Comprehensive guide to learning poker quickly
Do you wish to learn the game of poker fast and effectively, while also making some money? Then you’re on the right page because we’ve created the essential beginners’ guide to learning how to play the game of poker with your buddies at your house or at a poker club in person or even online.
Learn Poker Quickly
No-Limit Texas Hold’em is the name of the game if you have to choose a single poker game to learn. It’s definitely one of the simplest to learn, yet it’s incredibly enjoyable, competitive, and profitable.
You’ll have unlimited options of people to play with as No-Limit Texas Hold’em is the most widely-played poker game around the globe!
This essential guide will teach you the fundamentals of poker and give you insider advice that will teach you how to be a better player and improve your poker game.
The Basics of No-Limit Hold’em Poker
Often known as Texas Hold’em, No-Limit Hold’em is probably the game you’ve watched on television and see your buddies play at their house during their poker nights.
These are the core basics of No-Limit Hold’em:
- Two hole cards: Two cards are given to each player face down at the beginning of the game.
- Five community cards: Each opponent then makes their best five card hand by combining their two hole cards, or one or none of them, with the five community cards.
- Have the Ideal Hand: The pot is won by the player holding the highest ranked hand, or by convincing all the other opponents to fold.
- Choose Your Bets: During the four betting rounds, any opponent can place all of their chips in at any point. It’s possible on your next hand you could potentially double or even triple your profits. However, it’s also very possible on the next hand you could blow it all, and that’s the attraction of No-Limit Hold’em.
While there are many other poker games to learn, no other poker game can rival No-Limit Hold’em for its unusual mixture of technique, logic, simplicity, and luck.
The Fundamentals of a Poker Game
It’s important to learn basic poker principles, however before you get there, it’s essential that you get an understanding of the standard poker hand ranking. Roughly 90% of rookie errors occur when a player believes they are holding the winning hand when they actually don’t.
These are the standard poker hand rankings:
- Royal Flush – All cards are the same suit, sequence A-K-Q-J-10 in hearts
- Straight Flush -A sequence of all the same suit, for example 8-7-6-5-4 in spades
- Four of a Kind – Four of the same rank, for example K-K-K-K
- Full House -Three of the same rank with a pair
- Flush – All cards are the same suit, but not in a sequence
- Straight – A simple sequence, but not the same suit, for example 9-8-7-6-5
- Three of a kind – Three that are of the same rank, for example J-J-J
- Two-pair -Two pairs of the same rank, for example 8-8 and 6-6
- Pair -Any two cards of the same rank, for example A-A
- High Card – When you haven’t made any of the above hands, the highest card plays
To be a successful poker player, it’s vital that you are familiar with the poker hand rankings, so make an effort to memorize them. However when it comes to poker hand ranking, there are three common errors that beginner poker players make.
The following are the typical misunderstandings in poker:
- A straight trumps a flush – FALSE – all one suit trumps a sequence
- Two-pair trumps three-of-a-kind FALSE – three aces is better than two aces and two kings
- Overall hand strength isn’t important but high card is (A king-high flush always trumps a queen-high flush)
Where Can You Play Poker?
Now that you’ve got the basics down, it’s time to play a real game. So where do you play? The simplest approach is to test out your game at an online poker platform with real money. There are several to choose from. However, play money versions of poker platforms are also available from all poker software platforms. These are great to put your skills to the test without losing any hard earned money.
We’ve tried every poker site out there, and these are the ones we think are the best at the moment.
The Basics to Playing Poker
As with any poker game, No-Limit Hold’em is played with a standard 52-card deck, in person and even online. At a single table, it may accommodate anything from 2 to 10 people. In a poker tournament, as long as there is enough room, it’s possible for there to be thousands of poker players at once.
The Basic Poker Game
The dealer distributes two cards to each player, beginning with the person on his direct left and finishing with himself. This player on the direct left of the dealer starts the game, and they will have two options:
- Bet (The player can bet whatever amount of chips they’d like )
- Check (They can pass)
If one of the players chooses to bet, the other players can choose to:
- Call (Match the bet with chips in the pot)
- Fold (Forfeit their hand including all the chips they’ve put in the pot)
- Raise (Increase their bet by putting more chips in the pot)
This goes on until every player has either called or when all of the chips are put in the center of the table.
After the first round of betting is finished, the dealer will deal the community cards which are three cards facing up on the table. These are public cards that may be used by anybody. This is referred to as the flop.
Everyone in the hand who is still playing in the game has another opportunity to bet, and then raise or fold. When that round of betting is finished, the dealer deals a fourth card for anybody to use in their play. This is referred to as the turn.
Every player then gets another opportunity to bet, check, raise, or fold. The dealer deals a fifth, final card to the table, which can be used by any player. This is referred to as the river. Ever player has one last opportunity to bet, check, raise, or fold.
In the instance that more than a single player in the hand is left once the final bet is placed, each player left will turn over their cards. The player that has strongest ranked hand that trumps the other players will win the whole pot.
Let’s Talk About Blinds
Blinds are an element of No-Limit Hold’em. If you’ve heard of them, they are actually simpler than you may believe.
The small and large blind are little bets that two opponents on the dealer’s immediate left must make before each hand begins. You’re required to place them in the pot without being able to see your cards, implying that you’re “blind.”
Blinds are used in No-Limit Hold’em to improve the activity and keep things interesting in the game. Without blinds, players would be free to fold any hand they wanted, which could cause an issue and make for a lackluster game.
Is Everyone Bluffing?
Bluffing is definitely an important component of poker, however you don’t want to experiment with it too much when you’re starting out until you’re comfortable in the game.
If you’re wondering why, it simply because you’re still learning the basics of hand strength and ranks. It’s possible you may not even realize if you’re making a bluff. It’s better to wait until you feel confident as a player.
Before jumping into bluffing, there are many other techniques you can use to improve your game, throw off your opponents, and increase your chances of winning.
The semi-bluff may be a good place to start. The semi-bluff is essentially playing cards that potentially have the ability to strike the table and produce a hand even if you are called, instead of placing bets with 2-7 off-suit, which would be a full bluff.
Playing in a Poker Tournament
No-Limit Hold’em poker has two divisions:
A cash game is essentially a poker game in which the table has a minimum, as well as a maximum buy-in, as well as fixed blinds that do not alter. For example, There may be a $20 minimum buy- in and $200 maximum buy-in with $1 or $2 blinds.
All participants are required to play with just the money in their hands at the table, although they are free to leave the table any time. If a player loses a hand and eventually all of their money, they can leave to collect more money before returning to the table.
In contrast, a poker tournament has a fixed buy-in amount. The buy-in money that the players give to participate in the game is put into a prize pool. A small part of this goes to the organizers of the tournament. Each player starts the game with the exact amount of chips.
In tournaments, the blinds begin small and gradually get bigger with each hand. This encourages players to make plays during the hands, otherwise they will use all their chips to bets with. Tournaments typically have multiple tables. As players are defeated and consequently their chips, the remaining tables are joined until a single table is left.
The tournament ends when one player has accumulated the entire pot of chips from the other players. This player ultimately wins the entire tournament. However, the 10-15% of players with the highest rank in the game still get a part of the prize pool which is fixed by the organizer of the tournament. The winner will get between 25-30% of the total prize pool.
Be a Better Poker Player with Basic Strategy
Understanding the fundamentals of poker is one thing, but really excelling at poker may not be so simple.
Losing can be discouraging, so here are some guidelines that will potentially grant you an advantage over rival players who are beginners at poker as well.
Let’s go over the three main tiers of strategy for beginner, intermediate and advanced. However, all of this advice is simple enough for even basic players to grasp.
Beginner Tips For Poker
The simplest, yet most effective tip: Don’t play so many hands!
As a beginner, it is safer to play roughly 18-20% of the hands while at a typical nine-handed table. When you’re starting out at poker, you typically desire to play great hands.
So now you’re wondering what is considered a good hand. Begin with higher ranked cards, like J-J, Q-Q, K-K, A-A and even A-J, A-Q and A-K. If you’re having a poker game with fewer than eight players besides you, it’s okay to ease up on that range.
Another tip: Don’t call too often. Calling is probably the amateur poker players’ favorite plays. This is simply because beginners don’t actually know what their hand is and if it’s actually any good or not. Thus- they call.
The logic behind this is, amateur players hesitate to take a chance by betting on what may not be that good of a hand so they’d rather call. It really comes down to knowledge and confidence.
The truth is: Betting is stronger than calling. Even if you have a bad hand, it’s possible to win a pot and never even display your cards, simply by betting. In contrast, when you call, you will never be able to win the pot.
If you’re playing with experienced players and they know you’re a rookie, they’ll take advantage of this. If they have a decent hand they’ll put in a decent bet on every round knowing the beginner will call and it’s an easy win for them.
Moral of the story – It’s beneficial to put in a bet or re-raise even if you’re not feeling super confident.
If You Lose, Don’t Feel Silly
Even the most seasoned players get embarrassed when they lose. Sometimes you have the crappiest hand of cards and maybe you lose a huge pot. It will happen. That’s poker. You win some, you lose some.
When you’re just starting out at poker, it’s natural to feel discouraged, but keep your head up. With mistakes you learn and can improve your game.
Intermediate Tips For Poker
You can’t predict which hand will win without understanding the background of the hand, although some hands have a higher chance of winning than others.
Assume you have sixes in your pocket. A-9-6 is the flop. Because the strength of your hand is well hidden, this is a near-ideal flip. People will not necessarily assume you have that specific hand, and it’s possible they even have flopped a pair of kings or aces.
The similar reasoning may be made for straights or full houses. In contrast there will be hands that will be impossible to conceal. When you have triple sixes, meaning you have a pocket 6 and then there are two on the table, many players will assume three-of-a-kind.
The same applies to flushes. Flushes are easy for rookie players to recognize as well as seasoned players. Once in awhile, a player will surprise you with a flush that’s ranked lower.
Position is Crucial!
The position is the order that players are required to bet and check. Following the flop, the betting order always begins with the player sitting on the dealer’s direct left.
Typically it’s preferable to bet last so you can see what all the other players ahead of you are planning. The four most important rationals to play your hand in position are as follows:
Four Essential Points on Why You Should Play in Position:
- You have better insight than the other players when it’s your turn to play.
- Position provides you with “bluff equity,” which translates to simple, inexpensive, and successful bluffing possibilities.
- You can make more precise value bets by acting last.
- Last action allows you to control the ultimate pot size.
When the dealer’s button is before you, you might want to make additional bets because your opponents will play before you following the flop.
Don’t Become Overly Reliant on Good Hands — Pocket kings and queens are extremely powerful hands. The reality though, that if an ace come on the flop, your hand is potentially doomed.
However, having an ace come out on the flop isn’t always indicative that your kings and queens are doomed, but it would benefit you to be be alert. Regardless of your pocket hand, if the table features a lot of flush or straight cards, it’s important to be cautious.
Use Caution with Ace-Queen — Remember how we mentioned sets and straights are great because their worth is hidden? Ace-queen is completely different because it appears excellent yet is a massive loss in the hands of novice players.
Ace-Queen is by far the most troublesome hand in the game, and pocket jacks are second.
When an ace hits on the flop, ace-queen is overpowered by ace-king, and it is also vulnerable against two-pair hands. Jacks in your pocket are similarly a problematic hand, but if you can obtain a flop containing no overcards, they have a lot more rank.
Advanced Tips For Poker
Play the game by playing the player. After you’ve mastered the basics, you should begin to focus on the other players. You might be shocked to hear that patterns in their playing behaviors, rather than discreet poker “tells” like rubbing your nose or playing anxiously with the chips, account for a huge portion of poker readings.
There’s a good chance someone has a pretty terrible hand if they’re constantly betting. The same goes for if a player keeps folding frequently. You can assume this player is only playing powerful cards. Start paying attention to these simple moves from your opponents, and you might have a win.
Common Poker Odds — Playing poker requires a bit of math. However, there’s no requirement to be a math wiz to be better at your game.
For those who are just getting started in poker, knowing the basic probabilities of striking particular hands is quite advantageous.
An incredibly easy poker odd to remember: 221-1. That’s how likely it is to obtain pocket aces. That implies you’ll only receive aces once every 221 poker hands on average.
Here’s a rundown of some of the common odds you’ll come into when playing poker:
- Dealt any pair — 16:1 (5.9%)
- Dealt aces or any specific pair — 221:1 (0.45%)
- Dealt suited ace-king or any specific suited cards — 331-1 (0.3%)
- Dealt suited cards, jack or better — 54.3:1 (1.8%)
- Dealt any two cards with rank at least queen — 19.1:1 (4.9%)
- Dealt connected cards (cards of consecutive rank) — 5.38:1 (15%)
- 2 suited cards will make a flush — 15:1 (6.5%)
- Non pairs will pair at least one card — 2:1 (32%)
Real Money in Poker Games
Now you know the basics of poker and how to properly play a game. The next logical step is actually playing a game of poker! Playing some hands of poker in a stress-free atmosphere is the fastest method to learn more and improve your game. Online poker is the perfect place for this and some sites will publish your blinds so you don’t have to!
You could of course get all of your buddies together for a game at home, but that can sometimes be difficult to arrange, and the game would most likely be pretty sluggish. To get your game going and start playing poker now, create an online poker account or install a free app for poker. The majority of big poker sites provide excellent play money applications and software, so you can learn without any risk.
The whole purpose of playing online is to get confident with how the game flows. it’s natural you could be puzzled by some things in the beginning causing hesitation in your play, but play money apps are a great way to learn because they are fool-proof and don’t make mistakes. When you feel confident enough, you can stop using the play money app as you’ll learn quickly that players play quite differently when there’s no money involved compared to the real thing.
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Depositing and Withdrawing Money Online
If you want to play poker online, you’ll need to transfer cash to the poker site you want to use and you will be required to have the ability to retrieve your winnings. There are a multitude of payment choices available, however not every poker sites provide them all, and some payment options may not be on option in every state and nation.
Paypal, Western Union, Neteller, Skrill, Bankwire and credit cards such as Visa, American Express, and MasterCard are the most common payment methods. Other payment methods, including as Paysafecard, iDEAL, and Boku, are available on several European poker sites.
Playing Poker at a Casino
If you want to play poker in an environment face to face with other players and a real dealer, there are countless casinos and poker clubs throughout the country, as well as the globe that will accommodate you.
Don’t forget, you need to be of legal gambling age where you reside or are going to play. Nothing really compares to being in a genuine, live poker club. It’s an exhilarating experience!