CasinoCityTimes.com

Gurus
News
Newsletter
Author Home Author Archives Author Books Send to a Friend Search Articles Subscribe
Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Newsletter Signup
Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Recent Articles
Best of John G. Brokopp

Gaming Guru

author's picture
 

Getting Back to Poker Basics

21 June 1999

Live, hand-dealt poker remains an intimidating frontier for a majority of players. Sitting down to venture your bankroll against strangers possessing various degrees of poker playing skill can be scary. You are forced to make a lot of decisions, and not necessarily cut-and-dried ones as in blackjack.

Today we'll discuss some poker basics in case you'd like to try your luck in a live game. We'll also highlight one of the most popular poker room games at casinos locally and in casinos across the country, Hold'em Poker.

In Hold'em Poker, players form the best five card poker hand by using any combination of the two cards they have been dealt and the five community cards that the dealer has flipped over for all to see in the middle of the table.

First of all, let's review the ranking of hands, starting with the best:

  1. ROYAL FLUSH (ace-high straight flush)
  2. STRAIGHT FLUSH (5 cards of the same suit in sequence)
  3. FOUR OF A KIND (4 cards of the same rank)
  4. FULL HOUSE (three of a kind plus a pair)
  5. FLUSH (5 cards of the same suit)
  6. STRAIGHT (5 cards in sequence, ace may be used high or low)
  7. THREE OF A KIND (3 cards of the same rank)
  8. TWO PAIR (2 pairs of 2 cards of the same rank)
  9. PAIR (2 cards of the same rank)

Play starts when the dealer deals two rounds of cards face down starting with the player to the immediate left of the button or "buck", a plastic disc that rotates around the table as players take turns being the mythical dealer. The player with the button, and sometimes the player to his left (depending on the casino), make blind bets before the cards are dealt.

Once the players look at the two cards they have been dealt, they have the option of folding (tossing in their cards having made no bet), calling (making a bet), or raising (making a bet and increasing it). When all the players have responded, the first round is considered completed.

The dealer then "burns" (removes from play) the top card from the deck he's holding in his hand, then proceeds to deal out three community cards, turning them face up toward the middle of the table for everyone to see.

Now that players have their own two cards and three community cards to see, another round of betting takes place, starting with the first active player clockwise from the buck. Once again, players may fold, check (stay with the bet they have on the table), call, or raise.

After all the players have responded, the next round begins with the dealer burning the top card and flipping over the fourth community card. Once the betting is completed, the final round begins with the dealer burning another card and then flipping over the fifth and final community card.

At this point in the hand, all players still active have their own two cards and the five community cards from which to make the best five card poker hand. The final betting round is completed and the winner is determined.

Feel better now that you know the basics? Go ahead, give live poker a try! After all, even the most experienced player sat down at the game for the first time one day.

John G. Brokopp

John G. Brokopp's gaming column appears in Chicago Sun Times (Chicago, Illinois), The Times (Northwest Indiana), The Quad City Times (Davenport, Iowa), The Courier News (Elgin, Illinois), The Gazette (Southwest Suburban Chicago) and Senior Wire (Denver, CO). He's also a regular contributor to The Colorado Gambler, Midwest Gaming & Travel, Casino Player and Strictly Slots. John possesses 28 years of experience as a professional handicapper, publicist, freelance writer, and casino gaming correspondent. He is also the author of two very popular books, The Insider’s Guide to Internet Gambling and Thrifty Gambling.

Books by John G. Brokopp:

> More Books By John G. Brokopp

John G. Brokopp
John G. Brokopp's gaming column appears in Chicago Sun Times (Chicago, Illinois), The Times (Northwest Indiana), The Quad City Times (Davenport, Iowa), The Courier News (Elgin, Illinois), The Gazette (Southwest Suburban Chicago) and Senior Wire (Denver, CO). He's also a regular contributor to The Colorado Gambler, Midwest Gaming & Travel, Casino Player and Strictly Slots. John possesses 28 years of experience as a professional handicapper, publicist, freelance writer, and casino gaming correspondent. He is also the author of two very popular books, The Insider’s Guide to Internet Gambling and Thrifty Gambling.

Books by John G. Brokopp:

> More Books By John G. Brokopp