Poker Basics

Poker can be an extremely confusing game, especially if you’ve never played before. Try any online poker room for a first game. Before throwing yourself into the fray unprepared, there are various terms and ideas you should familiarize yourself with.

One of the most important things to be aware of is the protocol at the start of a poker game. Before the game even begins proper, prior to the first hand being dealt, players must put some money into the pot. This means that each player has something to stake before the first card has been dealt. There are two different ways in which money can be contributed, depending on the game you are playing.

If you’re playing a version of poker with what is called an ante, each and every player must contribute a certain, predetermined amount to the pot before each hand of the game. Usually this is a relatively small bet. The essential thing about the ante is that it’s not actually a bet, just a method of getting the ball rolling and the game started with money in the pot.

A blind is a forced bet made before the deal. It’s a blind bet because you haven’t yet seen a card, so you don’t know anything about the course the game may take. The standard practice for putting in blinds is that the two players who are to the left of the dealer pay them in. There are two blinds to be paid, one “little” and one “large”. The player immediately to the left of the dealer usually plays the smaller “little” blind and the player two places to the dealer’s left plays the more substantial “large” blind.

The actual amounts of both “small” and “big” blinds are predetermined before the game begins. The sum of the blinds often depends on the kind of game you’re playing and the minimum bet associated with that game. The “large” blind is usually equal to the minimum bet of the game, while the “little” blind is perhaps a half or a third of that amount.
If the minimum bet was ?10, for example, the “large” blind would also be ?10 while the “little” blind might be between ?3 and ?5. Blinds do count as a player’s first bet, which means that in the first round of betting in these kinds of games no one can “check” out, everyone has to place a bet.

Winning Hands

If you are going to play Video Poker you need to know what the winning hands are and what they mean. There are variations on the winning hands because there are wild games that are available for you to play. But the basic no wild winning hands are as follows.

The highest Video Poker hand is the Royal Flush. A Royal Flush is when you have an Ace, King, Queen, Jack and Ten of a certain suit. This is the hand that most jackpots are based on.
The Straight Flush is the next hand in order. It is when you have all five of your cards in numerical order and they are all the same suit.

Four of a Kind is next; a Four of a Kind is when you have four cards in your hand that are all the same number. Suits in this case do not make a difference, neither does the fifth card.
Full House is when you get three cards in your hand that are of the same numerical value and two other cards that are of the same numerical value, suits do not matter in this hand.
A Flush is when you have all five of your cards the same suit. It doesn’t matter what order they are in or if there are any numerical matches.

A Straight is having all five of your cards in order numerically from lowest to highest; the suits do not matter in this hand.

Three of a Kind is when you have three cards of the same numerical value in your hand. The suits don’t matter and neither do the extra two cards.

You have Two Pair when you have two cards of the same numerical value and two other cards that are also of the same value. The suit and the fifth card don’t matter.
One Pair is when you have two cards that are the same value, the other three cards don’t matter and neither does the suit.

You also need to be familiar with what the cards stand for that you are playing with and which ones are ranked the highest and lowest. Ace (can be high or low), King, Queen, Jack, Ten, Nine, Eight, Seven, Six, Five, Four, Three and Two.

There are four ‘suits’ in Video Poker as well they are Diamonds, Spades, Clubs and Hearts. This is what is being talked about above when it is said that something needs to be the same suit. You need to study and make sure that you remember the cards, and the winning hand because if you are going to play the game you have to know what you should be trying to get to win the best possible hand. As said before there are wild games in which some of the winning hands will be different. The biggest difference is in wild games you will be able to get a Five of a Kind. This is when you have four cards of the same suit and one wild card.