In part two of the How To Play Poker For Beginners free online poker lesson series we will step on from part 1 where we outlined the bare bones of the game. Now it is time to get into specific detail and learn each part of a hand of poker so that you can (cautiously!) start to play.
In part 1 you learned that the 2 “Blind” players have to place bets before cards are dealt. If you are not sure what is meant by blind bets, small and big blind then you need to go back to part one of the guide for a definition.
So, the action starts as the blind bets are laid by the Small and Big Blinds (SB and BB). Now it’s time for card dealing!
Moving clockwise around the table from the Dealer (DB), each player receives two cards dealt face down, one card at a time. These are also called Pocket Cards or hole cards.
dominoqq begins; and, after all, isn’t that why you decided to take up the game of poker? That is why I’m sure you now find yourself seated at a free online poker tournament table isn’t it? Isn’t that betting and winning buzz thing the reason why you’ve joined a free online poker site?
Of course it is, the game of poker is all about winning money! With the possible exception of the social side anyway, the table and lobby conversations, though if you are at all serious about money then this is a very minor reason.
At this stage in the hand (holding 2 pocket cards), each player is betting on what hand they feel their pocket cards may lead to.
The betting starts with the player to the immediate left of the Big Blind (BB).
This player is often referred to as the ‘Under The Gun’ (UTG) position at the table. This is because the Small and Big Blind position players were forced to lay down bets before they got any cards.
Thus, both the SB and BB are already taking part in the hand; albeit not voluntarily, at least not yet; they’ll have to wait until the betting comes around to them.
And, with this round of betting, each player has three choices:
1) To fold. You do this if you think you have rubbish cards, also called “rags” cards. You won’t lose anything as you have no chips in play but you will now sit out the rest of the hand.
2) To raise. You raise if you think you’ve got good cards.
3) Or to call, (match) the Big Blind. Usually when you think that your pocket cards hold some potential.
A 4th option you might have heard about, checking, often available in subsequent betting rounds, isn’t an option at this stage.
Once the betting comes round to the SB (Small Blind) if this player wants to fold then they lose their blind chips, if they have terrible pockets then this may well be the best thing to do. Or, this player can call the Big Blind (by simply putting up the difference between the Small Blind and the Big Blind).
Or as SB you can choose to Call whatever Raise has been made, make a new Raise or Re-raise the bet amounts to a new level. I advise you watch and learn this process at the start and as SB keep it simple and just Call the BB unless you have awful cards in which case fold them.
Next it is the turn of the BB (Big Blind). If there has been no raise then the BB can Check (do nothing and let the play pass by), or Call, Raise or Re-raise.
As this is a No Limit Texas Hold Em tournament, the amount of any one raise is only limited by the number of chips the player who is doing the raising is in possession of. If say the chip stack is 1500 then the player can raise by any amount upto 1500.