Initially, the poker universe appears to be overwhelming, and it’s clear why – the line-up of varieties, strategies and tactics is so enormous that it can be even confusing. However, discovering this challenging world, you will certainly notice how engaging and joyful it is. To jump-start your poker adventure in the most effective way, it is essential to understand the basics of poker, and after it to expand your experience constantly exploring multiple strategies and techniques.
For more information about the fundamentals of poker, you may just stay here and look at the list with the description of the major concepts and issues which are a must to know for future poker winners.
Winning Classic Poker Combinations
A high level of understanding the rules allows one to become proficient in it and enhance the chances of receiving amazing prizes. When it comes to poker, the first thing you have to know is the list of winning combinations, which show your odds for winning. To simplify the process of learning, here is a guideline for newbies with all the classic combination in poker:
10 possible combinations
Royal Street Flush – the five highest single-suit cards.
Straight Flush – 5 cards of the same suit in order.
Four of a Kind – 4 cards of the same rank.
Full House – a combination that includes “Pair” and “Three” at the same time.
Flush – 5 single-handed cards.
Straight – 5 cards of any suit, assembled in order.
Set or Three – 3 cards of the same rank.
Two Pairs – 4 cards with 2 of the same rank collected among them.
Pair – 2 cards of the same rank.
Senior Card – the youngest combination of 1 card. The higher it is in rank, the more likely it will win.
Rules of classical poker
Classic poker is usually performed with a deck of 52 cards. The face value of the cards is in ascending order: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, jack, queen, king, ace. The aim of classic poker is to compose the best combination possible that will be the highest among others. The cards are dealt and shuffled by the dealer. During the game, players place bets in the middle of the table – it’s also called the bank, pot, or con.
Players typically come with the next betting options, the choice of which depends on their certainty of their hand.
Call – to equal or raise the bet of someone else
Raise – enlarge your current bet in the same betting range
Fold – to exit the hand by forfeiting all bets already made.
Check – prior to the first bet being placed in a betting round, players may check (to decline a bet, leaving the option to bet further in the round).
All-in – if a player has insufficient chips to place a bet, he or she can play all of his or her leftover chips.
Most variations of poker demand a certain form of mandatory stake at the beginning of a hand, commonly referred to as an “ante” or “blind”. In many types of the game you have a small blind and a big blind, and the latter is as a rule twice as big as the former.
The process of poker occurs as follows:
- Each player is dealt two cards
- The small blind is placed, then the big blind.
- The first betting round begins, players wager as they feel sure of their hand
- Then three “common cards” are dealt face up.
- The second betting round begins
- A fourth community card is dealt (the turn)
- The third betting round starts
- The fifth face-up card is dealt (the river)
- The final betting round is initiated.
- In case two or more players still remain unfolded, they reveal their cards
- The winner is the one with the best combination in terms of poker hand ranking.
How to memorize poker combinations easily
When it comes to learning the combinations, it seems to be a really complicated thing to memorize for a newcomer. As a rule, it comes with experience and frequent playing, but there is a technique which might help you – mnemonics.
Mnemonics is a complex set of specialized tricks that facilitate the memorization of pieces of info through association using numbers or words.
Let’s divide the combinations by precedence:
Lowest combinations in poker
The four lowest combinations will have serial numbers of 0, 1, 2 and 3.
- 0 is the highest card. When no player has accumulated any combination in the game, the one with the highest card wins.
- 1 – one pair. It will include any pair you collect in the game.
- 2 – two pairs. This is a hand that contains two pairs of cards.
- 3 – a set or triplet. Having collected three cards of the same rank in your hand, you are the owner of the strongest of the low combinations.
Medium combinations in poker
There are three medium combinations: straight, flush, and full house.
- / is straight. We characterize the straight with a /, as it is a kind of transition from low combinations to medium ones.
- 4 – flush. There are four letters in the word “flush”, so this number perfectly suits.
- 8 – full house. The same here: “full house” has eight letters.
Senior combinations in poker
- 16 – caré. With four letters in the word caré and four cards of the same rank in this combination, we have 4*4=16.
- 32 is a straight flush. We multiply 16 by 2 and get the number 32.
- ! – Royal Flush. This combination is exceptionally rare, so it always evokes a lot of excitement, that’s why it’s marked as (!).
When all combinations are assigned numbers and signs, we have a line: 0, 1, 2, 2, 3, /, 4, 8, 16, 32, ! Apparently, it is very simple to remember it using a mnemonic.
In fact, there are numerous terms related to the poker area, but it will take time to memorize them all at once. It’s easier to begin with a few majors and then you will be more immersed in this environment while playing.
Ante. It’s the bet charged to each player, whether or not he/she participates.
A-High. A player’s win with one high card, the Ace.
Buy-in. An initial buy-in, which entitles a player to participate in a tournament (the cost of entry), from which the total amount of prize money is made up.
Pot. The amount of chips, placed by players, for which they are competing.
Bankroll. The total amount of money (chips) a player currently has.
Button. A player’s position between the Small and the Big Blind.
A free card. Any round after the Flop in which no bets are posted and the next card is opened without raising the pot.
Bet/Fold. Refers to online poker, when the player does not have a strength and he has to discard automatically.
Blind. A mandatory Bet placed by the two players at the Table (the Big Blind and the Small Blind).
Bluffing. A method whereby a player pretends like he has a nice hand, when in fact he doesn’t.
Board. All 5 cards on the table, which all players consider when forming their combination.
Pocket Pair. A hand pair, originally received in the preflop.
Kickers. Cards, which are not part of the hand, but are critical in determining the winner.
A Hand is a set of cards that carry a specific weight in the hierarchy of all possible hand combinations.
Call. A betting equation in which a player bets no more than the previous player at the table.
Lead. The first bet that follows on the flop.
Nuts. The best of all possible combinations on the current round.
Overbet. A player’s Bet that is higher than the current pot.
Open Raise. The first raise made in the current hand.
All-in. Player’s bet is equal to his bankroll.
Hand (Starting Hand). A player’s cards, 2 cards after the hand is dealt.
Raise. Increasing of a bet.
Range. Possible cards which the opponent might have.
Stack. The number of chips a player can use in a particular deal (at the table) at the present moment, not the total amount.
Straight Draw. An incomplete hand, which may become a full hand if a card is dealt on the turn or river, which would allow one to make the straight.
Tilt. When a player with a lot of emotions makes ill-considered decisions, which results in disastrous consequences for the player.
Flush Draw. An incomplete combination on the Flop when a player possesses four cards of the same suit and needs one more card of that suit on the Turn or River.
Main newcomer’s mistakes and tips for the game
In fact, you can’t learn something without making mistakes, it’s a native process, which accompanies you and you can even learn from your mistakes, receiving the necessary experience. However, if you’d like to fasten this procedure, you’re welcome to read our list of the most common mistakes and the tips on how you should avoid them.
Mistake: Ignoring the position. Tip: It’s generally considered that the top place at the poker table is late positions, whereas you should be cautious at the early positions. Mistake: Excessive aggressiveness. Tip: Aggression can be possible during the game, but only to an allowable extent. In most cases, it’s better to be reserved as it can confuse your opponents and increase your chances of winning.
Mistake: Ignoring the Number of Participants Tip: The more players at one table, the less likely you are to make a decent hand. Only the most powerful hands should be played, and the rest should be thrown into the pass.
Mistake: Inadequate stakes Tip: Betting 50-100% of the pot to show off your hand’s strength and to make extra money is a quite good option.
Mistake: Absolute predictability Tip: Don’t let all the other players “read” your facial expressions or emotions and to make some decisions according to it. Try to be different every time you bet and to play outside the box. It might confuse your opponents and help win the maximum pot.
Mistake: Uncomfortable gambling Tip: If you feel like you are not able to concentrate, probably it’s not the best time for playing. Refusing to play in this state can help you avoid a loss, a serious financial loss.
Mistake: Uncontrollable excitement Tip: If during the game you do not notice the onset of “black lines” and continue to bet in the hope that you are about to get lucky, as a result of losing all the money, reconsider your attitude towards card games, do not let your excitement prevail over reason.
The Conclusion Summing everything up, it should be said that in order to get pleasant results in poker, you have to take many things into account and memorize a lot of new information. It seems to be very challenging in the very beginning, but in fact, it’s all just a question of time and experience. And as a result of all your efforts, with every new game you will feel more confident in your decisions, so one time it will definitely lead to your winning.