Poker is one of the most popular casino games played all over the world. People play it for the leisure and the prize money involved. And thanks to the online platforms, the game of poker was able to reach millions. People play it regularly in hopes of hitting it big someday.
Having garnered a reputation as a game for skill, strategy, and wit, and thanks to the cinematic influence from all-time favorite movies like James Bond, herds of people have flocked to the online casino platforms in the hopes of giving poker a try.
However, as fun, as it may sound, poker is a complicated card game that consists of certain rules and strategies to play the game. More and more people are seeking answers to how to play poker. While it is no rocket science, it can be a bit overwhelming for first-time players and beginners.
However, you can rest assured that the concepts that guide poker are fairly straightforward, and the rules are easy to understand if you pay close attention. Still, there is a lot to be learned about poker in order to thrive truly.
With that said, in this ultimate guide, we are going to explore some of the fundamentals that are present in the modern poker world. We are going to teach you how to play poker.
Let’s get started.
Poker for Beginners
Before you go deep into the world of poker, first you have to understand the basics. In a deck of 52 cards, there are thirteen ranks:
Divided into four suits:
All suits are equal in value, meaning Ace of Diamonds is equal to Ace of Spades. So basically, to win the game of poker, you have to form a hand as per the hand ranking rules.
Everything you need to know about hand ranking –
The hand ranking helps in understanding which hand is high-ranked to the others. The best hand, which is a combination of five cards, is determined using the hand ranking. The hand ranking rules are the same, regardless of what type of poker you are playing.
Simply put, the hand of the highest category defeats the hand of the lowest category. Here is an explanation of how poker hand ranking works.
- Royal Flush: five highest possible cards in a sequence (cards must be of the same suit)
- Four of a Kind: total five cards – four of equal rank and the fifth (also known as kicker) can be of any value
- Full House: a total of five cards – three of the same rank and two of another rank
- Straight Flush: Any five cards in numerical order (cards must be of the same suit)
- Flush: a sequence of five cards of the same suit
- Three of a Kind: a total of five cards – 2 unrelated cards and 3 cards of the same post
- Straight: five cards in numerical order(cards must be of different suits)
- Two Pair: 1 unrelated card and 2 different pairs of cards
- Pair: three unrelated cards and two cards of the same post
- High Card: a poker hand with nothing special – no paired cards, a flush, or a straight. Therefore, the best-possible high card from the sequence wins
What are the different betting rounds?
As said earlier, the betting rules remain the same for poker regardless of the variant. There are basically four betting rounds in poker – both online and offline. Let’s understand how these rounds work.
- Pre-Flop: The first betting round is known as the pre-flop. After dealing cards on the table, the round begins clockwise from the player who is immediate left to the big blind. The big blind is also known as ‘Under the Gun.’ The player makes his move by calling the big blind, folding his cards, and raising the bet, as per the strength of his hole cards (hole cards refer to the cards that the player must keep confidential from the rest of the table). After his turn, the next player on his left acts. The round is carried in the same way and ends when everyone at the table either folds or puts equal chips in the pot. In this betting round, only the player ‘Under the Gun’ can ‘check.’ Check is the action that a player takes when no one has made a bet.
- Flop: The second betting round the flop round where three community cards are dealt face-up in the center of the table. These cards are shared by all players on the table, and hence, are also known as ‘shared cards.’ After this, the next round of betting starts.
- Turn: After the flop round, one more card is dealt on the table. Only a lone community card is dealt with in this betting round.
- River: This is the final betting round where the final community card is dealt on the table. Anytime during the play, the player with the best five-card hand at the table emerges as the winner.
The Most Played Poker Games Online
Now that you know how to play poker, you would definitely want to try your hands at some popular poker variants. You will be surprised to know that you can play poker in many different ways. Some of the popular online casino platforms in India host all extremely popular poker variants that you can enjoy playing with real money.
Let’s have a look at some of the most played poker games online:
Known as the ‘Bentley of Poker,’ Texas Hold’Em is the most popular variant of poker played all across the globe. This variant of poker requires you to form the perfect five-card combinations using five common cards dealt on the table and two hole cards dealt with you privately.
It is similar to Texas Hold’Em in terms of betting format; however, there are slight differences. For starters, players receive two cards each instead of one card each at the 4th and 5th street. In this format, you have to create a five-card hand combination according to the hand ranking rules. As usual, the player with the best five-card hand wins the competition.
Pot Limit Omaha
Pot Limit Omaha is another popular poker variant loved by enthusiasts all over the world. In this betting format, the player is required to form a winning five-hand combination using three of the community cards dealt on the table and two of the hole cards.
These are the three most popular poker variants loved by Indian players. Make sure you look into these through a reliable online casino platform.
Playing poker is quite easy if you know the rules. Since you will be playing from your home, the user experience of the poker platform matters the most, as it acts as the thin line between having a great experience and having a poor one. So, it is important to choose your betting platform wisely.
1️⃣ How long will it take for me to get good at poker?
According to experts, poker takes 5 minutes to learn and a lifetime to master. The rules are easy to understand, but if you want to master the art, you will have to keep on playing on different platforms and at different levels. Moreover, the online platform you chose to play with also plays a vital role in determining whether or not you will become a great poker player. You are always advised to choose a licensed and well-reputed online casino platform if you want to have superior poker experience. Quality sites attract quality players, and only playing with quality players can improve your gameplay.
2️⃣ What is the easiest poker game to learn?
While you should always try to find the poker games that suits you, there is one particular poker game that is recommended for beginners who are new to the world of poker. And that variant is Texas Hold’Em. You might know that it is the most popular poker game out there. The reason is that it is extremely easy to play and understand. Those who step in the world of online poker always start with Texas Hold’em as it proves to be a great help for beginners to understand nuts and bolts of the game. A majority of the online casino platforms offer this game.
3️⃣ Are the poker games rigged since it is the most vulnerable of all casino games?
Not at all! Poker games are not rigged. Whether you play live dealer poker or against the computer, you need to understand that there are millions of hands played, and thus, the mathematical probabilities are bound to play out, no matter how small. You will hear that most players complain about the game being rigged when they lose. But this is not the case. However, there is a possibility that the online platform you are playing at might be a fraud. Such sites look to extract money from their players. So, you are advised to always go with a reputed site.
4️⃣ Can I play in more than one tournament at once?
Yes, you can take part in as many poker tournaments as you want until and unless your bankroll won’t allow you to. There are a plethora of poker tournaments taking place in the online world, and you are free to join all of them. Some popular poker tournaments include The PokerStars Sunday Million that takes place every Sunday, World Championship of Online Poker that takes place every autumn, WSOP $400 Online Bracelet Event, Spring Championship of Online Poker that takes place every spring, and Turbo Series of Online Poker. These are the most popular poker tournaments that you can take part in.