There are few games that combine the elements of chance and skill as successfully as poker does.
With the ability to bluff and fool your opponents, you can turn bad luck in to good and a losing hand into a winning one. However, you’ll always be reliant on nothing more that the cards dealt to you and your own quick wit, making poker a particularly satisfying play.
Learn the basics and hone your skills to enjoy many happy hours playing poker, a great game for keeping your memory sharp.
How to play poker
The rules to poker may seem complicated at first glance, but once you start playing you’ll soon find they become instinctual and easy to follow. The object of poker is to win the pot – which can be money or any other kind of stake, such as chips or matches – by consistently knowing how much and when to bet on a hand you’ve been bet. Knowing when to fold and therefore save money in matching other bets can also be valuable, because the aim is to have the most money at the end, not to win every hand.
Each hand has five cards and you can play with anything from two to 10 players. Most poker games will use a standard 52-card deck but there are many different forms of the game and if you’re playing Draw or Lowball poker, a joker may be added to the pack. The best hand you can get at poker is one that contains the highest value of cards in a straight run. For example, a Royal Flush is the highest ranking hand and it contains an ace, king, queen, joker and 10 al from the same suit. Memorising which hands are the most valuable is the first step towards becoming a good poker player. Poker Listings offers a good guide to getting started as well as a list of the top ranking poker hands.
Getting the most out of your poker games
What makes poker more entertaining than many other card games is the fact that you are trying to encourage your opponents to think a certain way about your hand that doesn’t reflect the truth. This means you can have a lot of fun trying to fool people into thinking you have a bad hand when you’re holding a good one or that you’re actually not very good at Poker at all. To be a winner, it’s a good idea to actually have a good grasp of the game and how it works. You’ll find an easy way to pick up top tips with Party Poker’s guide to the basics.
Poker is a great game to play with your friends as it encourages a lot of chat and laughter, but you can also enjoy it at home online. There are lots of sites that offer you the chance to play poker and bet real money, but if you’d rather play for fun, sites like Games.com allow you to play poker without having to put your hard earned cash at stake.