Poker is among the oldest and most popular casino games there is. If you haven’t played before and are looking to start, then lucky you, there is at least one casino around you, if not, you can always get access to the online gaming platforms.
Now you have the option to choose if you want a live and physical play against a person, or you just want to have a little fun while going about your normal business. What’s better? You can even get the option of playing trials and training before actually diving into actual gaming. You can choose to use the Zynga App on your smartphone, it is an amazing online tool where you can practice without having to spend a dime. If you are more of a console person, “Prominence Poker” would be the perfect option for your Xbox and PlayStation.
Whatever the case might be, you will need proper and essential knowledge on how to play poker. On this article, we provide you with the basics you need to know.
Card rankings in poker
This is considered to be the very first thing you should learn before diving in totally. Why should I learn this? Knowing if the cards you are holding for a good hand determines the amount you place as a bet. The Card rankings are:
- High card: this is the highest card among all the player’s hands;
- One pair: a collection of two cards under one denomination;
- Two pairs: a double of the one pair, i.e. two pairs of same denomination cards;
- Three of one Kind: three cards of the same kind, and any other two cards;
- Straight: all five cards not necessarily of the same kind, but arranged sequentially;
- Flush: all cards of the same kind;
- Full house: having three of one kind and one pair;
- Four of one kind: Having four cards under the same suit and any other one card;
- Straight Flush: all five cards in sequence and of the same kind;
- Royal Flush: Having court cards consisting of ten and Ace, under the same kind.
This Ranking is very essential for you to know what bet to make.
This is another very primary knowledge to get before playing real poker. What it means to be on a position over another player is that you have the next move after them, this allows you to use their actions to decide your bet. You can tell if they check or bet, also considering how much time they used in making the decision, you could use this to your favor.
For example, when your opponent wastes no time to check, this tells you that they do not have a strong hand, now you can bluff all you want. Being the last or close to the last to play a hand gives you an edge as you tend to place more pressure on them.
You must also know that highly experienced players are not at all interested in placing low stakes, but as a beginner, playing low stakes is a pretty smart strategy for learning poker. Some of the advantages of playing low stakes are:
- Knowing that you won’t be losing a lot build up your confidence when playing. It opens up the opportunity for you to learn without the tendency of going bankrupt.
- With lower stakes, you are paired with players of your level, so you can tell if you’re improving or not, and even earn while playing, instead of playing with experts and losing your money without being able to tell if you’re doing any better.
Watch your emotions
Emotions are one of the largest causes of loss in poker, both physical casino gaming and iGaming. No doubt, the outcome of the game could shape your emotions, you might feel bad when you do not win a bet you thought was good, and in this situation, you could make a lot of wrong moves.
There is a popular rule in poker that says “do not bet on poker when you are sleepy, furious or drunk”. Although, If you have the yearning to play poker even in these conditions, then you should consider opting for virtual gaming where you don’t have to use your actual money for gambling which you would most definitely regret later.
Study the odds in poker
Knowing how to use poker odds makes you better than the normal poker player because now you can tell if you have a strong or weak hand. With this, your bets are no longer based on how you feel but based on actual odds, which are more dependable.
Acclimatizing yourself to the Texas Hold’em cards, and knowing how to set your outs in your favor could be very essential:
- 15 outs for Straight flush draw;
- 12 outs for Flush draw and gun-shot;
- 9 outs for Flush draw;
- 8 outs for Open-ended straight draw;
- 6 outs for Two overcards;
- 4 outs for Gut-shot.
Knowing your odds gives you an edge when playing poker. With this knowledge, you can make smart moves and create dependable strategies for yourself. There are also a lot of ways you can tell what your opponent has in his hands, this consists of their positions, reactions and expressions when making a check or a bet, and how long it took them to make a decision.
Yes, becoming an expert would take a lot of work, time, and money, but that shouldn’t stop you, begin with these few tips and you are on your way to a great poker journey.