How to Play Online Poker

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Poker is, perhaps, one of the most famous card games played both online and offline, that requires skill in addition to luck. Skilled players can win thousands of dollars with a single hand when playing in the high stakes events or tournaments like the World Series Of Poker.

The game itself belongs to a family of card games that includes both betting and individual play; winners are determined by their rank based on the overall combination of cards they hold. Some of these cards may remain hidden until the game concludes. There is a number of variations that are primarily based on the number of cards that are dealt, the overall number of community cards and number of cards that are hidden until the end of the game, as well as the various betting procedures.

How is it Played?

The vast majority of modern poker games start with the first round of betting during which a player will make a forced bet also called “the blind” or “ante“. In a standard game, every player will need to bet according to the rank that he or she believes their hand is worth in comparison to other players. The action then moves clockwise, with every player taking their turn to either match the bet, “call” or they can decide to “fold“. In this case, they lose the amount they have bet so far because they have lost interest in their hand. Players that match a bet will also need to either “raise” that means increasing the bet. This is often referred to as the betting round, and it ends when all the players have either folded or matched a previous bet. However, if one or more players fold on any of the latter rounds, the pot is collected by the remaining players at the table.

If there is more than one player left after the final round of betting, everyone needs to reveal their hands, and the player with the best hand then takes the pot or the winnings. So, while the outcome of any hand is purely based on chance, the overall long-run expectations of every player are mainly determined by their actions, which are chosen based on psychology, probability and game theory.

Variations

Poker has a number of variations, but all of them follow a very similar pattern. Before we go further and discuss some of the most popular types, it is important to understand how these games vary. The four main kinds of the game are mostly grouped by the protocol of how cards are dealt and betting goes.

Straight

Every player is dealt a complete hand, and all players bet in one round with both – raising and re-raising permitted. This is the oldest form of poker and is often referred to as the root of this game. It then evolved into the three card brag that was a popular game around the time of the American Revolutionary War and is still enjoyed in some countries.

Stud Poker

All cards are dealt in a prearranged manner i.e. some face down and some face up with streets (a round of betting) following each. Usually, five cards are used during play with some community cards. The most popular stud variant is Seven card stud.

Draw Poker

Every player is given a complete hand of face-down cards, which are allowed to change after a round of betting with the objective of improving players hand’s ranking. This often means that they need to discard unwanted cards and get new ones dealt. The most famous game of this variation is Five Card Draw.

Community Card Poker

This is also called “flop poker”, it is a kind of stud poker. Players are dealt incomplete hands of face down cards. A few face-up cards are dealt in the middle of the table that are community cards. These cards can be used by one or more players to make up a five card hand.

5 Card Draw

The 5 Card Draw is one of the most basic forms of poker, and it has been around for a very long time. This is why, most people who are new to the world of poker start off by playing Five Card Draw. The objective of the game is simple: make the best possible five-card poker hand after just one draw and then bet based on the value of your hand. In the end, the player who has the best hand post the second betting round wins the pot.

Conclusion

In poker skill play the main role, it is important to update yourself with the latest and greatest guides often written by pros. This guide will help you learn how to start playing knowing everything involved with the game. The next step for people who have read it is to start practicing, learning about various types of hands and reading books written by established online poker professionals like Gus Hansen and Phil Gordon among many others.