Playing poker is great fun, but if you don’t know how to do it, it can be a nightmare. In this article we hope to give you the basics on how to play the game. It is fun and quite addictive, but unless you know the fundamental aspects you won’t be getting anywhere near finding yourself on a winning streak.
First of all, some terminology.
- The ‘ante’ is the amount of money that is put into the game to start it. It is usually quite small, but anyone who wants to play has to match it.
- When you ‘fold’ you are simply dropping out of the hand. This is giving up, and often cutting your losses.
- A ‘check’ is not always a possibility, but if you have a bad hand, you can always have another round of betting for free (you don’t have to bet any more money). This is not always something that happens in a round though.
- When someone bets, you can say ‘call’ and put up the same amount of money as she did and go through to the next round of betting.
- If someone has bet an amount, and you think your hand is excellent, you can ‘raise’ by matching their bet and adding even more money, in the hope of winning big at the end of the hand.
- The ‘bluff’ is when you have an atrocious hand and are hoping to fool everyone else into thinking you have a good hand.
The royal flush is the hardest hand to get, it is extremely rare and it is even possible that someone could play poker for years and not see it. It has the following combination: Ace, King, Queen, Jack and 10 and all of these cards have to be of the same suit.
A good hand to have (and one that may even win a round) is the three of a kind. This is where you have three cards that are the same, like three sevens. A flush is where all your cards are of the same suit. This is again quite rare, but not as rare as a royal flush.
Everyone antes up, and then the dealer will deal a card face down to the player on his or her left. He or she will go in a clockwise motion until every player has two cards facing down.
This is where everyone gets a chance to look at their cards and see whether they want to check, call, raise, bet or fold on the hand.
The dealer lays down a flop of three cards that everyone has to use with their two cards to make the best five card hand.
Then the dealer lays down the turn card, which is another card for everyone to use to help them make a five card hand.
Dealer lays down the final card, called the river by some people. All the while betting has been taking place, as well as folding and raising.
Once that last card has gone down and, if you are still in the game, you can turn your cards over, and compare them with other players. Whoever has the best hand wins the pot.
Those are the basic rules of poker.