A poker game belongs to the family of card games and is played with a complete card deck of 52 cards. Its game play involves knowing poker hands and their rankings and effectively utilizing poker strategies to outwit your opponents. Here’s a look at some poker FAQ’s on every beginner’s mind.
While the history and the etymology of ‘Poker’ continues to be debated, the most common theory suggests the word to be a probable modification of the French word ‘poque’, a card game similar to a poker game.
Poker is defined as a card game in which a player wagers the value of his or her hand against that of his or her opponent and the player holding the highest hand at the end of the round wins.
How do you win a Poker Game?
The winner of each poker hand is the one that holds the highest ranked hand in combination with the community cards when all cards are shown at the end of the hand or the player that makes the last uncalled bet, thus winning without needing to reach a showdown.
Poker hands and sequences may sound difficult as a beginner, but once you know whether a flush beats a straight and what makes a full house, there’s nothing stopping you!
What are Poker Hands?*
*Hands represented in descending order of strength
How to Play Poker Online: Getting Started
A poker game typically begins with the dealer dealing a set of cards to each player. On distribution, players have their hole cards, and the community or shared cards are dealt after the game begins.
A poker game typically features a forced initial token amount known as the big blind and small blind that compromise the starting pot in any given hand of poker. This acts as an incentive for players to win the hand. All further wager actions during the following rounds get added to the pot, increasing its value.
Actions during a Poker Game
Once the cards have been dealt, each player can usually take on of the following actions when it is their turn to act, moving clockwise around the table:
To Check – Is to indicate that you do not wish to put any further chips into the pot.
When? Usually in the Big Blind (pre flop), or on any street where a player does not face a wager (post flop).
What happens next? Action then moves to the person on the left (clockwise), without an inflation in the pot size.
To Bet – This means you put additional chips into the pot, thereby increasing the size of the pot. This also indicates the strength of one’s hand.
When? This action can occur either when a player isn’t facing any wager in front of him/her, or when there is a wager in front of him/her and wishes to increase that amount.
What happens next? Other players have to match the amount put forth if they wish to continue in the hand.
To Fold – Is an action that occurs when you do not wish to continue in the current poker hand, and is indicated by giving up your cards
When? While facing a Raise/Wager. This usually happens when a player has a better hand, or makes you believe that he/she does.
What happens next? The game continues amongst the remaining players and you are no longer part of the current hand.
To Call – Is to equal the going amount in the current hand of a poker game.
When? When a player wishes to equal the wager placed by an opponent.
What happens next? Once a call is made, action continues to the next player/next street.
To Raise – Is to increase the size of an existing wager made by an opponent by placing more chips into the pot.
When? When facing a wager from an opponent. This could either be done to get more value for a hand (if it is a strong one) or to put pressure on an opponent and get them to fold a stronger hand (bluff).
What happens next? This revised amount now becomes the going amount in that hand, and opponents would need to either match that amount (call) or increase it (raise) if they wish to continue in the hand.
How does a Round of Poker Play out?
A round of poker usually involves 4 different streets where players may place wagers. These are:
Pre-flop – This is the first round of a poker game where players can place wagers based on the strength of their poker hand (their two hole cards) and before any of the community cards are opened on the board.
The flop – This next round of action begins after the table has seen the first three community cards, also known as the flop.
The turn – The round of action that occurs after the fourth community card is dealt.
The river – The action that occurs once the table has seen the fifth and final community card of a poker game.
In each round of a poker game, the round continues until every player has matched the previous wager or folded (if no new wagers are made, the round completes itself when every player has checked). Only when a round completes and all wagers match does the next round begin.
Note: It is not necessary for all five community cards to be dealt in any poker game. If a bet remains unmatched at the end of the current round, the remaining community cards need not be dealt.
Once the last wager has been matched in the final round of betting, the last and final step is the showdown! All the remaining players on the table show their hands face up and the player with the highest hand ranking (best five card combination) wins the pot.
Where to Play a Poker Game?
A game of poker can be played both live and online. While the Indian laws have certainly limited the number of live games in most corners of India, online poker games are available in shiploads. If you are keen on witnessing a live game of poker, visit the exclusive PokerBaazi Live Room aboard the Casino Pride II in Goa, Panjim.
Want to try your hand at online poker games today? Check out India’s Most trusted poker platform, PokerBaazi.com. Sceptical about putting some real money? Try their freeroll tournaments, practice your basics and you can well be their next END BOSS winner!