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Online Gambling Casino > Info > Tips and Strategy > Poker

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Online Poker

So how does the betting work? In most games you must at least "Ante" something just to get cards dealt. After all the cards are dealt you basically have three choices:

Call: If you call, you just bet enough money to match what has been bet since the last time you bet. For instance if you bet a dollar in the last betting round and somebody bets 2 dollar you have to call with one more dollar.
Raise:If you want to raise you first have to call the highest bet on the table. After you call the other amount it is basically up to you how much you want to bet. Let's take the example from above: Somebody on the table raises a dollar, you have to call him with a dollar and then you can raise whatever you want. Most tables have a raising limit which depends on the minimum table limit. So if you are playing on a table with a minimum of one dollar you might not be able to bet more than ten in one round.
Fold: If you fold you drop out of the current round and loose any chance of winning the pot in the middle. This should be done if you think your hand has no chance of winning anyway. When you fold you don't have to put anything into the pot.



Ranking of the hands!

High Card / This is any card which doesn't qualify as any of the hands below. If nobody on the table has a pair or better the highest card wins. In the case multiple players have the same highest card you look at the second highest then the third and so on. High cards are also used to brake ties if there are multiple high hands. So if you have two pairs and somebody else the same two pairs the fifth card determines the winner.
Pair / One pair with three distinct cards. High card breaks ties.
Two Pairs / A hand with Two Pairs (Two Tens and Two Queens for instance), highest pair wins, the fifth card determines winner in case two players have the same ranked pairs.

Three of a Kind / Three cards of the same Value (Three Nines for instance), again high card breaks ties

Straight / Five consecutive cards but not from the same Suit (8, 9, 10, Jack, Queen), highest straight wins, two straights of the same value split the pot
Flush / Five cards of the same Suit (7, 9, 10, Queen, Ace), they need not to be in particular order , if flush ties the highest cards wins

Full House / Two cards of one Value and Three cards of another Value (Two Sevens, Three Kings), highest full wins

Four of a Kind / Four cards of the same Value (Four Kings for instance), highest four win, in this case there is no count of high card because obviously there are only four cards of the same suit and value in a deck

Straight Flush / Five cards of the same Suit in consecutive order (8, 9, 10, Jack, Queen of Diamonds)

Royal Flush / Same as the Straight Flush but highest card must be Ace (10, Jack, Queen, King, Ace)



The strategy  

When it comes to poker strategies there are some things you should consider right from the beginning. You might even consider them the golden rules of poker. They pretty much apply to any poker game you are likely to play. These golden rules are:

Don't be cheap. As a general guideline you should start out with 20-30 times the table limit.
Get out if you have nothing in your hand.
If you got a good hand make the others pay to see it.
If they got you beat, fold.
The objective is to beat the other players not to have the highest hand.
Don't think you can beat a better player. You might win little but you could also loose big.
The chances of getting a better hand is 50:50 and

The chances for you to get one of the following in your original hand.

No Pair / 1 out of 2
One Pair / 1 out of 2.4
Two Pair / 1 out of 21
Three of a Kind / 1 out of 48
Straight / 1 out of 250
Flush / 1 out of 510
Full House / 1 out of 700
Four of a Kind / 1 out of 4200
Straight Flush / 1 out of 72,200
Royal Flush / 1 out of 650,000
With these things in mind there are already a couple of things you can immediately conclude.

The more players there are on the table, the greater the chance for one or more players to have a high ranking hand
You must have at least a pair or four cards to a straight or flush. If not, fold immediately.
This last advise might seem a little harsh but as said above the chances of improving your opening hand, if you have nothing, and beating the other players are rather small. This means, unless you are really lucky, you will fold most of the time after the first deal.

Now let's say you have something to build on, like a pair or a three of a kind. What you have to decide now is whether to keep a kicker or not. A kicker is a high card most players hold with a pair or three of a kind. It is recommended you toss the kicker because the odds getting the card of the same value to your kicker is small, very small.

Another thing you have to keep in mind is you should never try to build a straight or higher out of three original cards. The odds for you on this are 1:85. On the other hand it highly recommended you always keep four cards to a straight or any flush. As you will see below the odds here are not bad at all, considering the odds of the original dealt cards from above. The chances of completing a

Flush / are 1 out of 4.5
Straight open on both ends / are 1 out of 5
Straight open on one end / are 1 out of 11
Straight open on the inside / are 1 out of 11
Straight Flush open on both ends / are 1 out of 23
Straight Flush open on one end / are 1 out of 46
Straight Flush open on the inside / are 1 out of 46
You always have to remember these odds when making your betting decision. Let's say you have a four card flush. The first question that pops into your mind should be: What are my chances of completing on the deal? In this case they are 1 out of 4.5. If the pot is not 4.5 times the money you would have to bet, you should fold. Anything else would just be blindly risking your money to beat the odds.

In conclusion there is of course a lot more to poker than the above. Bluffing, intimidation, body language and all the rest of it makes poker what it is. If you are thinking of becoming a serious poker player you should buy yourself a good book.

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