Basic Poker Strategy

August 6, 2009

The game of poker is played normally with a standard deck of 52 cards. As with all card games, there are many different versions which can played, but each require a hand of only 5 cards. Normally the winning play will have the highest hand in card value, though in games such as hi-lo where the lowest wins.

All rules and stake values are set at the beginning of each game, by all players ensuring it is fair. In most games a initial bet has to be played before the cards are dealt.

The number of cards which are dealt depend on the game which is being played and also agreed by the dealer at the start of the game. In non-pro games the dealer is normally always the player to the left of the previous player who deals in the round previously, this ensures every player has a go. In online and casino games the first player is given a special button which normally goes from player to player after each round, giving the dealer option to all players. Of course in real games the dealer is done in-house, and players have no control over the actions.

The betting starts as soon as everyone at the table receives their first set of cards . In any game which up-cards the player usually with the lowest hand place the first bet. In games where the cards are not shown the player who left of the dealer is the first to bet. The opening player has the option to ‘check’ which then moves the betting responsibility to the next player, this can continue till every player has ‘checked’. When a bet is player, the other must either call, put an equal amount, raise the bet or ‘fold’ which make them forfeit the hand. If the bet is raised, all players who have already betted much either make a new bet or ‘fold’ or their next turn. There are many different poker games which have a restriction on the number of raises which can made, and there are games which do not.

In some of the games you can get an opportunity to change some of the original card which you received from the dealer, in turn you get new ones of the same number. This allows for a second form of betting to occur. In games such as stud, this is not possible but you are given more opportunities to bet as each series of cards are different from the previous round of betting.

Winning When all card have been given out, and all bet have been made the winner is determined by the highest series of card value unless of course all other player have ‘folded’ giving the last man standing the winnings. This is normally done for all poker games except in hi-lo and lo games where a different rules applies. In Hi-lo games there are two winners, this is always the highest and lowest hands. Whilst in Lo game the winner is the one who has the lowest card series. Declaring card only happens when a player has called another player to reveal their hand, otherwise there is no need to show. The main principle of poker is about out bluffing your opponent, hopefully folding before you do.