So you want to learn to play poker? Then you need a few tips before you can start taking all the chips from the table from your friends or online by playing online poker.
The first thing you will need to know is that there are actually a lot of versions of poker. The most popular one is Texas Hold Em and in this guide, we will teach you the basics on how to play poker (the texas hold em version).
Being (by far) the most popular poker game in the world, you will have fun playing with other poker enthusiasts and if you know how to play your cards, you can start building your future poker career and maybe even become a pro. It’s all about following some basic poker rules.
How Do You Play Poker Step By Step?
The best way to learn how to play poker step by step is to actually play it with some friends or online. There are a lot of poker rooms that are free and you can even get a poker app to play with people around the world.
Don’t be afraid to start if you don’t understand everything yet. It will take some time before you can sit at the same table with someone who plays poker for decades and actually compete to win the pot.
The basic of Texas Hold Em Poker is:
- Each player receives 2 cards. Those cards you need to be careful so no one else will see them.
- On the table, the dealer will first put 3 cards face up. These cards will “connect” with the 2 cards in your hand but also with the other players’ hands.
- Once every player decides what they want to do: fold, call, or bet, the dealer will put another card on the table.
- Step 3 will repeat, so on the table, there will be 5 cards all face-up.
- You (and every other player) will have a final hand containing your 2 cards and 3 cards from the table (the best hand possible).
- The player with the best hand wins.
To learn the basic poker hand ranking, you can consult this list ranked from best to worst:
- Royal Flush (All the same suit, sequence A-K-Q-J-T)
- Straight Flush (Any sequence all the same suit, for instance, 9-8-7-6-5)
- Four of a Kind (Four cards that are the same value, for instance, A-A-A-A)
- Full House (Three of a kind AND a pair)
- Flush (All the same suit)
- Straight (A basic sequence such as 6-5-4-3-2)
- Three of a kind (Three cards that are the same value such as 5-5-5)
- Two-pair (Two pairs, such as 9-9 AND 5-5)
- Pair (Any pair whether it’s A-A or 2-2)
- High Card (Whatever your highest card is)
After you start to understand what the card’s values are and how the game works it will be pretty easy to start playing. The most important parts are to know when to fold and when to bet.
Can you play poker with 2 people?
Yes! You can practice poker with only one more friend but the best poker experience is when there is a full table, so the winner of the hand will take the big pot from all the players.
Playing 2 people only, you can take a turn as the dealer and the rest of the rules apply for each player.
Common Misconceptions Playing Poker
- A straight beats flush (NOPE, just remember that all one suit > sequence)
- Two-pair beats three-of-a-kind (NOPE; in poker, you’d rather have three aces then two aces and two kings)
- Overall card strength doesn’t matter but the high card does (An ace-high flush is always better than a king-high flush)
Steps Of A Poker Game
Starting the game, the dealer will give every player 2 cards starting from left to right. In the next round, the 2nd player will be dealt the 1st, and so on.
The player who receives the first card dealt will be the first one to act and they have 2 choices.
- Bet – Depending on what version of poker you play, the bet can be fixed (limit poker) or without a limit (no-limit poker)
- Check – The decision will go to the next player.
If any of the players will decide to place a bet, the rest will have the option to:
- Call – You will match the amount of the bet aka the raise.
- Fold – You will give up your hand and all the chips you already put in the pot.
- Raise – Put even more chips in the pot.
These last steps will continue until everyone has called or all the chips are in the pot.
What Is Blinds In Poker?
If you heard the term “Blinds” that means that you have watched or tried No-Limit Hold Em Poker.
Basically, Blinds are a small bet that the first 2 dealt players have to participate in before the round will start. You can think of “Blinds” as an “Ante” if that will make it easier.
Basic Poker Odds
Poker involves math, but gladly you don’t need to be a numbers genius to improve your game.
Understanding the basic odds behind certain hands can be very beneficial for players just starting to learn poker.
Here is an example: 221-1. That is the odds of getting two aces. That means that statistically, you will only get 2 aces every 221 hands dealt.
The most common odds you’ll run into in online poker or live poker:
- Being dealt a pair — 17-1 (5.9%)
- Being dealt aces — 221-1 (0.45%)
- Being dealt ace-king suited — 331-1 (0.3%)
- Flopping a set with a pocket pair — 8.5-1 (11.76%)
- Flopping two-pair (without a pocket pair) — 48-1 (2.02%)
- Making a flush by the river (flopped four of one suit) — 1.9-1 (35%)
- Making an open-ended straight by the river — 2.2-1 (32%)
- A full house by the river (flopped three-of-a-kind) — 2-1 (33%)