How To Play Poker Online Guide To Poker Hand Play Basics Rules
In part two of the learn how to play poker online free poker online lesson series we will step on from part 1 where we outlined the bare bones of the game.
In this lesson you will learn exactly how and hand of poker is played out and at the end will be able to start playing (if tentatively!)
To begin, the action starts as the blind bets are laid by the Small and Big Blinds (SB and BB). Now the cards get into action. If you are not sure what is meant by blind bets, small and big blind then you need to go back to part one of the guide for a definition.
Moving clockwise around the table from the Dealer (DB), each player receives two cards dealt face down, one card at a time. These are your Pocket Cards, also known simply as pockets and alternatively hole cards.
Now the betting begins; and, after all, isn’t that why you decided to take up the game of poker? That is why I’m sure you now find yourself seated at a free poker online tournament table isn’t it? The whole betting and winning with it’s associated moves of dare and deception is the main reason you’ve joined that online poker site be it free poker online or massive stakes isn’t it?
Of course it is, the game of poker is all about winning money! Nothing more, nothing less (with the possible exception of social interaction in the chat lobby or the table’s chat box).
At this point in the hand (holding 2 pocket cards), each player is betting on what hand they feel their pocket cards may lead to.
The betting begins with the player to the immediate left of the Big Blind (BB).
This player sits in what’s known as the Under The Gun position, UTG for short. He’s given the UTG label primarily because the Small Blind and Big Blind players were forced to put up bets prior to receiving any cards.
Thus, both the SB and BB are already taking part in the hand; albeit not voluntarily, at least not yet; they’ll have to wait until the betting comes around to them.
And, with this round of betting, each player has three choices:
1) To fold. You do this if you think you have rubbish cards, also called « rags » cards. By folding in this first round you won’t lose anything but nor can you play the rest of the hand.
2) To raise. Usually when they think that they hold really good pocket cards.
3) Or to call, (match) the Big Blind. You may do this if you think your cards have at least a bit of potential.
A 4th option you may have heard of, checking, often available in subsequent betting rounds, isn’t a choice at this stage.
When the betting reaches the person who posted the Small Blind (SB), if they want to fold then they’ll lose the chips they were forced to put into the pot prior to the cards being dealt. Or, as SB you can Call the BB by putting in the difference between the SB and BB amounts. Or as SB you can choose to Call whatever Raise has been made, make a new Raise or Re-raise the bet amounts to a new level, I advise you watch and learn this process at the start and as SB keep it simple and just Call the BB unless you have awful cards in which case fold them.
Next it is the turn of the BB (Big Blind). If there has been no raise then the BB can Check (do nothing and let the play pass by), or Call, Raise or Re-raise.
In a No Limit Texas holdem tournament the amount a player can use to raise is limited only by the chips they hold (limit games as the name suggests have a limit) If his stack of chips is 1,500, he’s allowed to raise by any amount up to and including the 1,500 (all of his chips).
Should he opt to make a 1,500 chip bet, it would be called an All-In bet. It’s always an all-in bet any time a player raises by the total amount of chips he currently holds.
And, of paramount importance, especially since you’re at the how to play poker online level of the game, make certain that YOUR use of an All-In bet is minimal.
Please try not to become yet another free online poker ‘chip-flinger’ (someone who tosses chips around without regard to the quality of their cards).
When the opening round of betting is completed it’s time to see ‘The Flop’. Things will now start to get really interesting!
The Flop is the set of three cards that are dealt face up in the center of the table by the Dealer.
1) Each player can use these community cards’ to build their hand. Be sure you read up on what card hands beat what so you have an idea of what you can build!
2) Again, as here-to-fore mentioned, the center of the table where these cards are dealt is typically referred to as ‘The Board’.
3) With ‘The Flop’ exposed, it’s time for the next round of betting. And, the betting that will occur is based on the 5 cards now available to each player, i.e., 2 Pocket cards and 3 Board’ cards.
The betting begins with the player to the immediate left of the Dealer Button, regardless of whether the Dealer is still active in the hand or not.
The player to the left of the Dealer Button will keep the initial betting action for the rest of the hand. Later, you’ll come to learn that this is the worst position to be in at the table.
Apart from that, the betting process is the same as it was in ‘pre-flop’ betting. However, keep in mind, all of the players who were dealt ‘Pocket’ cards may not be currently playing the hand as they could have folded during the opening round of betting.
So, whichever remaining player is ‘to the immediate left’ of the Dealer Button (DB), it is that person who is the first player to act; through the hand providing he doesn’t fold.
He can check or bet.
A) If he checks, he’s simply passing the options of checking or betting to the player who sits to his left.
B) If he doesn’t check, and decides to bet, then those that follow will have 3 choices:
1) They can fold
2) They can call
3) Or they can raise. But, since a bet was made, those that follow don’t have the option of ‘checking’.
When the round of betting has finished, it’s time for another card to be dealt face up on The Board.
This fourth card is called The Turn card, or 4th Street, and, again, the card can be employed by all of the remaining players (those players who have not folded). It’s another ‘community card’.
Thus, each remaining player now has access to 6 cards, 4 Board cards, and 2 Pocket cards. Now there are 4 cards on The Board, one additional card to come.
It’s now time for the fifth and final community card to be dealt: The River, or 5th Street.
And, given that all the cards have finally been dealt, each player remaining in the hand can see what their finest five card hand is. Therefore, it’s now time for the final round of betting. And, when the betting ends, the hand is over.
It’s time to see who wins.
Each player that has remained in the hand shows their cards, starting with the last person to initiate a bet. At a cash or free online poker site the software will handle the process of showing the cards.
The winner is decided via use of the universal poker hand rankings. You’ll find that in subsequent chapter; entitled ‘What Beats What’.
If a player wins a pot because every other player has folded, he can decide whether or not to show his cards or not.
Most people don’t, and it’s typically advised by me to never show your cards. If you’re not required to do so; keep ‘em guessing!
Yet, when you reach an ‘advanced level’ of play, you will get a whole different perspective from me. You see, there are times when ‘deceitful strategies’ are going to be added to your acquired set of playing skills. And, a part of the ‘deceitful strategies’ will have you showing your cards. Not now though.
Summing up How To Play Poker For Beginners Free Online Poker Rules Part 2
In part 1 you learned the bare bones of poker, the structure and concepts of the game. Now that you’ve read part 2 you ought to now understand the specific mechanics of a hand of poker. In part 3 we will move on to more poker words and terminology, those crazy card and hand nicknames will be unveiled! But as long as you’ve understood the first 2 parts you can now go and start to play poker. However I do advise you read up on what cards beat what first! Then you’ll get a feel for how to build your hand in the game stages and be able to think about whether to fold, call, raise or check.
At this stage I strongly urge you not to attempt to play on sites where real money is involved, you cannot help but lose all or most of it 99% certain!
Show patience (incidentally that is a key poker skill it’s essential to master) and begin out on one of the excellent free poker sites you can find online. Later when you’re more skilled there is lots of time to win a bunch of money and the time you spend playing free online poker will pave the way for this.
Nick is Marketing Manager for leading free poker site NoPayPOKER. NoPayPOKER.com uses a faux currency called FreeD which means the poker is 100% risk free, this makes it the perfect place to learn how to play poker for beginners, plus if you’re more experienced it’s a great place to practice, oh and the the fact that the FreeD can be cashed in for real Dollars is a nice touch too!
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