Basic Poker Rules for Beginners
Poker is one of the longest running and most popular card games around the world. The objective of the game is to come up with a strong hand based on the cards dealt to you by the dealer. Since poker is a game that relies heavily on skills rather than luck, it is very important to know the basic rules and mechanics to level the playing field. If you’re a complete beginner, you should first learn to play poker and what the rules are before you even start playing against other players.
Learning the Basics
In a poker, a standard 52-card pack is used, but there are some cases wherein one or two jokers are added. However, in an online setting, two packs are often used to enhance the speed of the game. Basically, one pack is dealt while the other is shuffled and already prepared for the next deal. In a land-based casino, it has been a tradition to change the cards often. Once new cards are introduced, the current pack is replaced, and the process of removing the seal and wrapping is shown to all players.
Dealing and Betting
Once the initial cards are dealt, players will have the opportunity to act in turns. Turns move in a clockwise direction, and you have the following options to choose from:
- Check - this is only possible if there are no bets made during the current round. If all the players check during the round, it is then considered complete.
- Bet - if no player made a bet in the current round, you can choose this option.
- Fold - if you have a bad hand, you can choose to fold. This means you give up your cards and remove yourself from the current game.
- Call - you can choose to call if other players made a bet in the current round. If you choose to call, you will need to match the highest amount of bet made.
- Raise - if you think you have a strong hand, you can choose to make a raise. This is to bet more than the highest bet made in that round.
During the betting rounds, the betting will continue until players have called, checked, raised, or folded. Once a betting round is complete, another dealing/betting round starts until the hand is complete.
The Showdown Phase
Once the final betting round is concluded, the showdown occurs. During this round, remaining players are required to show their hands, and the winner is decided based on who has the strongest hand. Players will take turn in showing their hands. In the event multiple players have the same hand strength, the pot money will be shared accordingly depending on the rules of the game. Here are the different combinations of poker hands, starting from the highest to the lowest:
- Royal Flush
- Straight Flush
- Four of a Kind
- Full House
- Three of a Kind
- Two Pairs
- One Pair
- High Card
Two hands with the same combination card for card are considered as a tie, considering that suits don’t have relative rank in a poker game. In this case, players sharing the same combination will split the pot.
Types of Available Betting Limits
A betting limit is the maximum amount that a player is allowed to open and raise. There are some poker rules that specify how much money is allowed. In a poker game, you can find the following types of betting limits:
- No Limit - as the name suggests, a no limit betting structure allows you to bet any amount you can, including your full stack in a betting round.
- Pot Limit - a pot limit betting structure, on the other hand, allows players to bet or raise any amount that is within the total pot size during that round.
- Fixed Limit - in a fix betting limit, you can only call, raise, or bet with a fixed amount. This means you can’t adjust your bet depending on your preferences.
Types of Poker Games Available
There are different types of poker games available, each with different poker rules and features. For example, players will share part of the hand in Texas Hold’em and Omaha. Meanwhile, in Stud games each player is dealt cards with some of them hidden and some face up. Some of the most popular poker games you can play include the following:
- Texas Hold’em
- 8-Game Mix
You can master the rules of poker by playing in a free poker site. You can practice playing in your own computer, or you can even practice poker on your iPhone.