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Poker for Real Beginners

August 30, 2013 | Poker for Dummies | Permalink

When we say “casino poker”, we mean real person-to-person poker games at a table in a real casino … the kind with servers bringing your favorite drinks at no charge!  Our favorite game is 7-card stud as they are games played with one deck of cards (single-deck).  In 7-card, you are playing against the other players at the table – rather than playing against the casino or “house”.

Some of the “real” casinos offer free poker playing for learning and lesson purposes but not many.  Ask around or go directly to the “pit boss” or the suited “manager” or “boss” in the table games area “the pit” and ask him whether his casino offers lessons.

In casino poker, you are not required to “bet” or put in money if you do not like the hand you were dealt.  To get out, flip your cards over and push them toward the dealer.  At that moment, you are out of that hand and owe no money.  Before playing, watch the game, the dealer, and the other players and verify in your mind what you have read.

Most poker games are usually low limit games.  Depending on the flow, a person could play hours on $30-50 worth of chips.  But remember, don’t play the bad hands.  Get out without owing anything when you see that your cards are not good.  When you see a player continuing to play bad-hand-after-bad-hand, you know that person is a beginner.  And maybe that is the table you want to play at because you already know more than him!

How the Game is Played:

You are dealt 7-cards in order to make the best hand of 5-card than you can.  Understand?  You want to use the best five of your cards to make the strongest poker hand possible.

Royal Flush – 10 thru Ace straight, all same suit
Straight Flush – A straight with lower cards than Royal, all same suit
Four of a Kind
Full House – Three cards of one value and two of another
Flush – Five cards of the same suit, not in numerical sequence
Straight – Five cards in sequence, multiple suits
Three of a Kind
Two Pair
One Pair
High Card

Step by Step of The Game’s Mechanics:

The dealer deals two cards FACE DOWN to each player, along with a third card face up.

Using two hands, look at your cards – by lifting them off the table and covering them so the other players do NOT see them!  Usually, the player with the lowest value card showing is the one to start the betting, and this would usually be $1 chip.  We say usually, because the dealer can choose whether it is the “lowest value” or the “highest value” to be the one who sets the initial bets.

If you don’t have good cards, put your two cards back on the table, FACE DOWN and push toward the dealer.  (Never place them face up, this means something else).  You are now OUT of this hand and must wait for this hand to finish.  You have “folded”.

The Game Continues:

The player with the lowest face up card begins the betting with the minimum amount in (usually $1 chip).  If a player RAISES, then all players that bet AFTER him must bet the amount he raised plus the initial bet.

During the better mentioned above, a player may “CALL”, which is to match the previous bet (in our example it was a $1 chip), or “RAISE” as explained above.

Your chips are to be placed in front of your cards.  You should not throw the chips into the main pot.  The dealer wants to see your chips clearly and then will add them to the pot.  If you are going to raise, you should put your CALL and RAISE in ONE STACK of chips.  Don’t separate them or you will be told that your action is against the rules.

Bets Done, Next Card is Dealt:

Once the betting is done, the dealer deals each player still in the game, another card face up.  Another round of betting takes place.  The dealer does this two more times until the remaining players have FOUR cards face up (that is the one he dealt at the beginning and the three additional dealings).

Each time a player was dealt a card, he must CALL (put in the minimum amount) or RAISE (put in the minimum amount plus the raised amount) – or he may fold.  The pot continues to grow as each card is dealt and the betting continues.

Here is a confusing part:  If the dealer has set the rules so that the player with the highest card shown is the one who places the initial bets, then you have an additional option.

You don’t actually have to bet!  You can say “check” – and check means that you are declining to bet because the card you were just dealt does not help you at all.  Each of the players after you  can also “check” if they wish.  However, if one player does bet instead of calling “check”, then all players that bet after him must do the same.

Remember, if you are in a position to “check”, then do so – don’t fold.  Wait for the next round to get the next card dealt top you.  This card may change your hand – or it may not.  But it didn’t cost you anything.  If it doesn’t help, then you can FOLD.

Also remember that you are allowed to FOLD at any time during the betting rounds.  Of course, you lose what you have bet so far, but sometimes you are better off by getting out.  If your cards haven’t improved, get out of the hand.

How Many Cards Do We Have Now?


Now in the game, each player should have six cards.  Two should be face down and four should be face up.  The dealer will then deal the FINAL (7th) card FACE DOWN.  You should place this card with your other face down cards and have another look to find the best hand you can make from five of your seven cards.

If you have stayed in this hand this far, you should have a good indication of your best hand.  If you do, the betting will start – and usually in this round, there are more raises.

No More Betting In This Hand:

After all the betting is done, the players will turn their cards face up and the dealer determines who has the best hand.  That best hand is the winning hand.  Once done, the dealer will take the “house cut” out of the pot and push the remainder of the pot to the winning player.

A comment on Tipping:  It is “customary” to tip the dealer when you win a pot.  Some people say the tip should be equal to the minimum bet (ie: a $1 table is a $1 tip).  Tip as you wish however.

Round Two:

The dealer shuffles the deck of cards and a new game begins!

Tips For Better Play:

You need to watch the cards of the other players.  You are playing against THEM!  Their cards will tell you whether you are going to be able to complete your goal, because if they have the cards you “need”, you will need to formulate a new plan!

Chips issued are specific to a game.

Professional players aren’t going to choose low-limit games.  Most of the players will be other visitors and beginners looking for fun and entertainment without involving “big bucks”.  Don’t be scared – sit down and play.

What Do I Think is Weird??

If you are in a game, you can only play the chips you have.  If you run out of money, you must fold – you cannot buy more chips.  Weird huh?

Naked poker player shot by cops outside church full of kids in Las Vegas

August 18, 2017 | Casino Trash Talk | Permalink

On August 5 at around 11 a.m., a peculiar incident got a man shot by Las Vegas cops just outside a church filled with children. The man was identified to be 25-year-old Jason Funke, from Minnetonka, Minnesota, who happens to be the 490th finisher in the 2017 World Series of Poker Main Event that just concluded last month.
Funke was seen completely naked, sitting and lounging outside the Life Springs Christian Church, holding a handgun. At that time, there were children inside the church’s schoo[…]

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Molly’s Game Trailer Released!

August 17, 2017 | Casino Trash Talk | Permalink

Molly’s Game, based on the true story of Molly Bloom, an Olympic-class skier who ran the world’s most exclusive high-stakes poker game for a decade before being arrested in the middle of the night by 17 FBI agents, is hitting the big screen in November this year. The official trailer was released only 2 days ago but already has over 1.8 million views! Perhaps you read the book (also titled Molly’s Game)? What do you think of Jessica Chastain as Molly Bloom? We want to here what you think about[…]

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Tom Dwan Wins $700K on first day of Poker After Dark reboot

August 16, 2017 | Casino Trash Talk | Permalink

The all-new Poker After Dark show started on Monday August 14th and it seems like poker legend Tom “durrrr” Dwan is already on fire, as he has created some excitement already after winning a $700,000 pot against Antonio Esfandiari on the first day of play. "@TomDwan with aces in a live poker game is just not right." – @BrokeLivingJRB ?? #PAD— PokerGO (@PokerGO) August 15, 2017 Schedule: You can catch all of the all-new Poker After Dark actio[…]

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Jack Sinclair and Tony G wins €250,000 and €300,000 at the partypokerLIVE German Poker Championships

August 15, 2017 | Casino Trash Talk | Permalink

This past weekend has been extremely good to Jack Sinclair, who just won the €25K Super High Roller event at the German Poker Championships held in Rozvadov, Czech Republic. He battled against Tony G on a heads-up match, defeated him and walked off with the title along with a sweet €250,000!
Jack Sinclair, age 26, from London was almost considered ‘just another amateurish unknown poker player’ on the live tournament grounds up until he made the final table on last month’s Worl[…]

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Tom Dwan already paid Daniel Cates over $700,000 in Penalties from 2010 Durrrr Challenge

August 11, 2017 | Casino Trash Talk | Permalink

On Wednesday night, Dan “jungleman12” Cates made a surprising announcement while he was on Doug Polk’s podcast regarding his tribulation that started back in 2010 with fellow pro poker player Tom “durrrr” Dwan. The Durrrr ChallengeThe durrr challenge is an open dare to the online poker community offered by high-stakes player Tom Dwan. Basically the structure is 3-1 on this bet: That over 50,000 hands of 200/400 Pot Limit Omaha played online, they would fail to show a profit against him.

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888poker accidentally launches new online poker game �Flopomania� too early

August 10, 2017 | Casino Trash Talk | Permalink

For a good few hours on August 2 Wednesday, 888poker players were greeted with a surprise appearance of Flopomania in the real-money cash game lobby of the site. There was no prior announcement by 888poker about their newest game, and they never put up an introductory page of it on their site. Out of the blue, it popped up, with low to micro stakes game available.
Once it was discovered, 888poker still permitted that all games being played on it be finished, so that players will not encounter p[…]

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Doug Polk vs Phil Hellmuth in Inaugural 50K buy-in Heads-up Poker Event

August 8, 2017 | Casino Trash Talk | Permalink

The winner of the 2017 High Roller for One Drop victor Doug Polk shall be facing off against the world’s all-time WSOP bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth for a massive $200,000 on the 4th week of August at the Rivers Casino located just outside of Albany, New York.
The King of the Hill poker tourney kicks off August 22 Tuesday at 3:30pm ET, featuring a buy-in of $50,000 each but with an irresistible championship prize of US$200,000! The tournament only has a total of four players overall, which begi[…]

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Man on bail on manslaughter charge won $100K at 2017 WSOP Main Event

August 3, 2017 | Casino Trash Talk | Permalink

A man from Florida who has been freed on bail on a manslaughter charge with a deadly weapon had actually participated in this year’s WSOP Main Event in Las Vegas, and got lucky to have won and collect more than $100K.
According to WSOP records, Paul Senat, age 37, got 70th place in the tournament, earning $101,444 in the Main Event. He was one of the 475 poker players in Florida who have competed in this year’s Main Event.
Florida deputies have accused him of taking a man’s life inside the pre[…]

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New Venue & Guarantees Increased At 2017 WSOP Europe

August 2, 2017 | Casino Trash Talk | Permalink

On August 31 Monday, King’s Casino announced that it has increased the guaranteed prize pool for the €10,350 World Series of Poker Europe (WSOPE) Main Event which is scheduled on November 4 to 10. The guarantee was amped up from €4M to €5M, with the emerging winner to take home at least €1M!
King’s Casino owner Leon Tsoukernik said, “We are encouraged by the number of early bookings for the WSOPE, so much so that we have raised the total guarantee of the Main Event to &#[…]

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