From blackjack to roulette to craps and slots, there are tons of ways to have fun gambling. But none have stood the test of time quite like poker.
In fact, poker has been around way longer than you may think, with the first documented instances of a poker game taking place in China during the 10th century.
But if you’re looking to join in on the fun for the first time, poker can seem a bit intimidating. Not to worry, you just need to learn the basics.
Ready to learn when to hold ’em and when to fold’ em? Here’s a quick poker 101 tutorial to help get you started.
Texas Hold’em For Beginners: Basic Rules
Though there are at least a half-dozen types of poker, we’ll focus on Texas Hold’em, which is by far the most popular variation.
Your standard game of Hold’em begins with each player at the table receiving two cards, both of which are placed face down. These cards are known as your hole cards.
Next, every player places his or her initial bet. It’s worth noting that you do have the option to fold immediately, though it’s often better to stick around for at least another round or two.
Once everyone has placed their bet, the dealer draws and places three cards face up on the table. Players then engage in another round of betting. This process continues until either everyone folds or the five cards in the middle are down.
This is where things get fun. Each player gets to make the best five-card hand using the cards on the table as well as the hole cards.
The player with the best hand wins the round and gets any chips in the pool.
The Best Poker Hands
So how exactly does one make the best poker hand? Well, it requires a bit of luck, in all honesty. But it’s also crucial that you know what qualifies as a good or bad hand.
Here are a few of the best possible poker hands you can get.
Consists of a 10, jack, queen, king, and ace. This is the best hand you can make.
Any five sequential cards.
Four Of A Kind
Pretty much exactly what it sounds like. Four of the same type of card. It’s a strong hand but is easily defeated by a flush.
A simple hand of two cards of the same number.
A hand consisting of a single pair and three of a kind.
Your Guide To Betting
How you bet is going to depend on two factors: Your hand and your ability to read other players. Theoretically, you could be a mean poker player even if you have a terrible hand.
It’s all about looking for tell signs, or body language that your opponents are dissatisfied with their cards or may be bluffing. Each player is a bit different, so study your opponents early and often.
You can use these signs to your benefit, too. In fact, a good bluff is a great way to throw your opponents off every now and again. Check out betting guides to learn more about using body language to your advantage, there’s a lot to learn.
Raise The Stakes With These Poker 101 Tips
Keep in mind that this article just goes over Texas Hold’em for beginners and there’s a whole lot more to learn.
But for now, stick to the basics, shuffle some cards, and have fun with your friends. You’ll be a master of poker before you know it!
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