If you want to play poker in a casino, home with friends, or online, there are several tips and tricks you can follow to make the game more enjoyable and to win more often. There are many different variations of poker, but two of the most popular poker games are 7-card stud and Texas Hold’Em.
7-Card Stud is played with two to seven players. To begin the game, each player will put in a predetermined ante, or starting bet amount. This ensures that the winner will get something, even if all the other players fold right away and don’t add anymore chips to the pot. Starting with the player on the left, the dealer will deal to each player two cards, which are called pocket or hole cards, face down, plus one card that is then dealt face up. After all players look at their hole cards, the player who has the lowest card showing then places a small bet, followed by each consecutive player who chooses to stay in the game.
The fourth card is then dealt facing up, and the player who has the best cards showing bets first, followed by the other players; the fifth card is then dealt face up, followed by a betting round led by the player who has the best hand showing, as is the sixth. The final seventh card is then dealt face down, and all players make their final bets. The player having the best five-card hand will win the pot. Higher cards are always better in 7-Card Stud, meaning a pair of Jacks is better than a pair of sevens.
If after the fourth card you only have a low pair, such as 9’s or lower, you should consider folding. If you have a high pair with your hole cards and nothing better is showing on the table, raise the bet moderately to get more money in the pot before the other players start folding; bet too high and the other players will fold. If there are five or more players in a hand, pay close attention to the cards showing on the table to help you determine the odds of you getting a card that you need. You don’t want to stay in a hand too long if you are not likely to get what you need.
Texas Hold ‘Em
Texas Hold ‘Em poker is usually played with a minimum of five players, but ten or more can play in one game. The two players to the left of the dealer put in a predetermined bet, called a blind; one is small and the other is larger. This is in place of the ante in other variations of poker. Each consecutive player is then dealt two cards face down. The player to the left of the big blind bettor bets first, and everyone else follows in turn by either folding or betting. Three cards, which are known as the flop, are then dealt to the table face up. These cards are for everyone. Betting follows, and then the fourth card, or the turn, is then dealt facing up.
Players again bet or fold, and then the final, fifth card, or the river, is next and is then dealt face up. After another round of each player folding or betting, players show their cards and the best hand wins. In some versions of Texas Hold ‘Em poker, players are limited in the amount they can bet; other games allow for players to go “all in”, meaning that they bet all the chips they have, and the other players must match the bet to remain in the game.
To be successful at Texas Hold ‘Em poker, be sure to keep in mind that your hole cards are the only cards that differ from every other players’ hand. If you don’t have a pair with your hole cards, you should consider folding early, especially if other players are betting heavily. You should also be aware of other players’ potential for a flush, straight, or other high hand based on the cards that are showing; you may not have one, but with three cards showing for a potential high hand, another player could very well have the necessary cards. If you’re playing no limit poker, be aware that other players may bluff and go “all in” just to get the other players to fold.