Card games have been a part of our lives since the 10th century and their popularity has never faltered. For a society that is always looking for the next best thing, our continued affection for card games might be a surprise. But the way we play and what we play is always evolving.
With the rise in online gaming, there are always new and improved games coming out ready to entertain us. However, there is one game that isn’t going anywhere and that’s poker. Whether you prefer to play Texas Holdem, Omaha or seven-card draw, there’s a version of poker out there for everyone.
Poker tips for beginners
If you’re new to playing poker, it might seem like an intimidating game to start. As can be said for anything, it gets better with practice. The best place to start when trying to learn poker is knowing the scoring of all the different card combinations.
- Five of a kind
This is the highest possible hand you can get but it can only happen in a game where one of the cards is wild. This means that whatever card is decided to be wild can stand for whatever card a player chooses. An example of this would be four tens and two wild cards.
- Straight flush
When you don’t have any wild cards in the game, this is the highest hand you can get. A straight flush means that you have five cards in the same suit that are also in sequence. For example, this could be a king, queen, jack, ten and nine of spades. But the odds of getting this hand are stacked against you at 650,000 to one.
- Four of a kind
This hand is a bit more straightforward – all you need is four of the same card. The fifth and last card is irrelevant. An example of this is four aces.
- Full house
A full house hand is one that consists of three cards of one rank and then two cards of another. For example, this could be three tens and two fives.
This hand is made up of five cards that are all in the same suit but not in order. For example, this could be a king, nine, seven, six and four of diamonds.
A straight is the opposite of a blush – it’s five cards that are in order but not from the same suit.
Now you’ve got the hands down, the difficult part is knowing when to bet, when to bluff and when to fold. If you know your cards are on the bottom end of the scale from the offset, it might be better to fold – especially when you’re a beginner.
But if you’ve got a good hand, you should play it to the best of your ability. This means playing as aggressively as you feel comfortable in an attempt to scare off other players and bag the win for yourself.
Take the time to observe the other players if you’ve folded during a hand. Learning how to read people in poker is an important skill to learn but it does take time to get good at. The best way to improve your poker game is to practice as much as possible.
Top poker strategies
Once you’re feeling like a confident poker player, you can move on to more strategic gaming.
- Play less hands but play aggressively
When you try and play too many hands, you run the risk of throwing all your chips away without gaining anything. The trick is to play as few hands as possible but when you do have a good hand, to play aggressively and keep your opponent’s guessing.
- Semi-bluff your draws
You never want to make your opponents get to know when you’re winning or losing. The best way to do this is to not let the cards tell you whether to bluff or not. Only bluff on the hands that have an out to improve on later down the road. You’ve always got to stay one step ahead and play for all eventualities.
- Play your good hands quickly
The thing to remember when playing poker is to not let the other players see you hesitate. Everyone will be on the look out for a weak spot so you’ve got to make decisions quickly and confidently to be in with a chance. If you’ve got a good hand, try and bet as much as possible to build up the pot and win.
- Watch for your opponent’s weakness and take advantage of it
In the same way you don’t want to give anything away to your opponent, you should act if you spot them wavering, this applies to any sport you take part in especially when analyzing a specific boxing technique. You should always be on the lookout for a tell or a sign of uncertainty and act on it if you can. Bold moves are the way to win in poker.
- Fold if you’re uncertain
Rather than displaying a weak point, if you’re unsure about a hand then it’s better to fold. If you’re not confident in your hand then it will be obvious to the other players and they will want to take advantage. It’s better to fold than to lose.
Poker might seem complicated at first but once you’ve got the card combos down and got some practice in within your personalized gaming room, you’ll be good to go. The best thing to remember is to play the hands that are in your favor to the best of your ability. And don’t forget to practice your poker face!
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