What is the main poker terminology a beginner needs to know?
At the start of the game you may need to put in an ‘ante’ – this is a contribution to the pot that all players must make. Depending on your position at the table, you may also need to contribute a ‘blind’ – this is a mandatory contribution made by the two players to the left of the dealer.
Having a mathematical brain can be a great help when it comes to playing poker. As an example, the odds of getting an Ace as your first card are four in 52 (7.7%) while the odds of getting any diamond as your first card are one in four.
The first act of the game is being dealt your opening two cards. The strength of your opening cards will determine if you want to continue or not. You can either ‘call’, ‘raise’ or ‘fold’. To ‘call’ means that you will match the minimum existing bet that has been placed, while to ‘raise’ means you want to bet more than the existing minimum bet. To ‘fold’ means that you withdraw from the hand.
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After the first round of bets has been placed, three cards are dealt face up – this is called the ‘flop’.
This is where you need to be able to see how your cards will combine with the three in the flop, therefore, knowing which hands are the most valuable is crucial. The top four hands are detailed below:
Royal Flush – the best possible hand consisting of Ace, King, Queen, Jack, and 10 of the same suit.
Straight Flush – five cards of the same suit in ascending numerical order, e.g. 3,4,5,6,7 of spades.
Four of a kind – four cards of the same value, e.g. 4,4,4,4.
Full house – three of one value and two of another, e.g. three 7s and two Jacks.
If you are confident that you can make up a good strength hand, you will probably want to stay for the next card to be dealt. This is known as the ‘turn’.
The final card dealt is called the ‘river’.