Poker is one of those easiest casino games that are pretty easy to learn but difficult to master. Though it is a card game, poker is also a strategical game where you have to constantly read the behavior of the other players to know when to bluff, when to fold and when to call another player’s bluff. While there are several variations of poker, the most popular among them is Texas Hold’em.
Although the rules of each variation have its own rules, the basics of poker will remain the same. So, all that you need to do is to master the basics. Once you’re a master of this game, you can soon develop your own strategy for winning the game. If you’re intrigued by this game, we will share some tips to play the game and also win it. Keep reading.
The Basic Rules while playing Poker
Step #1: Poker Hand Rankings
In spite of the mind-game aspect of this game, the winner is the person with the highest value hand, unless you’re bluffing. Hence it is vital for you to have the strong goal of being able to make the strongest hand at poker, particularly for the beginners. The best hand in majority of the poker formats is a Royal Flush.
Step #2: Understand the table positions
In the game of poker, position is everything and all actions revolve around the Button – apart from Stud. Early Position, like the Big and Small Blinds are positioned at the left of the Button and they act first post the flop. Seats placed towards the right of the Button are Late Position (acting last post-flop) and seats between the Middle Position.
Step #3: Following the Pre-flop action
Pre-flop action starts with the person who is seated towards the left hand side of the Big Blind or BB. The action will start clockwise where the BB or the Big Blind will act last. The Pre-flop players usually have 3 courses of action, calling, folding and raising. As all the players acted and the pot is set right, the betting round will come to an end.
Step #4: Following the Post-Flop action
The Flop comprises of the first 3 of 5 community cards. Post-flop, the players have got the chance to check (but not bet), call, bet, raise or fold depending on their personal position at the table.
Step #5: Following the Post-turn action
The fourth community card can be directly dealt once the post-flopping betting round is completed. You will however have the same options that you get in pre-flop – check, bet, fold, call or raise, based on your prior action and your position.
Step #6: Following the Post-river action
Whenever you finally arrive at the river, which is the fifth community card, you will have a hand that may help you win. Or you can even try a bluff in case everyone check on you. There will be no further cards that can make you lose.
Step #7: Now you reach the showdown stage
In order to make a showdown happen, there needs to be a minimum of 2 players. The winning player has to show his cards in order to win the game. The winner is decided by who has the best 5-card hand.
Step #8: Set off for a new round
Once the winner has been determined, it’s time to shuffle the cards and wait for the next round.
Few Poker Tips from the experts
Play fewer hands but play aggressively
There is always a limit on the total number of starting hands you can play before the No Limit Texas Hold’em flop. In case you make the mistake of playing too many hands, you’ll exhaust your entire chip stack. This is why it is better to develop a solid pre-flop poker strategy as this is the best way to boost your bottom line.
Don’t be the first to limp
Limping is the process of calling the big blind preflop. This is a big No especially if you’re the first player to enter the spot. There are 2 reasons why this should be avoided. Firstly, you can never win the game before the flop like you could in case you raised. Secondly, you give enticing pot odds to the players behind making it less likely to win the pot. The only situation where you can limp is when another player has limped already.
Semi-bluff assertively with your draws
If you truly want to crush poker, you have to know the art of bluffing. In fact, did you know that bluffing in an ineffective way is probably the most common reasons of losing money on the table? Well, the best way to bluff is to let the cards dictate and indicate whether or not you’re going to bluff. You should bluff with hands that have outs to improve to your best hand.
Defend your Big Blind
The BB or the Big Blind is a rather special position as you already have 1 BB invested in the pot. This is why whenever you are subject to a raise while being positioned at the big blind; you’ll have better pot odds to call on than the other positions. This way you can lucratively call with many more hands than that if you had been sitting in some other position.
Attack when your opponent seams weak
Don’t make the mistake of checking with hands that can often call multiple bets. Whenever your opponent shows some sign of weakness, you can soon take the benefit of that state by taking on an aggressive bluffing strategy. You should not just bet with your semi-buffs but also as a pure bluff with nothing hands.
So, if you’re someone who is interested in playing online poker, always make sure you have the advantage of the table statistics that is offered by majority of the online poker sites. Choose a high average pot sized poker table so that you can increase your chances of winning the game. This is in fact one of the key online poker strategies that you should never miss.