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.

How to Play Gin Rummy – The Beginner’s Guide!

Before a beginner learns how to play gin rummy and the tricks and tips in playing the game, one should be familiar with the common terms used associated with this card game.

o Gin rummy- is a card game that consists of two players (more in other variations). The sole objective of the players is to outdo each other’s cards and score the higher points. It is also known in different names such as gin, knock poker, gin poker and poker gin. Gin rummy is card game that is swifter that the traditional rummy game and more calculated than the knock rummy.

A standard deck of cards (52-card pack) is used for this game. And contradictory to other card games, the aces on gin rummy is often used as the card with the least points. Face cards (jacks, queens and kings) have the value of 10 points each.

o Sets- a collection of 3 or 4 cards with the same number and suits like a collection of the 5 card (5 of diamonds, 5 of hearts, 5 of spades and/or 5 of clubs).

o Runs- a collection of 3 or more cards in sequence and in same suites like a collection of 6, 7, 8 and 9 cards (6 of diamonds, 7 of diamonds, 8 of diamonds and 9 of diamonds).

o Melds- the combination or blend of the cards such as the sets (groupings) and the runs (sequence)

o Knocking- to “knock” is to end a particular round of the game before your adversary reaches gin. A player just can’t knock every time he or she wants to because knocking constitutes certain conditions.

Learning how to play the gin rummy is easy. It only gets a little harder when you start learning how to strategize. But the fundamental steps in studying how to play the gin rummy are plain and straightforward.

In simple terms here’s a summary in learning how to play the gin rummy.

1. You and your opponent should receive 10 cards each. The remaining 32 cards will be placed in between the two players or in the middle of the playing table.

2. Check your cards and organize them. If you already have a complete set or run then put the cards together. If you have partial sets or runs then assemble them together so there won’t be any confusion when you’re melding.

3. Take turns in either taking the top card from the “free” cards in the middle or picking out the newest discarded card of your opponent. Alternately discard cards as well.

4. When someone already reached gin, meaning when one player reached 100 points, then the round is done. The winner will get a total of 100 points for winning and the loser will get 25 points for every complete hand he or she have.

5. If the total of your deadwoods is 10 points and below then you may win the game by knocking. The game will end immediately after a player knocked and showed his or her cards.

6. Make a tally of all the points to easily declare the winner at the end of your playing session.

Learning first the basics on how to play gin rummy is more efficient than studying the fundamentals and the strategies at the same time.

Is It Possible To Learn How To Play Blackjack From Movies?

If you took the time to take a poll now as to what the most popular casino card game was the chances are really high that the answer would come back, in most all cases, as blackjack. Why? Easy, it can’t get much simpler than blackjack. A lot of card games have rules and then things you do if they do this and more. Yeah, I know that’s over simplifying some card games. But really, what are the rules applied to blackjack? One, try to get a hand that is as close to twenty-one as possible. Simple.

So when someone wants to know if they can learn how to play blackjack from movies it may cause some to scratch their head in wonder. Really they’d say? Why? There’s only one rule, what’s to learn. Ah, but like every other gambling game, there are tricks that can be learned, absorbed or copied from people who’ve been there, done that. So if asked can you learn blackjack from movies the answer is a resounding yes.

Not only is it a simple and popular casino game but it is also an incredibly popular card game in the world of movies. Simply take a few minutes and scroll down through the movies released in the last five years alone and you’ll find many movies that feature casinos and more importantly blackjack in their theme. Why? Well, the viewers are allowed to live vicariously through that adrenaline that is sent coursing through your veins when you are on the precipice of losing it all or winning big with one turn of a card. The temperament of the world is such that a movie theme that gives viewers hope of changing their financial status, like the characters in the movie, will always be popular.

But, what do they hope to learn from watching movies that feature blackjack games as their theme? Well, there are strategies in anything. Don’t do this if this card turns up. Do this if this card turns up. The possibility is likely that if the house has this then you won’t want to push after this. Those are the kinds of reassuring tips that many viewers hope to garner from movies that feature supposed professionals at blackjack in them.

Would you and should you use these movies that feature blackjack in them as anything other than entertainment? Well, it wouldn’t be a wise decision to quit your job and support yourself as a professional blackjack after all you’ve learned from movies that teach you how to better play blackjack. But, yeah, it may make you a more informed player the next time you get together with friends to play.

Tips on How to Play Poker

One of the most popular casino card games, the game of poker is equally popular online as well as in the brick and concrete casino halls. In these days of Internet and World Wide Web, almost every online casino offers some or all forms of the game of poker. Let us understand the basics of playing poker and discuss on how to play poker.

Poker is basically a gambling card game and any gambling game is usually played to win. However it is necessary knowing how to play the game before start winning. Poker is not widget so that one can easily assemble a few instructions and tips and start playing and winning. It not only involves luck but skill and intelligence on part of the players.

Multiple varieties of poker games are there and each has its own rule and regulations. Even the betting structures can vary from limit games to no limit games. Format of the games also vary from normal ring games to tournaments.

Among the various forms of poker games are the Texas hold’em; Omaha, Omaha hi-lo, Stud Poker, and Stud poker hi-lo. Despite so many formats there is uniformity in the game structures. Basically poker is a game of sequencing the cards and different combinations that decides the winning and losing player.

Usually the players will combine their hole cards with community cards to create the best combinations in poker games. Dealing of the cards distinguishes one form of poker from another. Hands formation and winning high and low hands are the essence of the game that reaches its climax through betting of the players.

In modern poker games, first round of betting starts with forced bet and then the activities go on from left to right. Either the player matches the maximum bet made in the previous round or fold.

Player matching the bet may increase it. With all the players completing their betting rounds or folding, the betting ends. Player that stands out will collect the pot. When multiple players remain in contention even after the betting has closed, the hands would be shown and winner takes the pot.

Money is usually placed voluntarily by the players believing that such bets will render positive value. Save the initial forced bet all other bets are voluntary in the game of poker. And whatever be the skill level of the player, the outcome is largely dependent on chance in the game of poker.