Your Chip Stack
At the start of a game of poker all players are allocated an equal amount of chips each. This is known as their chip stack. The chip stack decreases as blinds are taken from your stack and placed in the middle of the table for the winner of the hand. The blinds go up against time so that the game will not last forever.
The objective of the game is to win all the chips from the other players. Once a player has no chips they are eliminated and the game carries on until just one person has all the chips.
Your obstacles are your opponents, alongside the blinds, antes* (if any) and time.
You should always be conscious about how many big blinds you have left because if you do not win any hands, your chip stack will be eaten away by the blinds until eventually you will be eliminated.
The Game, the Communal Cards and the Betting Rounds
The game starts from the Dealer and moves round in a clockwise direction.
All the players are given two cards face down known as the hole cards along with their chip stack. The players need to make the best hand of five cards using their hole cards plus any three cards out of the five communal cards placed in the middle of the table.
After the hole cards have been dealt, there is a round of forced betting. The player left to the Dealer had to post the small blinds and the player sat next to him need to post the big blinds (refer to image below). Each player decides what action (bet/fold/raise) they want to take. Action is taken and the the players still in the hand (who have not folded) wait for the three communal cards known as the “Flop”.
Once again, a further round of betting takes place among the remaining players. The situation is re-evaluated, decisions are made and actions taken. So now it’s time for the “Turn” a single communal card is turned.
Round three of betting takes place > players evaluate situation > decide and act. Finally, it’s time for the “River”. The River is the final communal card to be displayed. The remaining players need to perform one last round of betting before “showdown”.
The final bets are taken and the players show their cards. The winner of that hand is the player with the best hand, i.e. their hole cards + three of the communal cards = the best hand when compared to the hand of the other players.
Here is an example of an 888poker table in action.
- Dealer button: Refer to the yellow cirle illustrated on the above image. The game starts with the player sat to the left of the “Dealer” known as the “Small Blind”.
- Small Blind: Refer to the green circle illustrated on the above image. The small blind is a forced bet to be played at the start of every hand. It is usually half the big blind so for example if the big blind is $50 then the small blind is $25.
- Big Blind: Refer to the blue circle illustrated on the above image. The big blind is double the amount of the small blind and is also a forced bet played once, pre flop, at the beginning of every hand.
- First to act: This player would be sat next to the player outlined in the blue circle. First to act means that you are the first player to take a decision upon what action you want to take with your given two cards. These two cards as known as hole cards.
What actions can you take:
|Check:||This action can be taken at the beginning of every hand except the first round where there is forced betting. Starting from the first person to act, players can check until one opens (places the first bet)|
|Call:||Once a bet is placed a player can match the bet by calling|
|Raise:||Once a bet is placed a player can opt to raise the bet, so if the bet was $10 the raise should be higher. $10 + $10|
|Fold:||You should hand in useless cards face down so as not to give away any information to your opponents.|
The four rounds of betting:
|Round 1||Betting once you receive you hole cards, pre-flop|
|Round 2||Betting post Flop|
|Round 3||Betting post Turn|
|Round 4||Betting post River|
Here is an example of a poker hand.
As you can see Moneyfold’n had a pair of Kings in addition to the third King on the board which would have lead to “three of a kind”, however Harp221122 beat this hand with a “flush”, five cards of the same suit. If you refer to the poker hand rankings you will see that “three of a kind” is fifth on the chart whilst a flush is ranked as third.
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