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How to Play Poker for Beginners: A Quick Guide

It’s poker night once again but you’re not exactly thrilled because you’ll likely end up on the sideline watching your buddies play, tinker with your smartphone or watch a TV series or movie on Netflix.

If you’re contented with how the usual poker night plays out, then by all means, you can do nothing. 

However, there’s always the option to learn the game – the best part is it’s not that hard.

Today, we have written a quick guide on how to play poker for beginners. By learning the basics and picking up the lingo, you’re on your way to hit the tables.

Guide on How to Play Poker for Beginners

We’re assuming that you are a beginner poker player as opposed to a complete newbie to card games. If you are a beginner to card games, we recommend that you check out a guide for playing cards from Wikipedia.

There are two variations of poker that are played on a basic level: Stud and Draw Poker. These two types have very similar gameplay with a few differences.

Stud Poker

In this type of poker, each player is dealt 5 cards (in some games it can be up to seven cards).

The participants will then evaluate their hand and wager accordingly.

The player who wagers the most number of chips gets the win for that betting round unless another player decides to contest the largest bet. When this happens, the players who are still playing will reveal their hands. 

The strongest hand wins all the wagered chips on the table.

Draw Poker

Each player is also dealt with five cards, and then a betting round takes place.

If a player decides to play his hand, he may improve his cards by exchanging as many as 3 cards for three new ones from the dealer’s deck.

If the player draws an ace, he can trade the remaining four cards for new ones.

Round of Betting

At its core, Poker is pretty much a game of chance.

However, when there’s the concept of betting involved, poker becomes a game of skill, strategy and psychology.

Below are some of the basics for a round of betting in poker. With each betting round, each player is given the following options:

  • Raise: A player can increase the wager to continue playing i f he believes he has a winning hand that will beat the other players. A player can also use this opportunity to do a poker bluff by doing a raise even if he doesn’t have the strongest hand but wants the other players to think he is.
  • Fold: A player can fold to stop continue playing for that betting round because he thinks that his hand has no chance of winning especially when someone raises the wager. He loses the initial wagered chips but will not lose any more during that round.
  • Call: If a player raises the wager, the other players have the option to fold their hand, raise the wager even higher or to call – this means matching the amount raised by the other player.
  • Check: If no player has raised to increase the wager, the other players can check which is basically forfeiting the chance to bet.

Card Values

One of the most important things to learn about poker for beginners are the card values. If you know your card values, you can play any type of poker game with little to no difficulty.

Here’s the ranking of the hands from highest to lowest value:

  • Royal Flush: The strongest poker hand which is made up of 5 consecutive cards with the same suit that runs up to the ace. Your odds of getting a Royal Flush is 1 in 650,000 deals. Example: 10♥ J♥ Q♥ K♥ A♥ 
  • Straight Flush: Made up of 5 consecutive cards from the same suit. Example: 9♦ 10♦ J♦ Q♦ K♦ 
  • Four of a Kind: Made up of all 4 of a given number across all suits.
  • Full House: When you have 3 of the same number, plus a pair in the same hand. Example: 9♠ 9♦ 9♥ 5♣ 5♥
  • Flush: Made up of 3 cards from the same suit. If two persons have a flush, the one with the highest card in the flush wins.
  • Straight: Made up of 5 cards with consecutive numbers, regardless of the suit.
  • Three of a kind: When you have 3 of the same number in your hand.
  • Two Pairs: When you have 2 pair of cards in your hand. When two players have two pairs, the one with the highest pair wins.
  • One Pair: When you have 2 of the same number in your hand.
  • High Card: If there are no combinations, the hand is valued according to the highest valued single card. A (aces) is the most valuable card, then followed in descending order: King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2.

Wrapping Up

That wraps up our poker guide. Hopefully, you have learned enough of the basics on how to play poker for beginners. Have fun!

For more information about card games, be sure to check out CardGameInfo.com.

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