Texas Holdem Poker at GamblingCastle.com

How to Play Poker

Poker has grown to become more than a mere game. Knowing how to play poker has become an important skill… almost like being able to text. It has become a very important for everyone to know how to play poker as everyone is playing it now around the world. If you don’t know how to play poker, you are missing out on many possible social poker games… playing poker on the internet… or just enjoying the many poker shows on television.

There are many different varieties of poker you can play. The most common one played by most people a few years back in simple home games, was 5 card draw. Things have evolved over the past few years and to know how to play Texas Holdem poker these days is to know how to play poker.

Texas Holdem is the most common version of multi-player poker played in the entire world. It is a game of skill and you can learn how to play the game and improve constantly. Playing poker involves some luck from time to time, but in the long run you are in control of how well or badly you do. When you learn how to play poker you can develop a few key skills, which will ensure that you regularly win your home games. You can then also play in small tournaments in your area without embarrassing yourself.

You can then even play online poker and make some money if you follow these simple rules. If you would like to make more serious money, there are many strategy sections on our website, which would help you to improve your play and put you on the right path towards becoming a good poker player.

But let’s get down to the details. How does poker work?

The very basic idea of poker is to make the best possible five card hand from the cards available to you.
In Texas Holdem Poker you get dealt two pocket cards, which only you can see, and then five community cards are dealt face up on the table.

The combinations of these cards need to make your best five card hand. There are two important things to look at when playing poker. First of you need to make sure of the strength of the cards dealt to you. You can read more about this in our section on poker starting hands .

In short it is always best to concentrate on playing only higher quality hands as they have better odds of turning into winning hands. Players will sometimes win with low quality cards, but in the long run they won’t.

A very important second aspect is to understand which poker hands are winning poker hands and in what order they go. Have a look at our page on poker winning hands.

When you start to play poker one of the best ways to learn the basic run of the game is to play for free at an online poker room. There would be many wild players there, but you would get a good idea of how the game runs.
If you have a good idea it would then be good to try out a few games at a very low level. This would mean that you wouldn’t win much if you get great hands, but you would definitely not lose much either.

Here are a few simple rules to follow to make sure you get going in the right direction:

  • If you want to learn how to play poker, have a look at our section on Texas Holdem poker.
  • Don’t bluff. By bluffing you are leaning towards playing on luck and you don’t learn to play sensible poker.
  • Start of very conservative. When you play for the first time, follow our guide on good poker starting hands and play only with these cards. This will create a good basis from which to play good poker.
  • When you hit good hands, bet them. There are many instances when you will have a good hand, which is probably the strongest at that time, and then end up losing. This will happen more often than not if you don’t bet on your stronger hands. For example say you have pocket 8’s and the flop comes 8, 9, Q all of hearts. You will have a fairly strong hand with your set of 8’s, but there are many ways that people can beat you if they stay in the pot. Some may have straight draws… some may have flush draws. If either of them hit the card they need, you will be beat and lose money. It is always worth taking what money is in the pot by betting strongly, rather than risking losing a lot at a later stage.
  • There is one exception to betting your good hands. It is called slow playing. Let’s say for example you get two Q’s and you bet a lot before the flop. The flop is dealt and it is Q, 9, 9. You have a full house! This is a very strong hand. By betting now, people will look at the cards and be very afraid of what you might have. Here it makes sense not to place a bet. You then wait for your opponents to bet and you call them. Only once the last card is dealt, does it make sense to place a bet to try and get extra money out of your opponents. Slow playing is very useful in disguising your very strong hand. It is a way of getting more money into the pot without really taking any risk.
  • Risk vs. Reward. You need to look at each hand in terms of risk vs. reward. If the reward is too small, don’t bother. If your cards are too weak and someone bets, fold. Don’t waste your chips on longshots. By doing this will see your chip stack quickly shrinking until it is gone.
  • I hope this gives you an idea about how to play poker. If you have read through the sections we mentioned above and you have practiced in home games or online, you can move it up a step. You can then check back regularly and read through our poker strategy section to constantly improve your game.