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The Poker Deck:
Poker is played with a fifty-two card deck that is made up of a combination of four different suits, clubs, diamonds, hearts and spades. Each suit includes numbered cards with values from two to 10, and face cards that all have a value of 10. Face cards include Jack, Queen, King and Aces. There are many different variations of Poker Online such as Draw and Lowball that may include an additional card, but our focus will be on learning the basics of traditional Poker. In most Poker games, the Ace can be either the highest card in the deck, or the lowest.

Wild Cards:
If you grew up playing poker around the house, then you undoubtedly played using wild cards. Heck, I remember having more wild cards than non wild cards when I started playing as a young kid. In Online Poker, you won’t see any wild cards, so make sure you get that old habit out of your routine.

Suits:
Suits, not here – so get into something comfortable and with big pockets for your winnings. We mentioned that a typical deck of cards used in Poker consist of fifty-two cards and four suits. There are thirteen cards in each suite (2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, Jack, Queen, King and an Ace). One suite does not have a higher ranking than any other suite. For example, A hand full of Spades does not outrank a hand full of Hearts holding the same value of cards.

The Pot:
We are in it for the Pot! That’s right, if you’re not playing Online Poker in order to win the big pot, then you have no business at the table. The pot starts off with players putting in an ante and blinds (for the few players each round that are required to plop down the blinds for that round). After all the players have gotten their cards, a series of raises and calls happen. Players can raise or meet a raise and do so depending on how strong they think their hand is compared to the other players still in.

Possible Player Actions:
It is very important to understand the different actions you have as a player when involved in a Poker Game. Let’s take a look at the five possible actions you will be faced with.

Check: When there is no bet currently on the table and a player does not want to place a bet, that action is known as a check. Remember, a player may only check if there are no pending bets.

  • Bet:Bets are made during each round of Poker and involves a player raising the pot. After a bet is made, the remaining players can call or raise again.
  • Call: This is when a player matches the current bet on the table.
  • Raise: This means increasing the amount of the current bet.
  • Fold: Do this if you want to drop out of the current hand. If you fold, you will wait until the next poker hand is dealt to participate again.

Order of Play:
Although online poker pretty much takes care of the order of play, it is helpful to understand how this works none the less. The play of a hand always works clockwise, starting with the player in first position, and concluding with the player in last position. Each player acts after the player to his immediate right. If no action is made, then play continues to the player in last position. I know that sounds a little generic – the player in first position, but to determine the player in first position requires knowing the house rules and what version of Casino Poker is being played. Often, the first two poker player after the dealer are the ones who contribute the blinds, but it may vary.

Blinds and Antes:
Depending on where you play, players may be required to ante or post a blind. An ante is a buy in to the round and is not considered a part of the players first bet. An ante is simply your commitment to play that round. A blind on the other hand is a required bet and includes a small blind and a big blind. This is a quick way to get the pot going and sometimes increases as the Poker Game play increases. The same two players do not continually post the blinds, as they rotate around the table so that each player contributes.

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