PokerStars pro Aditya Agarwal has had an illustrious career playing professional poker. He regularly visits global destinations to participate in the best poker tournaments of the world and a long list of achievements. For the bloggers, it was an evening of enriching conversations with Aditya as to how Poker is a game of skill and tips from the pro himself.
This was the very first time I was playing Poker and here’s what I gathered on How To Play Basic Poker – Card Game
The game requires:
- A standard deck of cards (no Jokers)
- 2 or more players
- Poker chips
The Game play:
Each player is dealt with equal number of cards, and a round of betting ensues.
The rounds of betting work like this: Starting to the left of the dealer, each player has four options:
Raise – A player who thinks he has a good hand (or who wants the other players to think he has a good hand) may increase the wager required to continue playing.
Fold -A player who thinks his hand is not good enough to win and who does not want to wager the increased amount may lay down his cards. He cannot win the hand, but he also will not lose any more chips.
Call – Once a player has raised the stakes, each player must decide whether to raise the stakes again, to give in and fold his hand, or to call, which means to equal the amount wagered by the player who raised.
Check – If no one has increased the wager required to continue, a player may stand pat by checking, or passing on his option to bet.
While there are many varieties of poker games, the same basic rules apply to almost all of them. Players attempt to form the best five-card poker hand possible (see below).
Individual cards are ranked from best to worst. The rank of a card often breaks the tie if two players achieve the same hand. The Ace is the most valuable card. From there, it goes in descending order: King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2.
The ranking of hands, from lowest to highest value:
High card: If no combination can be made, then a player’s hand is valued at the highest single card. If two players have the same high card, then the second highest card would break the tie.
Example: 5♣ 8♦ 10♠ Q♥ A♠
One Pair: A pair is formed when you have two of any of the same cards.
Example: 9♠ 9♦ 5♣ 8♣ K♥
Two Pairs: When more than one player has two pairs, the player with the highest pair wins.
Example: 9♠ 9♦ 5♣ 5♥ 8♥
Three of a Kind: Example: 9♠ 9♦ 9♥ 5♣ 8♣
Straight: A straight is a five-card hand consisting of a running sequence of cards, regardless of suit. If two players have straights, the straight of the higher card wins.
Example: 9♠ 10♠ J♦ Q♥ K♦
Flush: When all five cards in a hand are of the same suit, it is a flush. If two players have a flush, the person with the highest card in that suit wins.
Example: 9♠ 5♠ Q♠ K♠ 7♠
Full House: When a player has three-of-a-kind and a pair in the same hand.
Example: 9♠ 9♦ 9♥ 5♣ 5♥
Four of a Kind: If you have all four of a given number, then you have a very powerful hand.
Example: 9♠ 9♦ 9♥ 9♣ 5♣
Straight Flush: Even rarer than four of a kind, a straight flush is made up of five consecutive cards, all from the same suit.
Example: 9♠ 10♠ J♠ Q♠ K♠
Royal Flush: The best hand of them all is this famous combination, formed by a Straight Flush that runs to the Ace, making it unbeatable.
Example: 10♥ J♥ Q♥ K♥ A♥
Conclusion: Poker is a game of skill, which involves strategy and a defined skill set and it does take some practice to master recognizing the hands and playing correctly. Poker does make for a friendly game to play with family and friends and with familiarity, one can connect better with the game