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To properly play the game of poker, it is essential that you first understand how the game actually works. This guide will talk you through the basic rules of the game so you have a better chance to enjoy your poker and win some money.
The game of Texas Holdem poker is divided into four rounds €“ the hole cards, the flop cards, the turn and the river.
At the start of a hand, every player is dealt two cards €“ their hole cards €“ which are used to decide whether to stay in the game or not. These cards are not revealed to the other players.
If the cards are poor, many players will choose to fold and sit out the rest of the hand.
After the initial round of betting, three more cards are dealt face-up into the centre of the table €“ the flop. This initiates another round of betting or folding as players match their hole cards with the flop cards as best as possible.
A fourth card €“ the turn €“ is then dealt face up on the table starting another round of betting.
Finally a fifth card €“ the river €“ is dealt face up, providing a final opportunity for players to call or raise.
Once betting is complete, the player with the strongest hand wins the pot.
Before any cards are dealt, the player to the immediate right of the dealer must provide the €œsmall blind € €“ an opening contribution to the pot.
The player to their right then places the €œbig blind €, a stake usually twice the value of the small blind.
With both blinds in the pot, the dealer then deals each player their hole cards and proper betting commences.
Regardless of whether you are playing €œPot Limit € or €œNo Limit € poker, betting behaviour is the same.
Players take turns to call or raise the pot or to fold and leave the hand, moving in a clockwise direction around the table.
Once a round of betting has been completed, the dealer moves onto the next round as described above.
In the final round, once the river card has been revealed, betting continues until all players left in the hand call or fold.
There are two ways to win at poker €“ to have the strongest combination of cards, or to bluff your opponents into submission.
Winning with cards means using your hole cards and the community cards to create the highest-ranking hand possible.
Using your skill and guile, you may be able to win with a mediocre hand simply by fooling your opponents into thinking you have something stronger than you do.
Bluffing is a higher-risk strategy because you could get caught out, particularly if one of your opponents has a strong hand.
Occasionally you may find yourself in a €œsplit pot € situation €“ where your hand is of equal strength with that of your opponents. If this happens, all players left in the hand win a share of the pot.
For more in depth guidance about winning hands and strategies, visit PKR.com for free poker and tips on how to win.