Poker strategy & guides

First of all, you must understand there are lots of poker variants. Texas Hold’em is one of the most played all over the world, so this is what we will focus on in this article. We’ll present the rules of poker and the poker hands, but first, what is Texas Hold’em? Each player is dealt 2 cards and you have to make the best possible hands with the 5 community cards that lie face up on the table.

Blinds (blind bets) are the ones you make before you get dealt any cards. There are two blinds: small (put by the player to the left of the dealer) and big (put by the player to the left of the small blind).

The flop are the first 3 community cards dealt, thus preflop refers to anything that happens before the flop. In pre-flop betting, after you look at your cards, you can do one of 3 things:

  • Fold: pay nothing more and throw away your hand
  • Call: match the big blind
  • Raise: double the big blind

A betting round ends when all players had a chance to act and when all those who continue the game bet the same amount for the round.

At this point, the flop is dealt meaning 3 cards up and 1 down (this one becomes the burn card). Now every player has to act again like before. After that, the turn (a term for the 4th community card) is dealt with one card up and one down. The third betting round occurs. If there’s more than one player left in the game, the river (the 5th community card) is dealt with one card up and one down. After everybody takes action, the showdown occurs when it’s revealed who wins the hand.

Winning hands

Here are the poker hand ranked lowest to highest:

  • High card – any hand that is not in the below combinations
  • One pair – 2 cards of the same rank
  • Two pair – basically two one pair’s
  • Three of a kind – 3 cards with the same rank
  • Straight – 5 consecutive cards of different suits
  • flush – 5 (not consecutive) cards of the same suit
  • full house – 3 cards of the same rank + 2 cards of the same rank
  • four of a kind – 4 cards of the same rank
  • straight flush – a straight with all cards of the same suit
  • royal flush – a straight from 10 to ace with all cards of the same suit.

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