good to know what they are and how they can beat other hands.

  • Royal Flush – this is poker’s most famous hand and it cannot be beaten. It consists of Ace, King, Queen, Jack and Ten of a single suit.
  • Straight Flush – five cards in a sequence of the same suite. If one or more players have the same hand, the highest rank at the tope of the sequence wins.
  • Four of a Kind – Four cards of the same rank with one side ‘kicker’ (or side card). In the event of a tie, the player with the highest ‘kicker’ wins.
  • Full House – three cards of the same rank with two cards of a different matching rank. Example; King of hearts, King of Clubs, King of Spades, with a 10 of Hearts and 10 of Clubs.
  • Flush – five cards of the same suit that are not in sequence. The highest rank card wins in the event of a tie.
  • Straight – this is five non-suited cards. In a tie, the player with the highest ranking card at the top of the sequence wins.
  • Three of a Kind – Two cards of the same rank and two unrelated side cards. Example: Jack of hearts, Jack of Diamonds, Jack of Spades and 7 of Diamond and 5 of Spades. If more than one player has this hand the winner is the player with the highest and second-highest side card.
  • Two pair – two cards of matching rank, example 10 of Hearts, 10 of Spades with 7 of Diamonds and 7 of Clubs. If more than one player has two pair, the highest value kicker wins.
  • Pair – two cards of matching rank. Again, in the event of a tie, the plyer with the highest side card wins.
  • High Card – any hand that doesn’t qualify under the categories listed.

how to play poker

Different types of Poker

There are many different types of Poker to play online and at land based casinos, some of which are:

  • Texas Hold’em – this is the most popular version of poker to play online. It’s very complicated with lots of strategies to learn. Players can potentially win lots of cash in this game – if they know what they’re doing that is.
  • Stud Poker – this game features 7 cards not the usual 5. You can play this game so the highest card can split with the lowest hand or the highest hand wins. Stud Poker allows for up to 8 players to take part and every player is dealt two cards at the start of the game. Players tur their cards over and the player with the lowest card gets to start the game. There’s so many rules that go with this game, so you should read how to play before you place your bets.
  • Follow the Queen – this is a 7 card stud poker game where the wild card is designated to the next card that is exposed after a Queen is flipped over. If no Queens are flipped then there are no wild cards in that hand.
  • 5 card draw – each player is dealt 5 cards but the player may choose to exchange up to 3 of them on the initial go around.
  • Omaha – this is without doubt the hardest poker game to play. Players are dealt 4 cards not two. Games can be played with between 2 and 10 players and there’s a lot of rules to go with this game too. This strict game is not to be played as a no-limit game to ensure fast paced and exciting game play.

Free play

Some online casinos allow you to try Poker for free, this is a great way for newbies to see how the game is played without spending any of their own cash. These features are great for previous players to brush up on the rules of the game too. So before you throw yourself into the deep end with Poker, read the instructions on how to play, the rules and maybe even take advantage of the free play casino sites so you know what you’re doing when you hit the table for real.