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Poker Guide

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Poker is one of the most popular casino games filled with excitement, strategy, and skill. From Texas Hold'em to Omaha, its variations are endless. It uses both strategy and psychology, captivated players for centuries.

Whether you are a novice looking to learn the basics or an experienced player trying to refine your tactics, we have got you covered. It is said that poker takes a minute to learn, but a lifetime to master the art”. We will keep this poker guide concise, focusing mostly on the Texas Hold’em to help you master this thrilling card game. 

Poker Game Variations 

There are several variations of poker games, some of the popular poker games are as follows: 

Texas Hold’em

Omaha Hi

Omaha Hi-Lo

7 Card Stud

2-7 Triple Draw

5-Card Draw

5-Card Omaha

Badugi

However, one of the most popular poker games is Texas Hold’em which is also called the ‘Cadillac’ of poker. 

10 Poker Hands and Rankings 

Before going into details of the gameplay, let us focus on the poker hands and rankings that determine the outcome of a game. 

Remember, in a deck there are 52 cards in total, with 4 different suites, each having 13 cards in total. After you get an idea of cards, check out these combinations of cards in detail that can help you win:

1. Royal Flush

This is one of the rarest poker hands that you will ever get! This is when you have ten-to-ace all in the same suit. The chances that you receive such a poker hand is 30 million to 1. Thus, you can imagine how difficult it is to get this hand. 

This is also one of the most powerful combinations of cards that you can find! Example, A♦K♦Q♦J♦T♦

2. Straight Flush 

If you have 5 cards from the same suit no matter the value they hold then it is called a straight flush. This is the second most powerful card that you can get after the ‘Royal flush’. 

You can easily use this card combination and stay ahead in the poker table. Example, 8♠7♠6♠5♠4♠

3. Four-of-a-Kind

This is a combination where irrespective of suit the number or the values of the card are the same. This is not a rare combination of cards that you can get at a poker table. 

However, in our poker guide and rankings, we have kept this in third position as this is a commission combination of cards that determines a winner in a poker game. Example, A♠4♠4♣4♥4♦

4. Full House

This is also known as a ‘boat’, here you need to have three-of-a-kind cards along with a pair. Thus, if you have three ‘Aces’ of different suites, and two pairs of the same card value but different suits then you are in a good position. Example, A♦A♣A♥J♥J♠

5. Flush

Say, you have 5 cards, all in the same suit then you have a flush. You do not need the cards to be of the same value. What becomes primarily important in a flush is that all the cards should be in the same suit. An example of this kind of card combination can be A♥J♥8♥4♥2♥

6. Straight 

If you have a series of 5 consecutive cards of different suits then chances are you have a ‘straight’ combination. If you have a card combination where there is an Ace, 2,3,4, and 5, then it is called a ‘wheel’ combination. However, if you have all the high-value cards like, 10, Jack, King, Queen and Ace then it is called a ‘Broadway’. 

7. Three-of-a-kind

This is a combination where card values are the same, not considering the suites they belong to. Thus, if you have three cards value matching like 7 of hearts, 7 of spades and 7 of clubs, notwithstanding the other two cards, you have a chance to win. 

There are two types of variants of the poker game. If there are two on the board and one in the hole then it is called a ‘trip'. However, on the other hand, if you have three of a kind of card in a hole and one on the board then it is called a 'set'. 

8. Two-pair

This is one of the common poker hands and rankings where you have two cards forming a pair. In such a scenario the fifth card is a ‘Kicker’. Here the suites are not the determiners but the value of the card breaks the deal. For example, A♣K♥5♥K♠5♦ combination, the suits are different but the card values make two pairs. 

9. One Pair

In this, out of thirteen cards if you have a match of at least two cards then you have ‘one pair’. For example, if you have two Aces of different suites then you have a pair. This is not that strong a hand in a game. However, this is more powerful than the ‘High Card’. 

10. High Card

If there is no match in the cards that you have then it is technically a 'High Card'. If you have a Queen in the cards you receive then it is called a Queen High Card, or if you have King and Jack then it is called a 'King Jack High Card'. This is the weakest among poker hands and rankings. 

Now that we have understood the poker hands and the combinations that get you a win, let us see how the game is played. 

How a Poker Game Starts?

Generally, a poker game begins by giving each player 2 cards face down (hole cards). After several rounds of betting you get another five cards (face up). These face-up cards are also called community cards. The game starts from the immediate left of the dealer. It is important that you do not reveal your ‘hole’ cards to anyone. 

In each game of poker, there are two players chosen to put money in the pot one to the immediate left places a small bet, and the player next to him makes a bigger bet. As the game commences and you have 7 cards, just make the best 5-card poker hand to win the game. 

5 Poker Strategies for Beginners

Some of the advanced poker strategies involve the following:

1. Bluffing is a fundamental aspect of poker that involves betting or raising with a weak hand to deceive opponents into thinking you have a stronger hand. While bluffing can be an effective strategy, you must use it judiciously while considering your opponent's tendencies.

2. If you have a good hand or opening then only try to bet bigger. Properly sizing your bets can maximize value when you have a strong hand and minimize losses when you are behind.

3. Observe opponents as the cards and their combinations can change the game at any time. Look for deviations from their standard behaviour, such as sudden aggression or hesitation, which can signal strength or weakness. Adjust your strategy accordingly to exploit your opponents' tendencies and maximize your edge.

4. Aggression is key in poker. Bet boldly to win big. Start strong with high pairs or A-K/A-Q hands. Force weaker opponents out early. Timid play labels you weak and invites exploitation. Aggressive betting builds large pots and maximizes profits. It's the thrilling essence of poker.

5. Lastly, learn all the lingo associated with the game to make a difference in your playing strategy. 

Cautions You Have to Take at the Table 

Prevent yourself from doing these actions as follows, for a great game poker experience:

Do not act rudely with your fellow players.

Do not try to bluff the opponents if your cards are not that string.

Maintain decorum and do not disturb other fellow players as you may be banned from the table. 

Do not try to angle shoot another fellow player and take advantage of the game. 

Tip the dealer and grab your chips after a win do not make any fuss!

Summing up

In our poker guide, we have explained what to do and what not to do in a game. Some of these poker variants may have a different strategy, try to grab them before you start. Always try to follow the guidelines and rules of the table and do not run into unnecessary arguments. 

If you have any doubts resolve them before the commencement of the game! Do not wait and make it an issue which is difficult to cater to later.