How to Play Poker : Let’s put it the way Mike Sexton, the popular TV commentator put, ‘Poker can take a moment to learn but a lifetime to master’. Poker is not as simple as following the rules, but it includes using strategy and psychology to the highest level.
Origin of Poker
The first traces of the modern version of Poker originated in Germany. The people there used to play a game called Pochen, which was a bluffing game too like modern poker. The French developed their version and named it Poque. This game then crossed the Atlantic and was soon being regularly played along the banks of the Mississippi River.
In the decade of 1830, the game refined further and was called Poker. Note that Poker has more than a hundred versions and refinements, and they are played at famous casinos all over the world. People bet matchsticks or coins and even thousands of dollars while playing Poker.
One of the most popular versions of Poker is the Texas Hold’Em poker. It all started when Chris Moneymaker in 2003 played and won the World Series of Poker and the million-dollar prize it carried. Even though the tournament was the first one he played, he quickly became a legend in the poker arena. This is what boosted the Texas Hold’Em Poker, and it quickly became a game, the masses played.
A Short Guide to How Poker is Played?
How Many Players Can Play Poker?
A minimum of two players can play poker, and a maximum of 14 can too. But experienced poker players consider five to eight players as ideal since it provides maximum entertainment and thrill. Note that there are no teams in poker, so every player plays for himself or herself to win. The player with the most money wagered at the end of the game wins.
The Pack of Cards
The cards are the heart of the poker game. In standard poker versions, one pack of 52 cards is used, and sometimes a couple of jokers are added extra. But in professional or casino-level poker, two packs of cards are used, of different colors. And in such gaming environments, the player can call for the deck of the card to be replaced any time after the active play has been completed.
A common term in poker is a ‘hand’. A poker hand means a set of 5 cards. There are various combinations of these sets of 5 cards, and they rank from highest to the lowest. The highest rank is the five-of-a-kind combination. The lowest rank is no pair.
What is the Goal of a Poker Game?
During a single deal, the poker player has to win all the bets in the pot. This is the single goal of a poker game. These players make bets on their hands on whatever they believe is the best or at least give an impression that the bet is best. In some versions of poker, players consider the top five cards on the deck to be the best hand. But in these cases, usually, the player holding the best hand will be outplayed. The last player on the table with all the money with him/her after the last deal of hand is the winner.
In Poker usually, money is used, but even tokens are used that represent money. These chips have various denominations. At the start of the game, players buy the chips from the casino and at the end, they cash it out for real money.
The cards used in Poker are ranked from the highest to the lowest. The highest rank starts with the King until 2. The ace may be used either above the king or below 2. Note that all the suites have equal ranks, no one ranks higher or lower than the other.
Poker Game in Action
One thing common for every variety of poker is the ranking of the cards. It is done according to the cards that the player has and shares with the other players. Different games will have a different number of cards dealt, number of rounds, and betting limits. And usually, the game goes clockwise around the table, once the opening round of the cards is dealt by the players.
When it is the turn of the player, they can do either of the five things listed below:
- Check-In the current round, if there is no bet, then the player can pass it to the next person.
- Bet – In case no other bets have been made in the particular round, the player can wager.
- Fold – A player can give up their cards and if they do so, they have to wait until the next game to act.
- Call – A player can make a match with the highest bet made in the round.
- Raise – A player can make a match with the highest bet in the round and raise it higher, such that the other player has to match that bet.
At the end of the betting round, there could be more dealing of cards that could change the potential best hand with each player with the progression of the game.
At the last raise, the remaining players show their cards, and the person with the highest hand wins. They win all of the pot’s wagers. Depending on the version of poker, the players may even share the pot’s wagers based on the hierarchy of the hand.
Ethics of Poker Games
Every poker game follows a written set of rules and this is used as a final reference for solving all doubts. Note that Poker rules vary with country, the casino, and even the version of Poker played. A club or a player group may make their own rules, called house rules. But these house rules also have to be written down.
How Long Does Poker Go on For?
Before every game, the players collectively decide the time limit and stick to it. When the time to end approaches, the host will usually call out the number of deals remaining. According to this, players can reframe their strategies.
So, this was a short guide to Poker for people who have not played it yet. A tip – Watch some videos online to see the game in action, and practice with your friends at first. DO NOT bet real money unless you have completely understood the game. Also, when you do, make sure you do it in a regulated and safe environment, like a trustworthy casino house.