How to Play Poker

New to Sky Poker? Need to learn how to play poker? Don’t worry – we’ve got a quick introduction to Texas Hold’em, the most common form of poker for you right here!

Texas Hold'em Poker Rules

Before any cards are dealt, one player is given the ‘dealer button’ – a small disc which shows the nominal dealer for the hand. The two players to the left of the dealer and forced to put in ‘blinds’; the player to the immediate left puts in the ‘small blind’, and the player to their left is forced to put in the ‘big blind’. This ensures there’s always money to be won in each pot.

In Texas Hold’em (which is the main poker game played at the moment), each player is then dealt two cards face down. Players can look at their own cards and then the action begins with the player to the left of the big blind. Action then continues around the table in a clockwise direction. Players can either bet, call or fold their hand. This can be based on the hand being good (e.g., a pair of aces) or because the player wants to bluff and represent a good hand. Here’s what each of the terms means:

Fold – you don’t want to put any more money in the pot. You throw your cards back to the dealer face down and these are discarded. The pile of discarded cards is known as ‘the muck’. You cannot win any of the money in the pot once you have folded.

Call – you want to stay in the hand and are willing to match the last bet. This could be the amount of the big blind or the new higher amount if someone else has raised before you.

Bet – this is when you want to increase the size of the bet. You have to bet at least double the size of the big blind. So, if you are playing 10p/20p blinds, the minimum bet would be to 40p.

Raise – you want to increase the size of the bet further still. Many people tend to nit-pick a little between betting and raising. A bet is the first increase, subsequent increases are ‘raises’. It’s all pretty similar though – aggressive action showing either a strong hand or a potential bluffer!

Once all players have either folded their cards or matched the highest bet made, the dealer deals ‘the flop’. This is three cards face up in the middle of the table and these cards are ‘community cards’ – they can be used by anyone on the table. A round of betting follows again, going clockwise from the dealer button.

After the bets are matched a fourth card is dealt. This is called ‘the turn’. Repeat the same betting action and your last card can be dealt – the river. The fifth and final card completes the ‘community card’ board, and there is a final round of betting. At the end of this, all remaining players show their hole cards and the best five-card hand from the seven available takes the pot.

These are the basics of Texas Hold’em. There’s plenty more to know, but why not head to the Sky Poker Community to ask your next set of questions? You can always watch Sky Poker TV too on Sky Channel 861, or for FREE right here on www.skypoker.com.

Good luck at the tables!

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