As the famous quote goes, “Poker takes a minute to learn and a lifetime to master.”
It’s a very easy game to pick up the basics and once you know what you are doing it is a lot of fun! There is always a certain amount of luck involved so anyone can be the winner on the day.
Poker Deluxe hosts corporate teambuilding and social poker nights for companies looking to reward their staff or clients with a fun night of entertainment. Usually held on site or in a function venue, coupled with drinks and some nibbles it is always a winning combination.
There is a dealer on every table who runs through a 15 minute learn-to-play session prior to the start of the game so everyone is ready for the challenge. Then it is game on! Players try to take all their opponents chips to be the last one standing at which time they are crowned the winner. The winner will receive an engraved glass trophy and a prize, but most importantly will have bragging rights until the next event.
You can see a full rundown of how to play poker in our poker school, but here is a summary:
The rules are basically the same whether you’re playing at a live casino or a home game, except for home games a dealer must be selected if it’s being self-dealt. Do this by shuffling a standard 52-card deck (no jokers in play) and then deal each player one card face up. The player with the highest card will be the dealer for the first hand and once completed, will pass the deck and dealer button to the player on their left to deal the next hand.
The dealer shuffles a deck of cards and then starting with the player to their immediate left, begins dealing two cards face down to each player. Only deal one card at a time to each player and repeat this process. The player to the dealer’s left is known as the “small blind” (SB) and must make the pre-determined bet (small blind) regardless if they wish to finish playing the hand or not. The player in the “small blind” position is followed by the player to their left, known as the “big blind” bet. If the small blind were 10 poker chips, then the big blind bet would be 20 chips.
The player to the left of the ‘big blind’ (BB) is the first player at the table allowed to look at their cards for free and decide if they wish to fold or play. If the player decides to play, they must at least match the big blind amount, known as a “call” or they can “raise” the big blind and increase the bet amount. The rest of the pre-flop betting round continues around the table with each player having to call, raise or fold to the current highest bet.
Once the betting returns to the small blind, they now have the chance to either fold, call or raise the highest bet, keep in mind this player has already put some chips into the pot, so in order to call, the small blind must simply add the remaining chips to their forced initial bet. Regardless of the small blinds decision to fold, call or raise, the big blind is next to act. Even if the big blind’s initial forced bet has not been raised by another player in the hand, they still have the option to raise or if no other players have increased the initial big blind bet, then they also have the option to “check” and so no further betting continues for that round. If the big blind does re-raise (increase the highest bet), then action continues around the table as per a normal betting round with those remaining in the hand.
If no other players end up calling the highest bet, then the player who placed it automatically wins the pot and no additional cards are dealt. If two or more players don’t fold, then the hand continues to the flop.
Once all of the pre-flop betting has been completed, the dealer then burns (discard to the side) the next card on top of the deck face down. Then the next three cards from the deck are flipped face up in the middle of the table. These cards are known as the community cards and shared by all remaining players to combine with own hole cards to form the best hand.
The small blind opens a second round of betting, which proceeds as a regular poker betting round. If the small blind folded pre-flop, then the action would begin with the first player still in the hand and to the left of the small blind.
The dealer burns the top card from the deck and then flips one card only face up in the middle of the table as the fourth community card.
The small blind opens a third betting round, which proceeds as a regular betting round.
Again, the dealer burns the top card from the deck and then flips face up the final card in the middle of the table. The river card is the fifth and final community card. The small blind opens a fourth and final betting round, which proceeds as a regular betting round.
Once all betting has completed, the remaining players make their best five card hands using the two cards in their hand and the five community cards. A player can use either one or both of their hole cards with any of the five community cards in order to make the best hand.
The player who made the initial raise, and then subsequently called by the rest of the players, is the first to expose their hole cards at the showdown. The player with the best combination of five cards wins the hand.