Poker for beginners- a guide

Learning the basics of poker in this simple guide will get you ready to hit the tables. We’ll teach you the lingo; give tips on what to look out for and how to keep your cool.

Glossary of the rounds of betting – each player has four options:

  • Raise – increase the wager required to continue playing suggests this player has a good hand or wants people to think he has.
  • Fold – this player however, doesn’t have a good hand and decides he cannot win this hand. Laying down their cards he cannot win the hand but will not lose anymore chips.
  • Call – once the stakes have been raised, if raised again, players will choose either to give in, fold or to call. Call means to equal the amount wagered by the player who has raised.
  • Check – If no one has decided to increase the wager required to play. A player may stand by checking, or passing on their option to bet.

The ranking of hands; lowest to highest

  • High Card- If no other hand can be played it rests solely on the highest valued single card.
  • One Pair- Formed when you have two of any of the same cards.
  • Two Pairs- More than one player has two pairs, the player with the highest pair wins.
  • Three of a Kind- A player has three of the same card
  • Straight- Five- hand consisting of a running sequence of cards.
  • Flush- All five cards in the hand are of the same suit, this could be hearts, clubs, spades or diamonds.
  • Full House- A combination of three-of-a-kind and a pair in the same hand.
  • Four of a Kind- All four of one number (a powerful hand!)
  • Straight Flush- Very rare! This is made up of five consecutive cards, all from the same suit
  • Royal Flush- This is the best hand you can get. It consists of a Straight Flush that runs to the Ace.

Dos and Don’ts

Do…
  • Make quick decisions and stick to them, stalling can hold up the game and could show your lack of confidence- always pay attention
  • Keep positive – treat your tablemates and dealer with respect. Be courteous and avoid offensive language.
  • Wait your turn to announce your actions whether you’re going to bet, call, raise or fold.
  • Keep your cards on the table – they have to remain visible as if held up it gives your opponents a chance to see them. It also tells your dealer you are an active player.
Don’t…
  • Give away your level of experience – keep your cool
  • Throw chips in the middle. It forces the counter to recount the pot which in turn slows down the game.
  • Discuss your cards during a hand – other players won’t welcome the distraction
  • Leave your phone in your pocket. You can’t ask for help via a mobile to gain advantage over the other players.

Most importantly…How to keep your cool

Don’t let your emotions ruin your game. Even if you play the perfect hand and it gets beaten – this happens good hands can get one upped. It is how you react that makes you a winner in the long term. Remember poker is meant to be fun!

Tilt is poker talk for letting a ‘bad beat’ get to you. Commonly people think this should mean they are in for some luck and start playing hands they shouldn’t in a bid to regain some winnings, however this can be used against you by other players if they see you playing risky hands. However, don’t lose confidence and start passing on good hands!

Become a pro and identify tilt and limit the damage, a few ways to do this would be:

  • Learn from these mistakes. After all, you are only a newbie to the game.
  • Take a breather – head to the Rainbow Casino Restaurant for five!
  • Head to a lower risk table – keep up the practice but lose less.
  • Read up on poker and keep learning

Why not put this into practice? At Rainbow Casino we have a fantastic range of casino games available for beginners and pros alike. If you would prefer to get some experience under your belt, we offer gaming tuition for those who aren’t sure!