Poker is a fascinating casino classic that has been around for quite a while now. Over the years, the casino gambling world has seen the introduction of several exciting Poker variations. But the basic premise and other main rules of Poker have largely stayed the same. In this article, we explain to you the Poker basics and cover several other things to help you get started. Read on!
Poker Basics: How to play Poker
When playing at any good UK online casino like ours, you’ll come across a plethora of Poker variations. For explanation purposes, we take the example of Texas Hold’em – one of the most popular variations of the game. Below is the step-by-step guide to playing the Hold’em variant of Poker:
Pre-flop - This is the first stage of any Poker gameplay round. It starts with the players placing the small blind and the big blind. In most Poker games, the player on the left of the dealer posts the small blind whereas the following player to the left places the big blind. These wagers ensure that the Poker table is always occupied with Poker chips. After this, each player at the table receives two cards face down. Then starting from the player sitting on the left of the small blind, every player decides what betting option they wish to go with. At this point, the available betting options to go with include fold, call and raise.
Flop - After the pre-flop stage, three community cards are dealt on the Poker table. All three community cards are face up and can be used by players to form the best Poker hand. The gaming action then continues with another betting round. Here, the player occupying the small blind position initiates the wagering round.
Turn - This is the third of your Poker gaming action. At this point, an additional face-up community card is dealt on the table, making the total count of community cards 4. After that, the third betting round initiates.
River - In the fourth stage, the fifth and final community card is added to the Poker table. As this is the final betting round, players need to decide whether they want to proceed to the “showdown”.
Showdown - In Poker, a showdown happens after the conclusion of the final wagering round. Here, the player with the best 5-card hand wins the game.
Poker hand rankings explained
With some exceptions, almost all Poker games require players to form the best five-card hands using standard Poker hand rankings. Below we’ve detailed the standard Poker hand ranking from highest to lowest:
Royal Flush - This is the best possible hand combination in Poker. A Royal Flush hand is made up of the top five cards – Ace, King, Queen, Joker and 10 – of the same suit.
Straight Flush - This is the second-best Poker hand combination. A straight flush is made up of five consecutive cards of the same suit.
Four-of-a-kind - This Poker hand combination consists of four cards of the same value. Here, there’s one more card of another rank (also known as the side card or kicker).
Full House - In Poker, a full house is when you have three cards of the same value and a pair. Note that a full house is also referred to as a ‘boat’.
Straight - Five consecutive cards which are of different suits make a straight in Poker.
Three-of-a-Kind - The name of this Poker hand says everything. A Three-of-a-Kind hand combination consists of three cards of matching ranks.
Two Pair - If you’ve played Video Poker games before, you’d be knowing that a pair consists of two identical cards. This Poker is made up of two pairs and an additional card known as a kicker.
One Pair - One pair, sometimes called a single pair, is when you’ve got two identical cards and three additional cards.
High Card - This is the weakest hand combination to have in Poker. This hand consists of five cards that are from different suits and don’t have the same values.