A Beginner’s Guide To Playing Poker

poker chips
Source: Pixabay

R.F. Foster wrote in the 1937 edition of his famous Foster’s Complete Hoyle game manual that modern-day poker comes from As-Nas, a game played in 17th century Persia. Other gaming historians have mentioned a French game called poque which featured similar play. Either way, poker as we know it today originated in the early 19th century in the United States, particularly in New Orleans and the Mississippi River region. As the game spread, first by Mississippi River steam boats where landowners and traders alike played, and then further across the country once the traders headed on, variations of the game developed, including straight, stud, flush, wild card, lowball, split-pot, and community card poker. The beginning of the 21st century brought another spike in poker’s popularity, in large part due to online casinos and poker tournament TV broadcasts.

Words You Must Know

There are certain terms you will come across as you play poker. Bookmark this page to remind you of what they mean!

  • Blind or Ante = Making a form of a forced bet in the first round of betting.
  • Bet = Placing a wager. The bet is the wager usually placed by the first player in the round.
  • Call = Match the bet. If you don’t call, you’re out of the round.
  • Check = Decline opening the betting in the round. If you’re the first player but you don’t want to set the bet, you call “check” and another player can bet. You then can call.
  • Raise = Increase the bet. Instead of calling, you can instead decide to increase the wager. Every player after you will then need to match your new bet or place a higher one if they wish to stay in the game.
  • Fold = Forfeit the round and lose the money you’ve bet so far.
  • Showdown = If more than one player remains after the last round of betting, all remaining players show their cards to see who wins.

Types Of Poker

There are several variants of poker played in land-based and online casinos. Nearly all follow the standard order of play, but have different hand values, number of betting rounds, cards that are dealt, and other actions taken between the rounds. The variants can be divided into the following groups.

Straight: The oldest and most basic variant, players are dealt a full hidden hand and then raise. This variant can be played with three or five cards.

Draw poker: Players place their bets and then are dealt a complete hidden hand and then replace (“draw”) cards to improve said hand. The most common is the five-card draw, although it is rare in casino and tournament play.

Stud poker: Players receive a combination of face-up and face-down cards in multiple betting rounds. Five-card stud and seven-card stud are the bases for any other stud poker variations, such as Razz and Caribbean Stud.

Community card poker: Players are dealt an incomplete hidden hand which is combined with shared face-up cards to form a 5-card hand. The most popular community card game today is Texas Hold’em followed by Omaha Hold’em.

Poker Hands

Royal Flush and poker chips
Source: Pixabay

From highest to lowest, the winning hands are:

  • Royal Flush – An Ace, King, Queen, Jack, and 10 all of the same suit.
  • Straight Flush – All five cards are of the same suit and sequential rank (ex: 10♣9♣ 8♣ 7♣ 6♣). Straight flushes are further named by their high card, our example being a “ten-high straight flush.”
  • Four of a Kind – A hand that contains four cards of one rank and one card of another. Ex: K♠ K♥ K♣ K♦ 3♥
  • Full House – A hand that contains three cards of one rank and two cards of another. Ex: 4♦ 4♠ 4♣ 9♦ 9♣
  • Flush – A hand that contains five cards of the same suit, but not of sequential rank. Ex: J♥ 10♥ 8♥ 4♥ 3♥
  • Straight – A hand that contains five cards of sequential rank, but not of the same suit. Ex: A♦ K♣ Q♣ J♦ 10♠
  • Three of a Kind – A hand that contains three cards of one rank and two cards of two other ranks. Ex: 6♥ 6♦ 6♠ Q♣ 4♠
  • Two Pair – A hand that contains two cards of one rank, two cards of another rank, and one card of a third rank. Ex: J♥ J♣ 4♣ 4♠ 9♥
  • One Pair – A hand that contains two cards of one rank and three cards of three other ranks. Ex: 9♣ 9♦ Q♠ J♥ 5♥
  • High Card – Fits none of the above categories and is ranked first by the rank of its highest-ranking card, then of the second-highest, and so forth.

Now that you know a bit more about poker, come and give it a try at Mummys Gold online casino. We also have other games such as blackjack, online roulette, and online slots for hours upon hours of entertainment!