Poker Gaming Guide

As one of the most renowned and played games at casinos around the world, poker has been around for many successful years. Just like with most traditional card-games, the poker table has seen some epic victories and then some heartbreaking losses.

If you have never heard of the game before, then you’re in the right place to learn all about what it is and how it got to be popular. And if you’ve heard of it, but never had the pleasure of playing it, then this guide shows you a few tips. We teach you the basics of how to play and highlight the pros and cons.

What is Poker?

If you’re new to the gambling scene then you’re probably wondering what poker is and why there’s such a hype around it. This casino game has many popular variants but in basic terms, it is a card game where players bet on the best hand according to predetermined “good hands” that’ll lead to a victory. It is played at a table with a standard deck of cards and a dealer, who is a trained professional, that distributes cards to each player and runs the game table by making sure that the game’s rules are followed.

There are a number of variants that are popular today but you’ll learn about a few of the popular ones later in this guide. The winning hands or combinations of cards are different for each game as well as the cards that get dealt out. As well as the number of cards that get dealt up, how many cards get laid out to each player. With all of this variety, it is almost impossible for new and seasoned players, not to find a version that they enjoy.

Brief History of Poker

Poker might be one of the most popular games of our age, but it’s interesting to note that it is not, in fact, from this age. Poker dates back about 1000 years and has traveled around the world. The earliest European descendent is called Poque and was first recorded in French History in the 17th century. It was based on a game that was played in the previous century, called Primero, where players would be dealt three cards and would have to bluff their way through the game. French settlers brought Poque to North America. The game’s name was changed and it began to look a lot like the game we see today.

From this point onwards, the game moved more into America along the Mississippi River when crew members from the riverboats became lovers of the game. It was noted that soldiers in the Civil War also played the game as a means to escape to take their minds off the horror of the battlefield. From that point, it was popularly played in Wild West Saloons. It was introduced in Europe in the 1800s when Queen Victoria heard the Minister of Great Britain, explaining the rules to her court, and later asked for it to be shared with her as well. The game itself has not changed much from this point but it then traveled to big and small countries all over the world.

How to Play Poker

To get started and play your first game, you’re going to need to follow a few simple steps.

Step One:

Before you begin your journey, remember that poker is a group of games and there are multiple variations. You”ll need to decide on what game you want to play. If you are playing at a land-based casino you will need to get chips and join a table. If you’re playing the online version, you’d need to register with the online casino of your choice and fund your account using a deposit method that suits you best

Step Two:

Regardless of the version you’re playing, you’ll need to place a starting bet called “ante up.” In poker, the bets are placed at the beginning of a game in two popular ways. In a game like Texas Hold ‘em the player next to the dealer usually places a small blind bet that is less than the minimum bet for the game. The next player will have to place the minimum bet and the players that follow will have to “ante up” the bet before that.

Step Three:

Look at the two cards that are given to you. This is now your hand. Each player around the table will get dealt two cards and the dealer will burn the first card or take it out of play so that players will not be able to anticipate what is coming next.

Step Four:

You will need to either bet, call, or raise after each round where the dealer gives each player two cards. The first official bet is made based on the initial two cards that players receive. The bets that follow will either be you betting on the cards, calling them or raising your bet if you’re certain. Cash your chips in at the end of your last round.

The Popular Variants Of Poker

Texas Hold’Em Poker

There are two versions of Hold’em that players adore but the choice that you make will depend entirely on what type of game you’re after. Texas Hold’em is one of the community games that get played. The reason that it’s called this is that players are all dealt with two face-down cards with five cards displayed on the table. Players need to use the two cards in their hands in any combination to create the best winning hand. Bets will be placed in stages throughout the game and those who do not fold and have the best hand at the end of the game, win the money pot.

Seven Card Stud Poker

This game was a lot more popular before Texas Hold’em experienced it’s rise to fame in poker rooms and was the choice of professional players. Many are still loyal to the game and play this today which means that you might get a chance to play it at some point. This game creates a very competitive atmosphere as there is no dealer involved and there is no “community” aspect where players can see a designated number of cards etc.

Razz Poker

This is a definite change of pace for seasoned players who have grown accustomed to the community games and those like seven-card stud. This is because the objective is to get the lowest-ranked cards to be the winner. As with seven-card stud, there is no dealer which gives you partial insight into what cards your competitors have. Besides the unusual objective, it can be quite challenging, even for the best players in the world.

Five Card Draw Poker

Often described as one of the simplest variations in the industry, Five Card Draw attracts many new players due to the ease with which it can be learned and played. It’s quite similar to Texas Hold’em with regards to structure and betting rounds. And if you’re familiar with it, you should be able to learn Five Card Draw with ease. In this game, there is a player who is the designated dealer and they receive a white card in front of them to represent this. The player on the left of the dealer is the small blind and the player on the left of the small blind is the big blind.

Playing Poker Online

One of the most attractive ways to play these days is to forego going to a land-based casino and instead, opt for the online version. Many online casinos now offer players many versions of poker which has increased the popularity significantly. The majority of popular variants can be found at most online casinos. To play you’d need to register and sign up for a gaming account with the site of your choice, fund your account through the payment method that suits you best and wait until your credits reflect. This entire process is fast, easy, and convenient so that you can get down to playing as soon as possible.

Some have decided to play online versions in recent times, but long for the atmosphere that is achieved in brick-and-mortar establishments. To combat this growing desire within the industry, software and gaming developers have created some of the most realistic online casino games, complete with 3D graphics and background sounds to make players feel more at ease and at home with the online offerings.

How Live Poker Works

If realistic graphics and sound effects are not enough to eradicate your desire for the land-based atmosphere, then you could always choose to play live poker. This is a relatively new form of online poker that has been a phenomenal success with players globally.

The concept of live poker is very similar to playing at a land-based room, except for a few small changes with the process you’ll have to follow. Firstly, you’ll have to register at an online casino that offers this game, then you’d need to fund your account and go to the options to see which kinds of poker are available. Once you’ve made your choice and the dealer you’d prefer, the game goes on as per normal. Other players join the table with you and the dealer will ask you what your bets are. The real dealer will be situated in front of a camera, dealing with the cards on the table so all players can see. Additionally, cards need to be scanned into the system to allow the game to give you the correct options and read when you’ve lost or won. There will be a chat option available to players if you feel you’d like to be a little social.

Pros of Playing Poker

With something as popular and old as poker, there must be many advantages to playing. We’ve taken the liberty of providing you with three of the top cons here.

It's Sociable

Many players who embark on a poker journey initially do so because they want to try their hand at winning, but this usually changes as conversations around the table. This is especially the case between friends and can be a great way to blow off steam. If the hand is particularly stressful, players might opt not to be as chatty but there will always be time for a joke or anecdote, especially at a table with friends. It’s one of the only games in the industry where players are so in-tune with each other and the actions of one can send ripples across the table.

Your Can Practice Your Cognitive Skills

We’re often told that we need to exercise our brains to maintain a healthy and happy lifestyle. People might opt to do math, play memory games, or take tests to hone their mental abilities. Whichever variation you choose to play, you can enhance your critical thinking skills. You need to be aware of other’s thoughts and processes to form a strategy and you need to be good at it in order to beat the other players around the table. Outside of a poker context, having great critical thinking skills can help you function better in other aspects of your life such as at work or in your personal life.

You Could Win Real Money

If you have heard of the game, then you’ve probably heard that there are professional players in the world. It might seem a bit odd that it is based on luck has been turned into a means of earning a living but professionals only play when they want to and when they are in a good emotional space for it. If you’re playing for entertainment purposes, you could also take a break from time to time to get in a better headspace. Those who are in a clear emotional and mental state are more likely to win and strategize correctly which could lead to some pretty decent wins if you play your cards right!

Cons Of Playing Poker

Now that we’ve covered some of the pros of playing, let’s look at what players think are cons when it comes to this game.

It Takes Practice

Becoming a great player takes practice and most people do not have the time required to perfect playing the game in a short space of time, especially when have chosen to play as a hobby and can dedicate two hours a week to this pass-time

It Can Be Confusing

While there are one or two variants that are described as simple, that is in relation to more complex games. Many new players are intimidated by all the rules and prefer not to play at first since they’re wagering their hard-earned cash. If you have the opportunity to play for free or receive a welcome bonus that gives you free coins, it’d be a good idea to try out a few hands while you’re not at risk or practice playing with friends where you’re not playing for real cash quite as yet.

Beginner Poker Tips

Research and Learn

When it comes to poker, new players are encouraged to learn the positions, rules and hand rankings according to the variant they’re playing. It’d lead to fewer mistakes with fewer consequences if you know how to play in a safe manner. A combination of nerves and confusion can be detrimental to you, and your bankroll, at a poker table.

Consider Your Mental State

It’s easier to start a gaming session feeling good only to feel the complete opposite way, a few rounds in. You don’t want to be playing when you’re sad, upset, feeling desperate or drunk as your emotional state can have a huge impact on your decision-making skills. This, in turn, is detrimental to your bankroll as it is a game of strategy after all.

Practice Moderation

It’s easy to get caught up and find that the two games you promised yourself you’d play have turned into four or five. Practice restraint and stick to the time and financial limits that you set yourself to remain in control of your habit

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