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Poker 101: Learning to Play the Game

New to The World of Sweepstakes Poker? Take A Look at This Guide

How you can become a better poker player

BY: Jack’s House


When you are playing poker, it is absolutely imperative to understand ‘what (hand) beats what.’ More important than that would be to get a ‘feel’ about what is most ‘likely’ to beat what. By this, we mean that you should know, for instance, that a ‘top two pair’ is a pretty strong hand and it is also quite likely to win the whole pot. However, it is very unlikely to win up the river, if there are, for example, four clubs on board and you are the only one in the game… without a single club to your name.

If all of this is Greek to you, then you may relax. Once you gain a little experience, you will be a pro. This is why we would like to suggest that the very first thing you should do is sign up with any good online poker site you like and register to play for free. Here, you should do well to remember that almost all online poker sites (irrespective of the size of their user base) offer free games to many first-time users. These games act as a nifty training ground for the ‘real deal’ thing. In fact, you can jump in without making a splash.

Using ‘Fun money’ For Real

While “fun money” poker is a lot like real money, it is NOT really like real money. This means that most players really do not care if they lose fun money.  When playing a trial game, their behavior will be completely different. This is why you will be quite likely to see many all-ins on multiple hands, and this will happen even when players do not have premium holdings. If you continue to play such risk-free online poker games, the odds are that you will end up forming a really skewed vision of exactly how to play poker. And trust us, that is “not” a good thing at all!

Once you are done surfing, it is time to take the plunge. This means that it is time to get your poker chips to play for real money. Here it is considered a smart move to keep your own personal pot as low as possible. In other words, you should start at the lowest stakes available for an online poker game. Alternately, you can also play for pennies with your friends.  Basically, you should aim to gain as much experience for the real thing as you can, while trying to lose as little money as possible. Don’t think about making a killing at this stage. That time will come with the proper experience and expertise.

No Limit Texas Hold’ em Poker

While there are many different poker variants such as 8 card Poker or crazy 8 poker, we would recommend that you begin your poker playing streak with ‘No Limit Texas Hold’ em Poker’. This is due to the fact that it is by far and large the single most popular online poker game that you may be able to find and join. And there is another benefit as well. It is also the most widely discussed game on various online poker forums. This means that you would be able to gather a whole wealth of information regarding the game from many expert level masters who will be willing to take you under their wing.

Understanding the Seminal Importance of The Drawing Hand

When you play poker, it is very important to understand that you do not need to have to have a ‘made hand’ in order to retain any equity in the cumulative pot. You can have flush draws and straight draws too.

Suppose you are playing a poker game and you quickly realize that you do not have a really strong hand yet. But if you are just one card away from making the strongest hand possible in the whole game, then you can bet on this hand by all means. This move is generally referred to by poker players as a “semi-bluff.” This way, you might win the whole pot in one of two ways, either by forcing your opponents to fold their cards or by sweeping the chips in when they give up the ghost and call it in.

However, should your intention be to call out your bet with a draw, then it is imperative that you understand the great odds of actually making your hand. That is, you have to ensure that you are actually getting the right odds in your favor or even a future payout from the whole pot once you make the decision to call.

Texas Hold’ em poker is a bit like chess and Othello. This means that it may take only a few minutes to learn, but it can take a lifetime to master.

Is Poker Merely a Game of Chance?

Many people, especially novice players, think of poker as purely a game of chance and nothing more. They believe that it is only luck that determines which player wins or loses a game.

Well, nothing can be further from the truth, especially when it comes to online poker games. Always remember, poker is very much a game of skill.  Yes, losing streaks occur even for the best players.  But the truth of the matter is that good luck and bad luck are short-term phenomena. And if you really want to become a long-term winner who plays to win real money, then you will need to play and practice a lot.


From the wild west saloons to online games, playing poker has come a long way. But the fundamentals remain the same. Beat your opponents with cunning tricks and experience and rake in the pot.


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