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Five Key Tips for Beginner Poker Players
Poker is a casino game that’s been around for years - it’s definitely one of the classics. If you’ve heard good things about this game and want to give it a try, then the good news is that poker is available to play at any good casino near you, along with pretty much every online casino site or app out there. Whether you want to play poker in a traditional setting against other players or try it on your own from the comfort of your own home, the option is there. And, if you want to practice before you start betting real money, you’ll be glad to hear that poker game apps are in abundance - Zynga poker is a great smartphone app that allows you to play for in-game chips without spending a penny, or if you prefer console gaming then Prominence Poker is an ideal option for the Xbox or PlayStation.

Whether you want to improve your game when playing for virtual chips, real money online, or real money at the casino, learning poker strategy and understanding the game is crucial. We’ve put together some essential tips for poker beginners.

Poker Card Rankings

Naturally, this is the first step that you want to take before you sit down to play. The good news is that learning general Texas Hold’em poker rules is fairly easy, but spend some time understanding the poker hand ranking - when playing, this will help you determine what to bet depending on how strong the hand you’ve got really is. Poker hand ranking consists of the following:

10. High card: Highest ranking card when no players finish with any of the above
9. One pair: One pair of cards of the same denomination
8. Two pairs: Two sets of any two cards of the same denomination
7. Three of a kind: Three of a kind cards, with any two other cards
6. Straight: Five cards in any suit, in sequence
5. Flush: Five cards from a matching suit
4. Full house: Three of a kind cards, plus another pair
3. Four of a kind: Any four cards with the same denomination
2. Straight flush: Five cards of the same suit, in sequence
1. Royal flush: Court cards plus Ace and ten, of the same suit

You should not begin playing poker before you learn these rankings as they will help you determine how to bet.


You shouldn’t start playing the game before learning positions as this is very important in poker. Generally, if you have a position on other players, this means that you are acting after them, allowing you to see what they do before you make a decision to bet, check or fold. You will know if they bet or check, and how long they take to make a decision, which you can use to your advantage.

For example, seeing your opponent check quickly could be a good way to determine that they have a weak hand and you could use this information to decide to bluff. The hands that you decide to play are affected by the position you’re in; the later position you have, the more pressure you can put on your opponents.

Start at Low Stakes

Before jumping into a game, take this tip into consideration. Many players with some experience have no interest in playing low games, but when you’re just starting out, they can be extremely valuable for learning poker strategy and getting your head around the game. Starting at low stakes is beneficial because:
  • You’ll feel more comfortable and confident knowing that you’re not risking much money, and therefore not going to get burned if you lose a little at the beginning. It gives you a chance to learn the game without breaking the bank in the process.
  • Your skill level will increase when you move up stakes, so starting at the bottom gives you a chance to play against players on your level or lower, giving you a better chance to learn the game instead of simply throwing money at more experienced players.
Keep Your Emotions in Check

Whether you’re playing at your local bricks and mortar casino or at an online casino site like High Stakes Internet Casino, emotions can be your biggest enemy at the poker table. Of course, the way that the game goes could have an effect on your emotions - it’s normal to feel sad or angry if you lose a big bet on a hand that you thought would surely be the winner, but avoid making it even worse when you feel bad. This is especially true if you’re playing at, which offers massive upper limits for wagers and gives you the chance to really win big once you’ve got poker strategy down and have gained more experience in the game.

As a general rule of thumb, avoid playing poker for money when you’re tired, angry or drunk - if you really can’t get enough of the game or have the urge to play, a game where you can play for virtual chips can be a good way to get your fix without having to worry about making decisions with your money that you might regret later.

Learn Poker Odds

Finally, learning poker odds gives you a better understanding of whether or not you have a winning hand. Once you know this, it becomes easier to base your decisions on odds rather than your emotions. Understanding the most common Texas Hold’em hands, and how many outs you will have to improve a specific hand is a good place to start. These include:
  • Straight flush draw: 15 outs
  • Flush draw and gut-shot: 12 outs
  • Flush draw: 9 outs
  • Open-ended straight draw: 8 outs
  • Two over cards: 6 outs
  • Gut-shot: 4 outs
Once you’ve got a basic understanding of poker odds, it becomes easier to put your opponent on a range. Understanding how many outs you actually have will allow you to make a more educated decision. There are many factors to suggest the hands your opponent could be playing, including their position, post-flop action of bet or check, and their decision-making time.

Getting good at poker takes time and practice, so start here and play the game as much as you can.
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