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
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.
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?