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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?

Third ex-tribal leader member pleads guilty in stealing from casino

June 23, 2017 | Casino Trash Talk | Permalink

A third ex-member of the Winnebago Tribal Council has pleaded guilty to his role in stealing from the tribe’s casino located in Iowa.
According to reports, Charles Aldrich entered the plea on Monday in the US District Court in Omaha.
The indictment shows that the unlawful distribution of funds to these ex-council members came via the issuance of gift cards by the casino and prepaid debit cards that the casino supposedly paid for. The gift cards totaled $87,000, and the debit cards contai[…]

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Ex-VP of Mohegan Sun sentenced to 32 months in prison for slots scam

June 22, 2017 | Casino Trash Talk | Permalink

Ex-Vice President of Mohegan Sun Pocono casino Robert Pelligrini shall spend 32 months (or 2 years 8 months) in federal prison after admitting that he had a role in a money-laundering scam that cost the casino over $420,000.
Senior U.S. District Judge A. Richard Caputo carried out the sentence on a hearing last Friday, at the Max Rosenn Federal Courthouse located in Wilkes-Barre.
Judge Caputo deviated from the suggested sentence guidelines, which was 46-57 months after he heard the pleas from […]

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Bill legalizing online poker in New York off the table this year

June 20, 2017 | Casino Trash Talk | Permalink

Unfortunately for online poker fans, the New York State Assembly will not be passing a bill seeking to legalize online poker before the chamber adjourns on June 21, Wednesday.
According to the primary sponsor of legislation, Assemblyman Gary Pretlow (D-Westchester), if the bill passes, New York, the fourth most populous state in the nation, would be the fourth state to offer poker online.
Named Assembly Bill 5250, it seeks to redefine Omaha and Texas Hold’em as games of skill as opposed to cha[…]

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Australia’s James Obst Wins $10,000 RAZZ CHAMPIONSHIP

June 16, 2017 | Casino Trash Talk | Permalink

James Obst emerged victorious in the $10,000 Razz Championship last night. Obst’s victory earned him $265,138 in prize money and his first gold coveted bracelet!
Obst had to fight very hard for the title, as eventual runner-up Eric Kurtzman had a 4-1 chip lead at two stages during the heads-up. The tables eventually turned as Obst went on a winning streak in the final hour of play. It was a combination of good cards and aggressive play that made Obst a winner.
Kurtzman, a Londoner living in La[…]

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2017 WSOP: Canada’s Pablo Mariz Wins Millionaire Maker Championship!

June 15, 2017 | Casino Trash Talk | Permalink

This year’s $1,500 buy-in Millionaire Maker event drew a field of 7,759 entries to create a $10,477,350 prize pool. The top 1,165 finishing players in this event received a slice of the massive prize pool and Canada’s Pablo Mariz earned $1,221,407 as well as his first gold bracelet for the victory!
Mariz, 27, from Montreal, previous WSOP earnings were $64,300, so the money earned was life-changing to him. Now with a healthy bankroll he plans to play the entire series. Mariz hugged his best frie[…]

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2017 WSOP: John Racener Wins $10k Dealers Choice Championship

June 13, 2017 | Casino Trash Talk | Permalink

After many second and third place finishes, Flordia poker pro and 2010 WSOP Main Event runner-up John Racener finally got his first gold coveted bracelet early on Sunday morning after having successfully survived a tough 102-player field in the $10,000 Dealers Choice Championship!
The final table lasted for eight long hours but funnily enough it only took 10 hands of play for Racener to eliminate his final 3 opponents! Once he had eliminated his final opponent, Viacheslav Zhukov – the only non-[…]

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2017 WSOP: Adrian Mateos Becomes Youngest 3-Time Bracelet Winner In WSOP History!

June 12, 2017 | Casino Trash Talk | Permalink

The $10,000 heads-up championship concluded last Friday night with 22-year-old Spaniard Adrian Mateos as the champion after defeating highway contractor John Smith, 70, from California in the final round!
Mateos got off to an early lead in the final, however, Smith overtook the lead a few times over the course of the two hour and 15-minute match. In the final hand, Mateos bet 300k and Smith called.
The flop fell A[s]9[s]3[h], Mateos bet 200k and Smith moved all-in with around 1.3 million. Mate[…]

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2017 WSOP: Abe Mosseri defeats Daniel Negreanu to win $10k Omaha Event!

June 8, 2017 | Casino Trash Talk | Permalink

Event #9: $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo or Better Championship drew 154 entries and it took four days of play to boil down the tallented field poker players to a winner. The tournament should have ended on Tuesday but time run out and a fourth day was added. On Wednesday, Abe Mosseri (USA) and Daniel Negreanu (Canada) were the only players returning to the final table, with Mosseri having a 2-1 chip lead.
The blinds were high compared to the stacks and Mosseri eliminated Negreanu already after four hands[…]

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2017 WSOP: Doug Polk Wins $111,111 One Drop High Roller!

June 7, 2017 | Casino Trash Talk | Permalink

On Tuesday, American poker pro and popular video blogger Doug Polk took home the biggest cash of his career after winning the 2017 WSOP $111,111 buy-in One Drop High Roller! Polk bested a field of 130 players to lay hands on the massive $3,686,865 first-place prize as well as his third WSOP bracelet! “Instead of grinding poker and studying and grinding, my focus is now more on the training, the marketing, the promotion and that side of poker,” said Polk, who has spent the past 2 years running a[…]

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