Hello, welcome to PokerStars Learn. I’m James Hartigan and this is the only ‘How to Play Poker… for Beginners’ guide you need to start your poker journey. After watching this video, you will know the basics and be able to play your first hand of poker. You could check more rules here :
And if you want to learn more, please don’t forget to subscribe to our channel. So, when we talk about poker, the most popular version of the game – which you see in movies, on TV, and live streams – is No Limit Texas Hold’em, and that’s what we are going to learn to play in this video.
The aim of Texas Hold’em is simple: make the best five-card poker hand… from the two cards you’ve been dealt and the five shared cards… in the middle of the table. Or act like you have the best five-card hand! So what beats what? Well, let’s run through the official hand rankings, starting at the bottom and working your way to the top.
The worst you can have is a high card. No two cards are the same, and the five cards don’t connect in any other way. Ideally, you’d like to have at least one pair: two cards of the same value. Aces are the highest pair.
A pair of twos is the lowest. Two pair is better. Pretty self-explanatory. In this example, a pair of Kings and a pair of Sixes. Three-of-a-kind is also pretty self-explanatory, and it beats two pair.
Next up, a straight: Five cards in a row of different suits. An ace can be high or low but no wraparounds are allowed. Queen-King-Ace-Two-Three is not a hand! Then a flush: Five cards of the same suit, doesn’t matter what.
.. order they’re in. A full house – also known as a boat – It’s where you have three-of-a-kind plus a pair, That is a very strong hand, but it’s still beaten by quads, officially known as four-of-a-kind.
A straight flush is an incredibly rare hand. Five cards in a row, all of the same suit. And the Royal Flush is unbeatable. It’s a straight flush – Ten to the Ace. Please note your chances of being dealt this hand are roughly 30,000 to 1! And those are the hand rankings.
To recap: It goes high card, one pair, two pair, three-of-a-kind, a straight, a flush, a full house, four-of-a-kind, straight flush, and the Royal Flush. There’s also a downloadable hand rankings guide in the description.
This is useful to have by your side for easy reference when you’re starting to play the game. So, how does a hand of poker play out? Let’s start with three important positions at the table…
The button, sometimes referred to as the dealer button, and to their immediate left, the small blind and the big blind. Before any cards are dealt, they have to put chips in, they are… forced to bet blind.
Hence, the name. the player in the big blind posts the current minimum bet, with the player in the small blind – to their right – posting half that amount. The cards will then be dealt in a clockwise order, starting with.
.. the player to the left of the button. Now, if you play online or at a casino, you won’t have to worry about dealing. But if you’re playing privately with friends, it’s standard for the… player with the dealer button to deal the hand.
Once everyone has been dealt two cards, known as their ‘hole cards,’ it’s time for the first betting round. Now, because the players in the small blind and big blind have…. already been forced to bet, the action starts with the player to their left.
This player has a decision to make based on the two cards they’ve been dealt. They can fold and wait for the next hand, but if they want to stay in, they can ‘call’, in other words, match… the amount of the big blind, or they can raise and set a new bet.
.. that every other player has to match. The minimum raise is double the big blind. And the maximum? Well, it depends on the type of game, but if you’re playing No Limit, there isn’t a maximum! At any point, a player can go ‘all in’ and bet everything.
.. in front of them. If a player raises and everybody else folds, the hand is over. But for the sake of argument, let’s assume someone raises and… one or more players match this bet. That means we move to the next round and we get to see the ‘flop:’ three cards dealt face-up in the middle of the table.
These are often referred to as community cards, because… they are shared by all the players. So, everyone now has a five-card poker hand with more cards… still to come. We then have the second betting round.
The action starts with the first active player to the left of the dealer. And because there are no longer any forced bets, this player doesn’t… have to put chips into the pot. They can check for free.
This means the action passes to the next player… who can also check or bet. Let’s recap the basic actions in a round of betting. ‘Check’ means I’m not betting, but I’m staying in the hand. I’m passing the action along to the next player and I will react.
.. to whatever they decide to do. ‘Bet’ means I’m putting chips into the pot. ‘Call’ means I’m matching the bet. ‘Raise’ means I’m increasing the size of the bet. And ‘fold’ means I don’t want to call the bet.
I’m throwing my hand away and surrendering the pot. Remember, you can’t check once there’s a bet in front of you. If you’re not willing to commit any more chips, you have to fold. So, if we make it to the end of the second betting round.
.. at least two players are still in, and another card is dealt face-up… in the middle of the table. This is called the ‘turn.’ Each player now has six cards to choose from when trying… to make a good five-card poker hand.
There’s then another round of betting before the ‘river’ card… is dealt face-up next to the flop and turn. Now everyone has seven cards available to them. Remember the game aims to make the best five-card hand.
This could be a combination of two hole cards and three… community cards, one plus four, or it could be the five cards… in the middle of the table. This is known as playing the board. After one final betting round, once all the bets are matched, it’s time for ‘showdown.
‘ This is where you finally show your hand. And if it’s better than everyone else’s, you win all the chips in the pot. Once a hand is over, the dealer button is moved one spot to the left, meaning the small blind and big blind positions also rotate.
.. clockwise, and the next hand begins. And you start again. So, now you know how a hand of poker works. I’m James Hartigan, and this has been the guide on… ‘How to Play Poker for Beginners’ from PokerStars.
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