Poker is arguably the most well-known and popular card game on the entire planet. Yet it’s one that occasional card players invariably approach with trepidation. Perhaps that’s not surprising when to so many of us, most of what we know about poker is what we’ve seen on the big or small screen. After all, whether it’s a high-stakes game in a James Bond film like Casino Royale or real-world pros duking it out in the World Series of Poker, it can seem like a game best left to the experts.
That impression, however, couldn’t be further from the truth. In this age of online gaming, poker is more accessible than ever. Whether it’s by way of a simple smartphone app or perhaps playing at a live dealer casino, there’s nothing to stop even a complete novice from learning to play poker. Here, we’ll take a look at two variations of the game that are perfect for beginners. Once you’ve mastered them, you’ll be ready to try more advanced games like Texas Holdem or Omaha with confidence.
This is by far the most popular entry point for starting to play poker. You can play in a real casino, an online one or just for fun on a phone app. When you first start out, the latter option is best for learning the basics. People are drawn to video poker because it’s just you versus the machine. With no dealer and no other players, there’s zero risk of making a fool of yourself!
You are presented with five cards, and can hold as many of them as you wish, exchanging the rest. So for example, if you are dealt three kings, a two and a nine, you’ll hold the kings and discard the two and nine in the hope of being dealt another king and getting four of a kind. There’s a useful table at the side of the screen that shows what each hand is worth, to help you decide what to hold.
There are plenty of variations of video poker, but these simply offer different rewards for different kinds of hands. The basic gameplay is exactly the same. Most people start with Jacks or Better and once you are comfortable and know what you are doing, you can try other versions.
Three card poker
If you enjoy playing baccarat or blackjack, you’ll love three card poker, and find it no harder to master. It’s conceptually similar in that the objective is to beat the dealer’s hand. You are each dealt three cards, and you must decide whether you want to bet on your hand being better than the dealer’s.
There are two wagers you can place. A pair plus wager is placed before you see your cards and is a bet that you will have a pair or better. Once you’ve looked at your cards, you can then elect to place a play wager if you think your hand will beat the dealer’s.
The beauty of this game is that with three cards, there are even fewer variations than there are in video poker. This means you will have the different hand rankings committed to memory in no time.
Let us know if you’ve ever tried these two poker card games. Have you played a hand of Texas Holdem? What’d you think of it? Let us know in the comment section below.
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