There's simple poker strategy and more complex poker strategy. Online poker strategy is also different from the poker strategy used on land-based games. We'll get you started on some of the simpler strategy pointers and see where you go from there.
Seven-card stud and Limit Texas Hold 'em, are the two most popular and inexpensive games among poker beginners. In Hold 'em, during the first two rounds the minimum bet is three dollars and during the last two rounds, the minimum bet is six dollars. When raising, you use the same limits. The ideal number of players in Texas Hold 'em is ten, but generally up to eleven players may be included. Other possible limits you can encounter are 5/10 or 10/20.
There are two low limit poker games that are popular with beginners in the casino. Seven-card stud and Limit Texas Hold 'em. I chose to learn how to play Hold 'em. The rules of the game are fairly easy to learn. Limit Hold 'em has structured betting and the lowest limit you will find in most casinos is a $3/$6 game. That means the minimum bet is three dollars during the first two rounds of betting and the minimum bet is six dollars during the last two betting rounds. You use the limits when you raise at will. Other limits you may find are 5/10 or 10/20 or higher. I will explain the 3/6 game. Texas Hold 'em can be played by up to eleven players. Ten players are an ideal game and some nice pots can be won.
Since the casino supplies a dealer one player must be the designated dealer who will last act during the betting rounds. A disk or "Button" is used to identify the dealer and this is rotated to the left after each hand. To start a new hand two "Blind" bets are put up or "Posted". The person immediately to the left of the player with the dealer button puts up or "Posts" the "Small Blind" which is approximately half the minimum bet. Since there are no 50 cent chips, the small blind for the $3/$6 game is one dollar. The player to the left of the small blind posts the "Big Blind" which is equal to the minimum bet, which in this case is three dollars. The blinds can be an important part of poker strategy. Knowing how to use blind stealing to your advantage can help you minimize your losses.
The rest of the players do not put up any money to start the hand. Because the dealer button rotates around the table, each player will eventually act as the big blind, small blind, and dealer. In a $3/$6 game, it will cost you four dollars every time the deal makes a complete rotation around the table.
After the blinds are posted each player is dealt two cards face down with the player on the small blind receiving the first card and the player with the dealer button getting the last card. The first betting round begins with the player to the left of the big blind either putting in three dollars to "Call" the
blind bet, or putting in six dollars to "raise" the big blind or folding his hand. This goes around the table in order until it reaches the player who posted the small blind. That player can call the bet by putting in two dollars since a dollar bet was already posted. The last person to act is the big blind. If no one has raised, the dealer will ask if they would like the option. This is the option to raise or just "check". By checking the player does not put in any more money.
There can be up to three raises per betting round. After the first round is completed the dealer will "burn" or discard the top card on the deck. This is done to make sure no one could have accidentally seen the top card. Three cards are dealt and turned face up in the middle of the table. This is known as the "Flop". These are community cards used by all the players. Another betting round begins with the first active player to the left of the dealer button. The minimum bet for this round is also three dollars.
After this round the dealer burns another card and turns a fourth card face up in the middle of the table. This is sometimes referred to as the "Turn." The minimum bet after the turn is now six dollars and begins again with the first active player to the left of the button. When this round is complete the dealer will burn another card and turn a fifth card face up. This is called the "river" or Fifth Street and the final betting round begins with six dollars being the minimum bet.
To determine the winner, players may use any combination of their two down cards and the five cards on the "Board" (Table) to form the highest five card hand. In some rare cases the best hand will be the five cards on board. In that case the active players will split the pot. A sixth card is never used to break a tie.
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Strategy tips for Texas Hold'em Poker
Just overcards on the flop: You can bet with an ace or two minor overcards on the flop, but you should fold if someone raises your bet. If someone bets before you on the flop you can call with two overcards, but fold them at the turn unless your hand improves then. You can call with two major overcards (ie A-J) if someone raises your bet on the flop. You can also check-call a bet on the turn with that kind of hand, unless the board looks threatening.
Poker Strategy For 7 Card Stud
Many articles have been written about the difficulty of being a winning poker player at the low limit games. Although my hours on the table are somewhat limited I have been successful at $1-$5 seven card stud since I started keeping records in June 1996. I started playing casino poker in late 1995, having never played in a home game or any other poker game for money. I consider the period prior to June 1996 to be a trial period. I read some books and got my feet wet. I believe that I had just started winning on a fairly regular basis when I started keeping records during my first poker trip to Vegas. My winnings in 1999, 2000 and to date in 2001 are $996 in 301.5 hours of play, $3.30 an hour. That's two-thirds of a big bet an hour. Over 936.5 hours of play (my total records) I have a win of $835 so I started out with losses and gradually learned how to win at this limit. However, the consensus is that no one makes money at $1-$5. I have consistently won even though my playing time has been limited and I have gone long periods without playing. I always keep reading, thinking about and studying the game. The purpose of this article is to indicate the things I believe have made me a winner. I would appreciate comments on the theories listed.
Poker Biginner's Common Mistakes
Betting out of turn.
You must wait until the player to your right acts. If you bet out of turn this could give an unfair advantage to a player that did not act yet. If you raise out of turn a player that might had called could fold. Or if you fold out of turn you are giving an advantage to the player on your left who now knows you won't raise.
Not knowing what the bet is.
You have to know what the bet is when it is your turn. After the turn in a limit game the bets are double the amount they were before and after the flop. You must also be aware if the bet was raised.
Folding instead of checking.€
Sometimes if the player does not like the flop or turn he will immediately fold when it is his turn. If you are first to act you can check. If everyone else checks, you get to see the next card for free. The same is true if everyone checks before it is your turn, you should also check. The free card may just make your hand.
Throwing chips into the pot.
Place your bet in front of you. This way the dealer sees that your bet is correct. He will scoop them into the pot.
Not protecting your cards.
Place your hands or a chip on top of your cards. If another player's cards mix with yours when they throw in their cards your hand will be declared dead.
Throwing a winning hand into the muck. (Discards)
The cards speak for themselves. Don't immediately throw in your cards if someone calls out a better hand. The dealer will declare the winner of the hand. If you missed a better hand than you thought you had you might just be the winner.
Not controlling your emotions.
Keep your emotions in check. The table is not the place for foul language or temper tantrums. It will not be tolerated. Besides it makes you look foolish. Veteran players as well as new comers occasionally make this mistake.