There are two main variations in the game of poker, namely – Texas Hold’Em and Omaha. Amongst which, Texas Hold’Em Poker is the most popular one and the one which needs to be learned in order to understand the game.
When the game is commencing, everyone is dealt 2 cards by the dealer. The bets are then placed by the players, starting with a small blind, followed by a big blind (which is the double of the small blind). During the betting round, a player can either “fold” (which means he is out for that particular round of the game) or he can “call” the bet which other players have made or even “raise” the bet if he is feeling confident about his cards. Each player playing that round needs to match the highest bet made, in order for the game to proceed further. Once that is done, three cards are turned simultaneously on the board, known as the “flop”. Then the next two cards are opened one at a time, with a betting round after every card. When all the cards have been revealed and the last betting round is over, the players need to make a combination of 5 cards, from a total of 7 cards (2 dealt to them and 5 from the board). The winner for that round is the player with the best combination.
Before learning how to play the game of poker, it is important to understand and learn all the combinations, as these determine how strong a hand is and how good your odds of winning will be.
1. Royal flush
A, K, Q, J, 10, all of the same suit.
2. Straight flush
Five cards in a sequence, all in the same suit.
3. Four of a kind
All four cards are of the same rank.
4. Full house
Three of a kind with a pair.
Any five cards of the same suit, but not in a sequence.
Five cards in a sequence, but not of the same suit.
7. Three of a kind
Three cards of the same rank.
8. Two pair
Two different pairs.
Two cards of the same rank.
10. High Card
The highest card plays. Below, the jack plays as the highest card.
There are few tips and tricks we recommend in order to better your game:
1] The rules of the game and all the hand positions should be very well understood in order to play the game. This should be the very first step for anyone who is starting out. One should not be in a situation while in a game where he has to recall the hand rankings and have to think twice if a full-house is better than a flush or so. These are the mistakes that can make you bleed chips in a game as you won’t be very confident playing against players with experience.
2] Start small. Don’t jump on games with high stakes without having enough experience. There is more to the game than just learning the hand rankings and basic rules. Starting small will help you build confidence and you’ll slowly learn what the game demands, by both winning and losing at times. This way you will slowly develop an understanding of what to do in different situations and also develop a palying strategy of your own.
3] Practice both offline and online versions of the game and with different groups of people. This is important as it helps you gain more exposure and will carve you into a better player over time.
4] As you play against more and more players and start gaining experience, now is the time you start reading your opponents. This is the most important skill a poker player needs to develop. Understanding their behaviour will give you hints on how good or bad their cards are. The way they played a game with strong cards i.e either raising too much or getting excited, talking too much will give you an insight in the next games to come as to how they react to certain types of cards.