For decades, poker has been one of the most popular casino games in Southeast Asia. Various poker types have been stable in many physical and online casinos in Singapore and Malaysia, and countless gamblers enjoy playing the game for different reasons. Poker is highly considered a social game, and playing it against other gamblers makes poker games more fun. In addition, poker is a game of wit, and gamblers must have reliable strategies to give them an advantage over other players.
And although poker is one of the most fun online casino games, it can look intimidating to rookie gamblers. The game’s technicalities are pretty simple, although the rules can be complicated for beginners. So, to help you out, here are the basic things you need to know to help you start your poker journey.
Basic Rules and Gameplay
For rookie gamblers, the best way to start learning about poker is by understanding the rules of the most popular poker type in a casino, the Texas Hold ’em. This poker type requires gamblers to have the highest hand to win, or at least pretend they have the highest hand at the table. Card draws and placing bets go clockwise, with players having the option to check, raise, or fold on each betting round. For the betting round to finish, all players must be able to put the same amount in the pot.
The game will start with the dealer drawing players with two cards each, and the first betting round will begin after that. Players who do not have strong cards usually fold in this stage already and wait for the next game. Once done, three cards will be dealt and shown to all players, commonly known as “the flop.” This would give the remaining gamblers a chance to see if they will be able to create a firm hand or not.
Another betting round will ensue before the dealer reveals the fourth card, known as “the turn.” The remaining players usually take their time on this round, as any wrong move can result in a loss. Those who do not have a strong hand also start mind games with other remaining gamblers by bluffing for a chance to force them to fold. Once the betting round is done, the active punters will then be shown “the river,” which is each poker game’s fifth and final card.
The remaining players will then go on another betting round, and if there is more than one player left after it, the gamblers will go to “the showdown.” The players will reveal their cards, and whoever has the highest hand will win. However, there are also instances of identical hands, and the pot will be divided among the players with those hands.
It is already stated above that having the “highest hand” should be the primary goal of poker players. So, for beginners who are still learning, here are the ten possible hand rankings you will encounter when you start playing poker.
· High Card
Also called “no pair hand,” the high card is at the bottom of the chain. This usually happens when all five cards dealt do not share the same suit or show a sequence. When this occurs, the remaining players must show their highest card and compare it to others, and the gamblers with the highest card value win. It should be noted that the Ace card is considered the highest in poker and is considered a strong card during “no pair hand” situations.
· One Pair
The following standard hand that might come up in every poker game is the one pair. Here, the player must be able to have two cards of the same value, with the other three cards coming from different ranks. In a situation where players go to a showdown with one pair, the gambler with the higher pair or highest non-paired card wins.
· Two Pair
If there is one thing that could beat one pair, then it should be a two-pair. For this to happen, the player must have two pairs of cards with the same value (but different ranks). Again, in a showdown with players all having two pairs, the player with the higher pair value will be declared the winner.
· Three of a Kind
This is where uncommon hands usually begin. As you might have guessed, a three-of-a-kind hand comprises three cards with the same rank and two unpaired cards. Those with a higher card ranking will usually win at the showdown. The probability for this hand to appear is 1 in 47 and can be considered enough to win a handful of poker games.
This is the first in the hand rankings requiring players to use all five cards to win. It is a mighty hand that will come in handy once drawn. Here, the player must have five straight cards but does not belong in the same suit.
The worst possible straight hand a gambler can land is “a straight to 5” or “the wheel,” composed of the Ace-Two-Three-Four-Five cards. Meanwhile, the best possible straight hand that anyone can receive is the “straight to Ace” or “Broadway,” comprised of Ten-Jack-Queen-King-Ace cards.
This is another five-card combination where all cards belong to the same suit but should not be sequential. Even though it is already reasonably strong, it does not mean that players should already put all their money on the line as it can still be beaten. If two or more players have a flush in the showdown, the winner will be determined by who has the highest ranked card. For example, an Ace-4-3-2-1 (hearts) flush hand will beat the King-Queen-10-9-5 (spades) flush hand as Ace is always considered the highest card in poker.
· Full House
A full house hand is basically a combination of three of a kind and one pair. The three-of-a-kind is always played first during a showdown with the remaining players with a full house. The player with the higher card rankings wins, regardless of their one pair.
· Four of a Kind
As the name suggests, the player must be able to land four cards of the same value, along with a completely random fifth card to complete this hand. This is one of the strongest hands in poker, although it is also one of the rarest to come up with. This hand can almost guarantee any poker player a win unless their opponent landed a straight or royal flush.
· Straight Flush
With almost a guaranteed win to the players, the straight and royal flushes are some of the most challenging hands to complete when playing poker. As the name suggests, a straight flush is basically a combination of a straight hand and a flush hand. This means the five cards must be sequential, less than ten, and all belong to the same suit.
The strongest hand in poker is the royal flush, which is the regal version of a straight flush. Here, the player must be able to have all the best cards in a suit (T-J-Q-K-A) to complete the hand. The probability of landing a royal flush is tiny, so it is hard to achieve, even in professional tournaments. But completing it means guaranteed victory as no other hand can beat the royal flush.