Welcome to the exciting world of online poker. Loved by millions across the world, online poker is one of New Zealand’s top online casino games. In our easy to understand beginner’s guide we give you all that you need to know about playing online poker. Poker is a mixture between luck and strategy and offers an incredibly rewarding and exciting experience. Both new and old hands at the game have the same motto though, “I’d rather be lucky than good”. Read our online poker guide and get started on this incredible table game.
The basic rules of online poker
Texas Hold’em, the most popular version of Poker, uses a standard 52 card deck. Each player receives 2 cards and there is a deck of shared cards. Each player uses their two cards (sometimes one in certain cases) to draw from the deck of shared cards to make their best winning hand of 5 cards. What are the best hands to have in poker? Below is the rankings for the best hands to have in poker. As a player, always remember these to know how what your hand is worth!
- Straight Flush (A sequence of the same suit, for example, Heart – 6-5-4-3-2)
- Royal Flush (the suit is all the same and you hold the , sequence A-K-Q-J-T)
- Full House (A pair and a three of a kind)
- Flush (The suit is all the same)
- Four of a Kind (An example would be Q-Q-Q-Q. Four cards of the same value)
- Two-pair (Pairs of two, such as 7-7 AND 2-2)
- Three of a kind (Three of your cards that share the same value like a 4-4-4)
- Pair (Any pair of cards even if it’s an K-K or 5-5)
- High Card (Whatever your highest card is)
How a basic game of poker is played
Starting from left to right of the dealer, each player at the table is dealt two cards including the dealer. The player on the left of the dealer starts the game and can either:
- Bet (place a bet for an amount of chips into the pot)
- Check (do nothing)
If any of the players place a bet the others can:
- Call (placing the amount that is raised into the pot)
- Folding (giving up on their hand and the chips that are placed into the pot)
- Raising (Putting more chips into the pot)
The dealer then places three cards onto the board known as the flop. Those players who haven’t folded and are still in the hand can decide to either raise or fold. The dealer then places a fourth card onto the table known as the turn. Again, the players can either call, check, raise or fold. Finally, the dealer places a fifth card onto the table, known as the river, and those players who are still in the game can call, check, raise or fold for the last time. Finally, the remaining players show their hands and the players with the strongest combination or cards (the hand) wins.
Big or small blinds?
One of the most common questions about this seemingly complex game is the big or small blind. The two players to the left of the dealer are obliged to make small bets into the winnings pot. This is done without the player seeing the card and thus the term “blind” because you are making a blind bet without seeing your cards. This is done to make the game more interesting and to get the players to bet. Normally a small or big blind is a standard amount that each player has to place meaning that no one is left hard done by.
A few expert tips for beginners
Be cautious with the hands you play
Be cautious at first and don’t play too many hands. Choose wisely to play with the hands that you are dealt. When you play poker you want to be using the good hands that you have so don’t be afraid to fold if the hands you are dealt aren’t strong.
Try not to call too much
Calling instead of betting basically means that a player is not as willing to risk more money. In a game where you need to be seen to have a strong hand betting and raising the amount can make other players believe you have a strong hand even if you do not. A common mistake between players new to poker to call more than bet.
Don’t give up
Whilst poker may seem to be a difficult game once you get the hang of it it can be a rewarding and fun game. A few players may be put off by the perceived difficulty of remembering the strength of their hands a and decided whether to call, bet, raise or fold. Play for small amounts at first, get a feel for the game and experience and quickly you will be able to move on to bigger sums and bigger jackpots.
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