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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?

Hollywood Stars To Host WPT Foundation Event

October 19, 2016 | Casino Trash Talk | Permalink

Mel Gibson and Vince Vaughn, two movie stars who probably don’t need any introduction, are two of the hosts for the upcoming Four Kings and an Ace charity poker tournament organised by the World Poker Tour Foundation, which raises money for Mending Kids charity that helps providing surgery and medical care to children in 57 countries around the world.
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Paul Phua Wins €100,000 High Roller! (€752,700)

October 18, 2016 | Casino Trash Talk | Permalink

The last day of the 2016 Monte-Carlo One Drop Extravaganza had a big cash game and a €100,000 freeze-out tournament on the schedule. There had been cash games (up to €1,000/€2,000) running the previous three days but on the final day it was canceled due to lack of interest.
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Elton Tsang Wins Big One For One Drop For €11 Million!

October 17, 2016 | Casino Trash Talk | Permalink

The 2016 Big One for One Drop (€1,000,000 buy-in and no pros allowed for the first time) kicked off last Friday at luxurious Casino de Monte Carlo in Monaco. With 28 entries (26 players and 2 re-entries), a prize pool of €24,888,892 was generated and €3,111,108 was raised for charity!
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Todd Brunson & Carlos Mortensen Chosen For Poker Hall Of Fame!

October 14, 2016 | Casino Trash Talk | Permalink

On Thursday, it was announced that Todd Brunson and Carlos Mortensen become the 51st and 52nd individuals to be inducted into Poker’s most exclusive club! The two poker pros were nominated by the public and voted in by a 44-person panel made up of existing Poker Hall of Famers and a Blue Ribbon Media Panel. “It’s a true honor to be inducted by my peers into this prestigious institution,” said Brunson. “I literally grew up attending these ceremonies and have always respected and admired its mem[…]

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Cheaters Used Special Contact Lenses to View Marked Cards

October 13, 2016 | Casino Trash Talk | Permalink

Over 30 marked decks were confiscated by police when a man claimed he got cheated from a poker game in China. The idea of cheating in a card game using contact lenses is not new as portrayed in the Chinese film “God of Gamblers.”
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Negreanu Offers $100,000 To Anyone Leaking Trump�s Apprentice Tapes

October 12, 2016 | Casino Trash Talk | Permalink

Poker professional Daniel Negreanu is not afraid to express his views over the GOP presidential candidate, Donald Trump. It wasn’t long when the poker player became a United States citizen and is now eager to vote against Trump come election time.
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William Hill Confirms Merger Talks With Amaya

October 11, 2016 | Casino Trash Talk | Permalink

Canadian and UK gambling groups are currently in merger discussions worth about £4.5 billion, despite major challenges for both companies. Along the waves of merger deals that is transforming the industry of betting, Canada’s Amaya and UK’s William Hill both agree that combining the two troubled gambling companies could potentially be a perfect match. Amaya runs PokerStars, the world’s biggest online poker business; however, it has struggled to expand its sports betting arm and wasn’t a[…]

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888poker Signs Natalie Hof

October 11, 2016 | Casino Trash Talk | Permalink

Natalie Hof, a well-known TV presenter and accomplished poker player from Germany, is Team888’s latest member! Hof will represent 888poker both live and online together with fellow ambassadors Dominik Nitsche, Chris Moorman, and Sofia Lovgren, just to mention few, and hopefully bring many more players to 888poker! “I’m very thrilled to be part of the 888poker team,” said Hof who will play under the username 888NatalieH. “With such talented pros and a variety of games, it’s quite an honour […]

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Jackie Glazier Becomes partypoker Ambassador

October 7, 2016 | Casino Trash Talk | Permalink

Professional poker player Jackie Glazier (over $1.3 million in tournament earnings) has joined the partypoker family! The signed two-year contract will see Glazier playing online on partypoker with weekly home games that will start in the next few weeks and will be streamed on partypokertv. Glazier will also attend global live events in addition to the headline events on the Australian circuit.
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Daniel Negreanu To Coach Billionaire For €1M Big One For One Drop

October 7, 2016 | Casino Trash Talk | Permalink

Daniel “KidPoker” Negreanu will be coaching billionare Guy Laliberte, the founder of Cirque Du Soleil and the One Drop Foundation, before and during the €1,000,000 buy-in Big One For One Drop Invitational event (no poker pros allowed to enter this time) on October 14th, 2016.
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