Learning to play poker is one of the most relative concepts that we find when someone asks about one of the most popular card games. Knowing how to play poker for some can be considered knowing the rules of the game, and for others knowing how to play well and have spectacular results. Whatever your concern, do you want to know how to learn to play poker?
Although it is true that with this article you will not learn to be an expert in poker (this takes years of practice, and even then many people do not succeed), you will have the path marked to improve greatly. In short, you will achieve what for the vast majority of the population would be considered learning to play poker.
What aspects should you master to learn to play poker? In a first point, to know the rules of the game, that is, the operation of the game, closely related to the order of the winning poker cards. Next, get to know the positions and their importance to develop the fourth point: poker betting strategies. And last but not least, the step into practice.
How to learn to play poker and its rules?
In Texas Hold’Em poker each player will have two cards in hand (exclusive) and up to five community cards on the table. Whoever achieves the best combination of five cards will be the winner. But it does not stop here: there will be different rounds of betting in which each player will play an amount that his hand is the winner. Therefore, there are two ways to win the pot, the accumulation of bets: with the best hand or when nobody matches your bet. This is the complete sequence:
- The Dealer will deal two cards to each player.
- Knowing the cards, each player can decide to fold his cards, call the minimum bet or make a raise.
- When all bets are even, the flop will come, the first three community cards. Based on them, there will be another round of betting, where there will be the option to pass.
- When equalizing the bets, a new card will appear (the turn), and after another round of betting, the river, completing the five community cards.
- With the five community cards, there will be a last round of betting, which, if it ends even, will give rise to the ‘showdown’ of the hands. The winner will take the accumulated jackpot.
In the first round of betting, the person behind the big blind will always speak, and in the others, the first person after the ‘dealer’, who will speak last. Also, each time cards are shown on the mat, one will be burned earlier. That is, it will be excluded from the game. Now that you know the rules, you can learn how to play poker for real.
Order of hands: Who wins?
It is time to show the winner of the hand and the discussion begins. First of all, it is important to know that only 5 cards count, regardless of whether they are common or owned by a player. If the best 5 are the ones in the middle, there will be a tie. This is the poker hand order:
- straight flush
- Full House
- double couple
- high card
In fact, in all hands, the high card would break the tie. If two players have a pair, the higher pair wins. If two players have three of a kind, the highest three of a kind wins. If both have full houses, the one with the highest three cards wins. In the case of a straight or flush, the same. And if the 5 best cards are in the center of the table (for example a straight), the pot is divided, when playing with only 5 cards. Of course, if there are 2 to 6 on the table and a player has 7-8, he would win by having a ladder from 4 to 8.
Learning to play poker for real: The positions
It is not just about knowing the positions at the poker table, which are relatively easy to know with two or three games on top. Learning to play poker is really knowing the value of each position. There is a lot written about how to take advantage of each position, but broadly speaking there is a criterion: the later you talk, the worse hands you can play. Unless you want to fool your rivals…
How to learn to play poker… Really!
Fool your rivals? Yes, if you only win in poker when you have a good hand and your bets are based only on the quality of your hands, the game will be boring and you will win little. It is not a game (only) of chance, it is a game of skill and strategy, so you will have to get the most out of hands that may not be the best. This is really learning to play poker.
But it’s not just about bluffing every hand and going strong on every hand (otherwise you’ll lose everything when an opponent has a really good hand), it’s also about hiding those better hands. There are many advanced poker strategies such as blocking bets, continuation bets, ‘chechk-raise’ etc, but in this sense it will be of little use to read and read them without applying them.
Once you know them, you should combine theory and practice, and thus focus on the types of poker tournaments that serve you best. This is how you can learn to play poker. By the time you’ve done it for months and/or years, you’ll (perhaps) be quite an expert.