Since the introduction of online poker, the casino community has seen multiple variations of this classic game due to boundless limits of creativity and possibilities. That being said, poker’s basic rules may have shifted with more modern online poker games (some games might even have a pot limit), but its underlying gameplay remains the same — try and form the best hand. This article seeks to give new poker players the full scoop on poker’s basic rules to help them set off on their poker journey on the right foot.
Poker Hand Rankings
Before we get into all the nitty-gritty details, we must first get into the rankings of each poker hand. Knowing how each hand ranks against another is the first step to learning how to play poker. Good knowledge of poker hand rankings also helps in forming a good poker strategy and ultimately becoming a more skilled poker player. So, if we had to rank each hand in order, these would include: high card, pair, two pair, three of a kind, straight, flush, full house, four of a kind, straight flush and, best of all, the royal flush. This list may vary according to different poker variations. The one here is used in most poker games, like Texas hold ’em poker or Caribbean Stud poker. Seven Card Stud poker, for instance, replaces a royal flush with a five of a kind.
How To Play Poker
Understanding how to play poker is key to understanding poker rules, so let’s go through the gameplay step by step. We will use Texas hold ‘em as an example, where players aim to build the strongest hand out of two hole cards and the five cards in the community pool. Keep in mind that gameplay will differ between land-based and online casinos; the most striking difference is that online poker is played against the house and not other players.
Dealer, Button and Blinds
In most poker games, a dealer facilitates the dealing of cards to each player. Typical games utilise a button to indicate which player deals. That button then moves one spot clockwise after each round to rotate the advantage of last action. The purpose of the button is to identify where the action should begin each time. A small blind and big blind are also used as “forced bets” to give players a pot to chase. The small and big blind are positioned according to where the dealer is. These blinds also move around from player to player.
First Round of Betting
The poker game begins with the pre-flop followed by a round of betting. Each player receives two cards, known as hole cards, and must take turns acting. Players can either fold, call or raise their bet. The betting round ends once all players have acted.
Second Round of Betting
During the flop, three community cards are dealt followed by another round of betting. Here players can check, call, fold, bet or raise. The first player to act is not required to place a bet, but can check instead. However, once a player does make a bet, all other players would only be able to call, fold or raise. If you were not able to form a strong pair, then perhaps folding would be a good call. You can also try bluffing your way through the game; just remember that other players may try to do the same — always take every decision other players make with a pinch of salt.
Third Round of Betting
The third round of betting, also known as the turn, is when the fourth community card is dealt followed by another betting round. From this step, you should be able to determine the direction of your hand, now that six cards have been dealt. Players can check, bet, call, raise or fold as in previous rounds, except here is when it gets tricky. Some players may be taking the safe route and try to form a strong hand, since the best five-card poker hand wins the pot, or take a sneakier route and bluff. Your job would be to try and sniff out the tricksters while also putting your hand ranking knowledge to practice and form your own winning hand.
Final Round of Betting
Each player is dealt one more card during the final round. Also known as the river, this round is where the dealer hands out the fifth and final community card. Now that your hand is practically fully formed, you will be able to determine the actual strength of your hand. You can either win by forming the best five-card hand or bluff your way through, no matter which five cards you have — if you’re sneaky enough, your opponents won’t know what hit ’em!
The way players form their hand may depend on the poker variation they play. For example, in Texas hold ’em poker, hands can be formed using one hole card, both or none, along with five community cards. By contrast, games like Omaha may require players to form their hand from two hole cards and five community cards.
The showdown occurs when all remaining players reveal their cards, and the dealer determines which hand wins. The winner could either be the player with the best hand, or the player with the best bluffing skills. That being said, winning is also possible without a showdown. If all opponents fold and you’re the only player left standing, then congrats — you’ve just won the pot.
Whether you show your cards or not could also play into your strategy. During the showdown, you have the option to muck (discard your cards) if your opponent has a better set of cards than you. This way, you can keep your opponents on their toes, and you may find it easier to flex your bluffing skills in the next round.
Play Poker at EnergyCasino
And that’s the end of it. Remember, this article is more of a general guide to follow, rather than a step by step ‘how-to’. When playing card games like poker online, you will be baffled by the number of possibilities in your arsenal. You may find that poker rules vary from game to game, but trust and believe that when you play at EnergyCasino, you’ll be in for a whole lot of fun.
Whether you want to start slow with Five-Card Draw poker or quicken up the pace with Three Cards Poker, EnergyCasino has it all. Try your luck to beat the dealer or form the best five-card hand possible, all the while enjoying our stylish and sophisticated Live Casino studios. If you want a closer look into poker news, then you can get all caught up with our blogs! Practice your poker skills at EnergyCasino, grab your cards and become the best poker connoisseur you can be.
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