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HOW TO PLAY POKER

Poker is an easy to learn game that has been entertaining people for many years. While poker only takes a few minutes to learn it is often said that it takes a lifetime to master. With skill, strategy, and practice any player can become proficient at the game of poker. These tips and tricks will help you to become an expert poker player. 

 

Learn the Hand Rankings

Texas Hold’em requires that players form the strongest valued hand. This is done with a combination of hole cards (pocket cards) and community cards. Poker is a game of intelligence, patience, and mental toughness. However poker is also a numbers game. Since the highest ranking hand typically wins the pot, it is imperative to understand the hand rankings. 

 

The best hand that you can have in a game of poker is a Royal Flush (10-Jack-Queen-King-Ace of the same suit). The next strongest hands are a Straight Flush, Four of a Kind, Full House, Flush, Straight, Three of a Kind, Two Pair, One Pair, and lastly the High Card. Each player is trying to create the best hand. Check out our poker hands page for an in-depth look and description of each Poker Hand. 

 

Bankroll Management

One of the most critical and important aspects of Poker is bankroll management. The best players are adept at managing their money well, only gambling what they can afford to lose and only playing in games that one can afford. To accomplish this choose buy-ins very carefully along with the type of poker games that you play in. 

 

A good rule of thumb for cash players is at least 20 buy-ins for No limit Hold'em. Some players prefer having up to 40-50 buy-ins. The larger your bankroll and the better you manage it, the less likely you will be to drop your betting stakes during your sessions. Your bankroll determines the stakes/level that you play at. 

 

Only Play Strong Hands

Many new players are eager to play and end up playing too many starting hands. This is a recipe for failure. The percent of hands that you should play pre-flop depends on your hand, the actions taken by your opponents, along with your instinct. Generally, if you find your hand good enough to call, your hand will be good enough to raise. Looking at a poker starting hands chart is a great way to improve your game at the start. Certain hands such as ace-ace and king-king can be played in any position while other hands like 3-2 and 4-2 are virtually unplayable. The odds of winning with a pair of pocket aces is 85%.

 

Table Position Matters

In poker games where you sit is incredibly important. Everything in poker centers around the button, early position players include the Small Blind and the Big Blind. These positions are located left of the button, they are the first to act after the first 3 community cards have been dealt. Seats located to the right of the button are classified as the late position since they are the last to act. Middle position seats are between early and late position seats. The best positions are the last to act post-flop. This is because these players get to see what everyone else is doing before they act. 

 

The Pre-Flop Play

The player seated directly to the left of the Big Blind initiates the pre-Flop action. The play continues in a clockwise manner around the table, with the Big Blind being the last to act. During pre-Flop gameplay every player can fold, call or raise. After players have acted the betting round ends. 

 

The Post-Flop Play

The flop is when the first three community cards have been dealt into the center of the table for each player to use. There are 5 total community cards in poker games, the other 2 cards are turned over during the turn and the river. After the first 3 community cards have been dealt players have the option to check, call, raise, or fold. Your decision is based on the strength of your starting hand, table position, and the actions other players take. 

 

The Turn 

After the post-Flop betting round finalizes the next action taken is the turn. The turn is when the fourth community card is dealt. Players can now take the same actions as during the pre-flop: bet, call, raise, fold, or check. As previously this decision is based on your table position, prior moves you have made, and your instinct. 

 

The River

The River is the fifth and final community card that is dealt. If you are still in the action at this point you likely have a hand that can win the pot. You can bluff your way to a larger pot if the other players check your re-raise. 

 

The Showdown

A showdown occurs If more than 2 players remain in the hand. At this point players show each-other their hands, the winner is the player who has the strongest 5-card hand wins the round and the pot. 

 

Get Ready for a New Round

After a game is complete it is time for the next one to begin. The blinds put their blind in the center and a new round commences, just as the previous one had. Whether you won or lost the previous round, each subsequent round offers you the opportunity to get better and learn more with each hand. RadPoker offers an exciting fast paced, heads up poker game that will help you improve your game and win more hands. 

 

The 4 Most Important Aspects of Poker:

 

Poker Hands

In poker every hand in the game is ranked according to a hand ranking system. The highest ranking poker hand is a royal flush, 10, Jack, Queen, King, Ace of the same suit. The lowest poker hand that you are able to form is a High Card. It is imperative to understand how your hand ranks compared to your opponents at the table. Understanding the hands will allow you to form winning combinations and enhance your decisions to hold, fold, bet, raise, re-raise, and going all in. Our poker hand guide will give you everything you need to know.

 

Poker Strategy

Players that utilize good strategy can expect to win more. In the long run poker is predominantly a game of skill. The key elements in poker strategy are observation, memory, math, and psychology. Whether you are a new player or an experienced professional. Our RadPoker strategy guide teaches you how to optimize your game plan with basic and advanced strategies. Understanding the rules of play allows you to be a stronger player. Use our poker strategy guide to boost your bankroll and understanding of the game. 

 

Poker Terminology 

Poker TerminologyKnowing poker terminology is an imperative part of mastering Poker. Understanding poker terminology will help you improve your game while sitting at the table. RadPoker will teach you all the poker lingo that you will need to know to stay on top of your game online and at live tables. For everything you need to know, check out our Poker Terminology Guide.

 

Poker Rules

  • The goal in poker is to have the strongest five-card hand, or convince other players that you have the best hand. 

  • When it is your turn in each round you can make a bet, call or raise any previous bets, or choose to fold. (No longer participating in that round)

  • When it is your turn to bet, you are able to fold at any time. 

  • If more than one player stays in until the final betting round has ended, there is a ‘showdown.’ A showdown is where all of the players  reveal their cards. The player with the stronger hand is the winner. 

  • If each opponent folds their cards when you raise, you win the hand. Regardless of if you have reached the showdown yet. This is where bluffing becomes a vital part of the game, a clever player can act as though they have much better cards than they actually do. 

How to Bet in Poker

Betting in poker is the display of confidence that you’ll build a winning hand, have a winning hand, or are trying to bluff your opponent. Poker Betting works in rounds, this allows you to check your hand against the possible cards that your opponents are holding or building. 

When it is your turn to bet you can:

  • Check – Prior to the first bet being made you have the option to ‘check.’ This action passes up the chance to bet until it is your turn again. 

  • Open – This is the first bet made during the round, each following action is made in response to the opening bet. 

  • Fold – Players can choose to fold your hand and stop playing that round. Anything that you placed in the pot will be forfeited. 

  • Call – Players who call have to match the highest bet made thus far during that round. 

  • Raise – Raising increases the previous high bet. A check-raise is when the same player checks and then raises in a round. Raising a raise is known as a re-raise. 

Typically, players announce what they are doing aloud. However there are non-verbal ways to confirm your action. 

When a player taps the table this means that they are checking, while giving your cards to the dealer face-down is an indication that you would like to fold. 

When betting, you should place or slide the chips forward in front of you allowing the dealer and other players to confirm the amount. The dealer then adds the confirmed chips to the pot.

Poker Etiquette 

While there are certain table rules that aren’t set in stone, there is a code of poker etiquette which helps to ensure that games run smoothly and that everyone can enjoy the action. 

Don’t play out of your turn. Declaring that you are going to fold or bet before your turn can have an influence on how others will play before the action even gets to you. It is best practice to avoid this.

Be clear with your betting, try to not confuse other players with how many chips you are betting. Don’t obscure your chip stack. 

Avoid interfering at all costs. If you are out of the round don’t tell other players what you would do in their situation. Watching and learning is more beneficial.

Your Guide to Poker Games:

 

Texas Hold’em

Texas Hold’em is the biggest and best poker game. It is the game of choice at the main event of The World Series of Poker. (WSOP) This game is played at brick and mortar casinos as well as at online varieties like RadPoker. It is a game of skill, strategy, and wit. Texas Hold’em has become the world's favorite poker variant. What is it all about?

  • Players must form the strongest 5 card hand at the table. You are dealt 2 cards, this is followed by the flop, turn, and river. 

  • All players in the hand are dealt 2 cards facing down. These are hole cards also known as pocket cards, other players can not see your cards. 

  • The flop is the reveal of the first 3 community cards. They are dealt face up for all players to use. 

  • The turn is the fourth community card revealed. It is followed by the fifth community card, the river.

  • Betting rounds take place where players can be, check or fold. 

  • Players play the board or use a combination of pocket cards and community cards to form the strongest 5 card hand. 

  • Poker is just as much about playing your opponents as it is playing the cards.

 

Stud Poker

7 cards stud is a classic poker game. Each player at the table receives 7 cards, there are no community cards to play with. You are only allowed to use the cards that you received at the beginning to form the best hand.This game includes pre-flop antes, bring in bets, and lots of action over 5 streets. There are more betting rounds than a typical game of Texas Hold’em, understanding the rules of play for 7 Card Stud poker is imperative.  
 

Omaha Hi Poker

Omaha Hi, also known as PLO (Pot Limit Omaha) is a popular game with poker players. This game is played with 4 pocket cards. The goal is to compile the best 5 card hand using your 2 pocket cards and 3 cards from the board. Like Texas Hold’em the community cards include the flop (first 3 cards), the turn (fourth community card), and the river (fifth and final community card). In Omaha Hi you can’t simply play the board, you must use at least 2 of your pocket cards to create the best hand. If you are holding 4 clubs in your hand you can only use two of those cards to form your Flush. 

 

Omaha Hi-Lo

In Omaha Hi-Lo you compete for the Hi hand and the Lo hand. The pot is split between the winner for the Hi hand and the Lo hand. TO win the Lo hand you must form a 5-card hand with card values lower than 8. Only 2 of the 4 pocket cards can be used in addition to 3 of the 5 community cards. (Flop, Turn, and River). If you are able to win both the Hi and Lo hand you win the entire pot.

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