Poker is one of the easiest card games to play, as it is very straight forward, with little to no confusing acts. When we talk about poker, we most often associate it with Texas Hold’Em; seeing as it is one of the most popular variants of poker being played currently. We will use the steps that Texas Hold’Em uses when playing, but don’t worry, if you want to play other poker variants like Omaha, the steps are exactly the same or have a slight variation that won’t really confuse you if you understand these steps.
For the terms that you do not know or understand, check out the Poker Glossary for the descriptions and explanations of the common terms used in poker.
Before you even start getting cards handed to you, there are a few table rules that you need to look out for when sitting down. You will usually see a fraction, $4/$8 or $100/$200. These are so that you know what the Small Blind (SB) and Big Blind (BB) are. Blinds are used instead of Antes, a forced bet that the players have to place before receiving any cards, only two people will have to bet per round.
Small blind only bets half of the ante, or minimum starting bet, and the Big Blind will place the full minimum bet.
First Round Betting
Once the SB and BB have been placed, the dealer then hands out the cards. In Texas Hold’Em, you will only receive 2 cards to start off with, as the rest of the cards are community cards; they are cards that all players can use to make the 5-card combination. Each player looks at the two cards that they were dealt, and from there the first round of betting starts.
Players go around, starting from the person to the right of the BB and either Check, Fold, or Raise. This goes around the table until it reaches the BB, where he can decide to Raise, Fold, or Check. If someone raises, all players are then asked again if they want to Call, Raise, or Fold. Once everyone has placed the exact amount into the pot, the next round can start.
After the first round of betting, the dealer will then place three cards in the middle of the table. These three cards are called The Flop. After the three cards have been placed, another round of betting occurs. Depending on the two cards you have in front of you, you can decide to either Raise, Call, Check, or Fold. Once the entire table has had their turn, the next round begins.
The dealer will now place one more card in the middle of the table, along with the three previously placed cards; this card is called The Turn. Now there are 4 community cards, and the two personal cards that each player has. Another round of betting will start, along with the same choices as before.
The last card is then dealt by the dealer, making a total of 5 community cards. The last card dealt is called The River. This will be the last round for betting. Whichever players are still in the game at this point will take turns placing bets or checking. The last player to Call on a bet will have to show their cards to the other players. If this player is the round winner, the other players can choose to show their cards or keep them hidden (it is a good strategy to keep them hidden regardless of whether you were bluffing or had a good hand).
Obviously, the round winner will take what amount of chips that are in the pot. You are no longer able to play once you run out of chips.
Poker can be said to be 50% luck and 50% skill, so don’t forget to gain experience and skill as you play and learn.