Poker is an exciting, competitive game that can be played in a variety of different games. With games like Texas Hold’em, Omaha, 7-Card Stud, Omaha Hi/Lo Stakes and 7-Card Stud Hi/Lo Stakes, you can let your skills flourish in any game once you learn the basics. Texas Hold’Em is the simplest of the Poker varieties that you can learn to play, and many professionals suggest learning it before moving on to the more difficult ones. In each game, your goal is to have the best 5-card hand out of the other players. You can make bets, bluff and lie through your teeth to win the pot.
Texas Hold’Em Rules
At the start of the game, each player is dealt two; face down “pocket cards”. These are the cards you will use to create your hand. Once everyone has 2 cards, 3 community cards are placed on the table, face-up. These three cards are called “the flop”. Two rounds follow this in which a card per round is added to the flop. Each player combines these cards with their 2 cards to create the perfect hand. Before you begin with an online poker game, check the lobby for the Fixed Limit, Pot Limit and No Limit symbols. The Fixed Limit, or FL, lets you know the preset bet and raise amounts for each round. The Pot Limit, or PL, is what the current pot is at and the No Limit, NL, is what the minimum big bet. There is never a maximum bet.
You can identify the dealer of the game based on the button. The button is a symbol, and it moves clockwise for each hand to point to the next active player. At the start of each hand, mandatory bets called blinds are made. This has to be done before the cards are dealt. The bets are determined by the small and big bets preset for the game. The player sets the small blind to the left of the dealer. Each player must meet the big blind, the bet posted by the player to the left of the first player, in order to play. Any player is able to wait for the big blind to reach them, though they have to sit out until it does. If you miss the big blind, then you have to pay a larger bet to get back in the game.
After the flop is dealt, the player directly to the left of the dealer starts the betting off. Bets go around, and players can check, call, raise or fold. Those who check don’t want to raise the pot, but they want to keep playing. Calling is matching the current bet, while raising is when the player raises the current bet. If someone folds, they essentially give up. The fourth community card, called the turn or the fourth street, starts another betting round, and the river, which is the fifth community card, starts the final betting round.
When all the bets are called, the showdown begins. This is where the bluffing comes into play. The final player to bet, or raise, will lay their hand down first. Whichever player has the best 5-card hand will take the pot. You can always fold without showing your cards, which is called mucking. You can make bets during this round, and occasionally others will fold, allowing you to “buy the pot”. You can always muck your cards afterwards, or show them.