Objectives of Poker and How to Play Texas Holdem

Poker is probably the most popular of all card games in existence, thanks in part to an exciting format, huge sums of money that is regularly on offer, and the swings and roundabouts that come with a game with an element of luck. Even with an element of luck, playing winning poker takes a good amount of skill and some time to master. This guide will take you through some of the basics poker rules and also more generally, how to play poker.

First of all, let’s consider what the objectives of poker are in a game of poker. The objective of most is to win money. To do that, players would need to eithermake it to showdown with the best 5 card hand OR force everyone else out of the hand, thus winning the pot. Most games are played against the same standard ranking of hands however, there are a few variants that use slight variations to this standard. For this article we will focus on Texas Hold’em mainly as it’s the most popular game and a good place to start out as a new player.

Texas Hold’em

Texas Hold’em is the party favourite and carries the most traffic, both live and online. It is the game that is featured in most major poker tournaments or televised cash games.

It’s known as a community card game for the reason that there are shared cards that are used by all players, when trying to make their best 5 card hand. In short, each player will get two private cards, dealt face down, better known as hole cards. These cards are only seen by the player they are dealt to. Throughout the game there will be a number of betting rounds and 5 community or shared cards that will be dealt. These cards are dealt face up. Players will try to make the best 5 card hand using any combination of the 7 available cards to them (2 private cards and 5 shared cards). This same principle applies across all poker games.

Something that makes the game really unique is that a player doesn’t have to have the best hand to win. Imagine you’ve got ten people and gave them one card each and told them to race up a hill. The person who got up there would be first, automatically winning. If there was a tie, the two players would hold up the card they were given and the highest card would win. Poker is similar in principle. The player who stays in the hand all the way and has the best hand would take down the pot. If there is only one person who makes it up the hill or who stays in the hand, they would be the winner, regardless of the card or hand they held. So if only one made it to the top of the hill, he would win, no matter his hand.

Structure of the Game

Ok, let’s look at how the game is actually played. When starting a game, it’s normal for each player to be dealt a card. The highest card gets the dealer button or button. The button acts as an indicator as to who is dealt cards first, and also who posts the blinds. The blinds are automatic bets that are made to ensure each pot has some money to play for (or there would be no incentive to play anything but the top hands). The blinds consist of two automatic bets, the small blind, posted by the player to the immediate left of the button, and the big blind, the player two seats to the left of the button. The small blind is usually half of the value of the big blind. Once these bets are posted, all players are dealt 2 cards face down.

Players will now need to decide whether to play the hand or not, starting with the player to the left of the big blind (or 3 left of the dealer button). This would, in large, be down to the two cards the player has been dealt (although there are other factors which I will cover separately). A player has the choice to call, fold or raise. Here are definitions for each action:

Fold– to throw your cards into the muck and take no further part in the hand. By doing so, you lose your stake in the pot.

Call– to match the highest bet made so far. If the highest bet is the big blind, then that must be matched to stay in the hand. If a player raises, all other players will need to ‘call the raise’ or match it, to stay in the hand.

Raise– this would be a bet that would be more than the big blind and a sign of strength (a good hand). If a player was to raise and all other players folded, he will win the pot by default, regardless of the strength of his hand.

So play moves clockwise around the table until all players have either called, raised or folded.

Once all players have completed this initial betting round, the first three community or shared cards are dealt. These are dealt face up on the table. The first 3 cards dealt in Hold’em are known as ‘the flop’. All shared cards that are dealt are known as board cards or referred to as ‘the board’. At this stage, players will be trying to assemble their best 5 card hand from the 2 in their hand and the 3 on the board. Some players might already have made their hand and others might need cards, still to come, to make their hand. Either way, with 2 shared cards still to come, players will have a good indication as to the strength of their holding and their chances of hitting one of the cards they may need.

A second betting round now takes place and again players, moving clockwise, have the choice to fold their cards, call or raise. Once this betting round is complete, a fourth community card is dealt face up, otherwise known as ‘the turn’, ‘the turn card’ or ‘fourth street’. There is then a third betting round with all remaining players and then a fifth and final card (known as ‘fifth street’ or the ‘river card’) is dealt to the board, again face up (all shared cards are dealt face up). There is one final found of betting, conducted in the same manner as the previous rounds, and then the showdown.

During each betting round, it is usual for some players to fold their hand, either as the betting is too much for the strength of hand they have, or they fail to hit their cards needed to make a strong hand. At showdown, any player left in the hand would turn over their hole cards to reveal their hand. The best 5 card poker hand wins the pot (which would be a collection of blinds and all bets).

Key additional Points

– If all players fold, leaving one player in the hand, the hand ends there and the remaining player wins the hand.

– If a player is all in (.i.e. has bet all his available chips, he would only be able to win the same amount that had been wagered from each player in the hand). If players who had more than the all-in player continued to bet, a side pot would be formed.

– If two players have the same hand at showdown, the winner is determined by the best kicker. For instance if player 1 has the hand A-A-2-3-4 and player 2 had A-A-2-3-8, both players would have a pair of aces but player 2 would have the next highest card, the 8 (compared with player 1 who’s next highest is a 4). Ace is the highest kicker possible.

Craps With Cards Vs Craps With Dice

There are laws in place in certain states where an outcome may not be determined through a toss of the dice. This means Craps games, as we know them, are prohibited. However, clever casino operators have installed Craps games using cards instead of dice. Contrary to popular belief, this is a great opportunity because it offers an advantage to the player that is not available in a standard dice game of Craps.

The game of Craps played with cards is played exactly as is Craps with dice. The table layout is the same (with the possible addition of two colored boxes that determine the shoe to be used. You can also bet on those colored boxes.

The casino uses cards numbered ace through six (1 – 6) instead of dice. They also use a shuffle machine known as a “constant shuffle machine” because they don’t bury cards as they are exposed, instead, they are immediately returned to the shuffle machine (that’s why it’s called constant). The same cards used to get a point on the come out roll may not be available to be drawn again until a new shelf is hit, making it disproportionately likely to throw a seven instead, resulting in a win for the wrong bettor. Remember that fact – we’ll use it later.

After the point is established, two more cards are dealt to represent the next roll of the dice. That continues until the point is made or the “shooter” sevens out.

For the purpose of this article, I’m not going into the rules and/or strategies of the game of Craps. I’m assuming you already know them, and the purpose of this article is to point out differences and similarities of the Craps game played with cards as opposed to the dice Craps game.

The short and very sweet difference between the two is this: there is a very distinct and big advantage to playing Craps with cards if you are a “wrong bettor”. You, the player, actually have the advantage over the casino and that is not found in any other game nor in any dice version of Craps.

Conversely there is a bigger advantage for the house if you’re a “right bettor”.

Is there any question as to how you should play the card version of Craps? The answer is obvious – you must be a wrong bettor. Put aside all objections you ever had to betting with the house and against the shooter. You are playing Craps to make money – not friends.

Why are the wrong bettors now in a position of positive odds? In other words, why do we players have an advantage over the casino? That’s unheard of – after all, there are strategies that get the house advantage down towards “0” where the house advantage is small (in dice Craps as well as in other games), but nowhere at any time has the player actually had the advantage over the house – until now.

Here’s the amazing news:

first, as stated above, the cards that established the point cannot be used again during a shooter’s attempts to make the point. This makes a seven even more likely to come up before the point, resulting in a win. That’s important, but that’s not the best part…

In a game of Craps played with dice, laying odds is the way we get the overall odds against winning down to the lowest (best) number possible. That means we can reduce the house advantage to near zero.

However, in a game of Craps played with cards, by knowing when to lay odds against a number and how much to lay against a number, we get the odds down, past zero and into a very healthy advantage for the player. Here are the numbers:

laying odds against a 4 or 10 in a dice Craps game, results in zero advantage to the house (after figuring the don’t pass and or the don’t come – the actual odds give the advantage to the house: 1.364)

but, laying odds against the 4 or 10 in a card Craps game has the house advantage at -0.253. Yep – that is a negative number, and thus the advantage goes to the player – absolutely unheard of! California casinos like the Viejas in San Diego generously offer 10x odds (up to $1,000 winnings), so you should take full advantage of maximum odds against a 4 and 10.

Laying odds against a 5 or 9 in both games remains at zero – no advantage to the house nor to the player. So, lay your “normal” odds against a 5 or 9.

Laying odds against a 6 or 8 in a dice Craps game, results in zero advantage to the house.

But, laying odds against the 6 or 8 in a card Craps game has the house advantage at -0.207. Yep, another advantage for the player! Again, in California, lay maximum odds.

So, if the player laid the maximum odds on points of 4, 6, 8, and 10, then the overall player edge between the don’t pass and laying odds would be +0.022%. That’s amazing!

So, take advantage of this golden opportunity, and gratefully play Craps with cards instead of dice!

Online Casino Games – Most Popular Gambling Activities on The Internet

Online casino games are the most popular gambling activities on internet; that is why online casino game sites are flourishing rapidly all around the world. They are becoming more and more popular. Internet user can find any of his favorite game on these online casino sites whether it is a game of wheel, cards or dice. By adopting a good betting strategy the player can make lot of money and make his visit to the casino site more enjoyable.

Some of the most popular casino games are:-

1- BlackJack

2- PaiGow

3- Caribbean Poker

4- Online craps

5- Baccarat

6- Video Poker

7- Slots

8- Online poker

9- Roulette

Online bingo is also becoming one of the top online games nowadays. It is an interesting game. Its popularity is increasing in different types of players all over the world. However, online poker is still at the top in ranking.

On the online casinos anybody can play games with peace of mind because all of his personal information will be completely secured. These online casinos are 100% dedicated to ensure security of their customers; they keep them at ease while playing on site through monitoring whole system through advance security arrangements; these sites are guaranteed to be hack-proof and thus guarantee secure transactions also.

You can play in real or free on these online casinos. These sites also provide assistance and help in learning proper online gambling strategies and in result increase the capabilities of the player of winning at online casinos.

If you are interested in playing online casino games, the first thing you should know is that all internet casino games are not same on different gambling sites. Each site has its own pros and cons. The easiest method to prefer an online casino game site is to see your personal requirements first and then search for an online casino game site accordingly. For instance, if you are having Paypal account and want to pay through it then only prefer those online casinos that accept payments and deliver winnings through Paypal accounts; similarly see other matters also.

Despite all secure payment processes it is always best to deal with casino located in your own country because it makes communication easy and creates less legal complications. Therefore best option is to deal with casino site that is located and registered within your own country.

Casino Comps: Not Only For High Rollers – Everyone Can Get in on the Game, Here’s How It’s Done

Players that often visit casinos are aware that many patrons are comped during their stay. Regulars receive free or discounted rooms, meals, show tickets, free play, etc. Many average players that wager on penny, nickel, or quarter slot machines, bet $5 or $10 per hand at table games, think that the freebies are only for the high rollers. Nothing could be further from the truth.

How Casino Comps Work

Comps (complementaries) are valued at a portion of a player’s expected loss to the casino over time. This is called the house edge. For example, the house edge on Blackjack is about 0.5% when perfect basic strategy is used by the player. This means that a player’s theoretical loss is about 50 cents for every $100 bet. Players can win too, but that’s gambling. However in the long run over time, the house always wins, and comps keep players coming back.

How to Get Casino Comps

Sign up for a Players Club card without hesitation. All casinos offer them at no charge. Each time you use it at a slot machine or table game, you build up points. Of course the more you play the more points you earn. Depending on where you play and your level of play your points can be used towards meals, hotel stays, exclusive event invitations, show tickets, cash back and more. Rewards vary between casinos and are liquid (change often). Always check with the Players Club associates for specifics.

How Comps are Determined

Points on your card are determined by the amount of credit (coin in) at any machine game after you insert your players card in the appropriate slot. The amount you play is not as important as length of time you play. For example, If you put $20 in a quarter slot machine, and you play for an hour or so with it, the amount of coin in could be $100 or more. The amount through put is what counts.

If you play table games, place your card on the table with your cash when you buy-in. The dealer will give it to the pit boss who will record it. The card will be returned to you promptly. Your average bet will be monitored and recorded from time to time during your session.Once again, how long you play takes precedence for comp rewards.

Once you’re established as a steady player you’ll receive offers in your mailbox(snail mail and/or e-mail).

If you’re a table game player that wagers $25 per hand and higher, ask the pit boss to rate you. S/he will keep track of your average bet size for as long as you play. If you play for two or three hours always ask if you’re entitled to any comps.

For table games,the comps players receive depends on the game you’re playing. For example, three hours of Blackjack at your theoretical loss of 0.5% will earn you less in rewards than three hours of Caribbean Stud Poker, where your expected loss is 5.2%.

The same applies to slot and video poker machines. For example, three hours of video poker play will earn you less in comps than the same time at a slot machine, because video poker has a skill element to it, whereas slots do not.

Where you play is also a factor. Playing as a Vegas locals casino could earn you more generous rewards than playing the same amount of time at the upscale Wynn and Bellagio resorts.

When to Talk to a Host

If you’re planning to stay for a few days call the casino and ask to speak to a casino host. S/he can offer you special room rates and will book your room for you. Tell the host what games you play and what your betting level is. You may also want to enquire about making an upfront cashier deposit. For example, if you’re staying for four days and deposit $2,000, you can draw out $500 a day to prove your betting level. If you’re playing tables get to know the pit crew(s). This can go a long way with your host relationship.

Remember, always be a responsible gambler. Always let the casino comp your play. Never play just for comps.

Good Luck!

High Five Poker: The Casino Table Game Where the Joker Is Wild

High Five Poker is a casino table game originally developed and marketed by SHFL entertainment. The objective is to have a better five card poker hand than the dealer. If you ever played Pai Gow Poker you’ll find some similarities in that it uses a 53-card deck, where the 53rd card is a Joker. This lone semi-wild card can be used to complete a Straight, Flush, Straight Flush, or Royal Flush; otherwise it can be used as an Ace.

High Five Poker tables are currently at The Brass Ass (real name) Casino in Cripple Creek, CO, which also offers a progressive version.

How High Five Poker is Played

The table has seats for up to six players. Players must first make an Ante wager. The dealer will then deal seven cards face down in a clockwise manner to each player, and seven to him or herself. Each player then examines his or her cards and makes one of the following decisions:

– Fold, forfeiting the Ante bet.

– Discard two cards while keeping the best five card poker hand and make a Play bet equal to the Ante wager.

The dealer then reveals the house cards to make the best five card poker hand. The dealer qualifies if he or she has at least a pair of sixes or against a player who has a straight.

For example, if the dealer has a pair of deuces and player number 1 has a straight, and player number 2 has a pair of three’s, the dealer qualifies against player 1 but not against player number 2. So, what happens to the payouts when the dealer does or does not qualify?

– If the dealer does not qualify, the Ante bet pays even money, and the Play bet pushes.

– If the dealer qualifies and beats the player, the player’s Ante and Play bets lose.

– If the dealer qualifies and is beaten by the player, the player’s Ante and Play bets pay even money.

– If the dealer qualifies and ties the player, the player’s Ante and Play bets push.

The dealer works counter-clockwise when determining the outcome of all of the remaining players’ wagers. The house edge is about 3.6%.

Trips Side Bet

The Trips side Bet pays for a player hand with Three of a Kind or better, regardless if the player wins or loses the hand, according to the following table:

Three of a Kind pays 1/1

Straight pays 2/1

Flush pays 4/1

Full House pays 7/1

Full House (Aces Full) 20/1

Four of a Kind pays 40/1

Straight Flush pays 50/1

Royal Flush pays 100/1

Five Aces (Four Aces w/Joker) 200/1

Pay tables may vary slightly between jurisdictions.

Strategy

The strategy for this game is quite basic in that the dealer does not qualify if he or she has less than a pair of sixes, then you should fold with less than a pair of sixes. Otherwise make a play bet.

The game is relatively simple to play.

Good Luck!