How to Play Poker – Getting Started With The Basics
One of the easiest poker games, and probably the world’s most popular poker variant, is Texas No-Limit Hold’em poker (aka Texas Hold’em). If you are new to this, just follow this start-up guide and slowly learn how to play like a pro.
What is Texas Hold’em?
It is a poker game where each player gets two cards. The goal is to make the best-five card poker hand using your cards in combination with a shared community group of cards. In a total of four rounds of betting, players place their bets (called “pots”) in the form of chips that they put in the middle of the table at any given time.
Basic Poker Rules
Key Pre-Game Requirement – Understanding basic poker rankings (meaning what it takes for you to win) will help you start this experience on the right foot.
Poker is a card game played by two and up to 20 players at a single table (in online or land-based casino) and utilizes a standard 52-card deck. Here is how Texas Hold’em is played:
- The dealer deals all players two cards (called “The Hole” cards), starting with the one on his/her left. The dealer gets the last card.
- The first player can either bet any amount they wish or do nothing (called “checking”).
- If a player decides to bet, the other players can (1) raise the bet and put more chips into the pot, (2) give up (called “folding”), or (3) match the amount of the bet and put the number of corresponding chips into the pot (called “calling”).
- This goes on until all the chips are in the middle or all players have called.
- Then, it is time for the “flop”, where the dealer puts three so-called community cards (meaning usable by every player) on the board (face up).
- Players that are still in the hand can fold or raise.
- The dealer puts a fourth community card on the table (called the “turn”) and players are, once again, called to fold, raise, check, or bet.
- In the last round, a fifth community card is put on the board, which gives players another chance to fold, raise, check, or bet. This is called the “river”.
Explaining Key Terms
- The Blinds – Blinds are featured by Texas Hold’em to increase the action, and refer to relatively small bets that the two players sitting left of the dealer need to put into the pot without first seeing their cards. This makes things more interesting after some rounds where players have kept folding every hand.
- Bullets – Also referred to as Pocket Rockets, Bullets is the best starting hand, where you have two aces as the Hole Cards.
- Flopped a Hand – When you have a good hand with a single flop (i.e. three of a kind – called “trips”).
- On a Draw – When you are on the Turn or River and need one good card to make a good hand.
- Pocket Pair – Your Hole Cards are two cards of the same values (i.e. 8 Clubs and 8 Hearts).