Learn to play the world's favourite card game
Poker is a great social game that’s easy to learn, and great fun even if you’re a novice. As Poker is a game of luck and skill, you can start winning from the get-go. Here’s all you need to know about Poker.
How to Play Hold’em Poker
The object of any game of Poker is to compete with other players at the table to make the best hand possible and win ‘the pot’. The pot is the accumulation of money up for grabs in the middle of the table.
The ultimate goal of Poker is to end up with the best five-card hand which wins the pot.
There are two main versions of Hold’em:
Limit Hold’em - Is common for players who wish to set specific limits on how much each player can raise per betting round. There are four betting rounds in total. When you play Limit Hold’Em, a minimum bet will be determined for each of the betting rounds. Up to three raises can take place per betting round and all raises must be equal to the minimum bet for that round. I.e. in a $10/$20 Poker game, the first two betting rounds are $10 and any raise must be an additional $10. The last two betting rounds are $20 and any subsequent raises must be in increments of $20. This is the most popular version of the game.
½ Pot Hold’em, Pot Limit Hold’em or No Limit Hold’em - These three types of Poker are very similar and depend on the amount wagered. The minimum and maximum wagers shall be determined prior to the commencement of the game. The maximum wager will be an amount equal to half the pot, the full pot, or an unlimited amount. I.e For Half-Pot Poker, if each player initially puts in $10, then the next betting round must be half of the total amount raised in the previous round. In No-Limit Hold’em, a player may wager any or all of his/her stake at any time.
The start of a Poker game is based on the ‘Dealer Button’. The dealer position has a small, round marker in front of him, called a dealer button. This signifies who shall receive the last card of each round of play. That’s why you’ll often hear the words ‘on the button’… that’s the dealer position and this is moved clockwise at the end of each hand.
A hand of Hold’em starts with the two players to the left of the dealer button required to make forced bets.
These are called the ‘Small Blind’ and ‘Big Blind’. The blinds are determined before the hand starts. The reason for paying blinds is to start a pot. The Big Blind is usually puts twice as much into the pot as the Small Blind. If there was no money in the pot to begin with, there would be nothing for the players to compete for.
After two players put in the Small and Big Blinds respectively, each player is dealt two cards face-down. These are called your ‘hole cards’. You will only ever be dealt two cards in a game of Texas Hold’em Poker.
Now, each player has the opportunity to ‘call the blinds’, ‘make a raise’ or ‘fold’. If someone makes a raise this means they increase the bet, the next player will have to meet the raised amount to stay in the hand. The action always moves clockwise.
The person to the immediate left of the Big Blind is first to act. This player is known to be in ‘first position’ commonly referred to as ‘under the gun’ (or ‘UTG’). If no one raises the pot, the last person to act is the player who put in the Big Blind. He has an option to check which means he stays in the game without betting (and the communal cards will be dealt) or he can bet and start another round of action at the table.
Once everyone has called all bets and raises (or folded), it’s time to deal the first three communal cards called the ‘flop’.
The dealer places three cards face-up on the centre of the table.
These cards are used to make a full five-card hand at the end of the game.
Now another round of betting begins. For the rest of the hand, the action will start with the person to the immediate left of the dealer button and move clockwise with the dealer acting last in any round of action.
Once the second round of betting is finished, the dealer places a fourth communal card on the table. This card is commonly known as the ‘turn card’. Once again, players have a betting round where they can check, bet, raise or fold.
Then, the dealer turns over the fifth and final card known as the ‘river’ card. Then, the final round of betting begins. At the completion of this betting round, any remaining players will showdown their cards to determine a winner.
The winner is the person with the strongest five-card hand. It is not necessary to use both of your hole cards to make a winning hand. That means that you can use both, one or none of your hole cards to make the best five-card hand. You can use any combination of the seven cards available (five communal and your two hole cards).
So in our example hand our player who started with A♥ K♥ would have two pair, Aces and Kings.
So now that you have an idea of the game, why not head down to Crown Perth Poker Room and play your hand?