Learning to play poker might seem a little daunting in the beginning but the fundamentals of the game can be picked up in no time. There are many types and variations of Poker but for this 'Learn Poker' guide we are going to stick to the most popular version which is Texas Hold'em.
Let's take a look at the basics of Texas Hold’em poker. Within Texas Hold'em you can play two types of games. They both follow the exact same rules but the main difference is how you join the game and how you leave it!
When you play poker on the Internet or in a live game you can choose to play at a cash table or a tournament table. A cash table game just means you sit down at the table with the aim of winning cash from other players. You can join the cash game at any time and leave at any time. There is no final winner and players continually join and leave the table. If you have enough money you can play all day and night.
How much money do you need? Well, internet poker cash games start from as little as 0.01p per hand and go all the way up to £10,000 per hand. If you're still learning the game then it makes sense to play for low amounts like 0.01p - 0.10p per hand as you are likely to make mistakes and run up against players much more skilled than yourself. It's always better to make a mistake that costs you £0.50p rather than £50! As you get better at poker you can gradually move into higher stake games.
The next type of game is a Tournament. To enter an internet poker tournament you will need to pay a fixed fee to join a table - the fee can be anything from 0.25p - £25,000. You pay your fee and in exchange you are given a specific amount of poker chips, normally between 300 and 2000.
Every player at the table pays the same fee and receives the same amount of chips. Once the table is full the game begins and continues until there is one player remaining. If you lose all your chips then you are knocked out of the tournament. The last player standing then wins the tournament and the cash prize. The prize is usually the entry fees of all the other players.
Tournaments are a great way for new players to gain valuable experience without risking serious money. I would recommend that new players learn poker by playing in small stakes tournaments so play in tournaments with fees from £0.25 up to £1.00. The players you're playing against at these levels will be of similar ability to you and if you play solid, steady poker by the numbers you'll win more than you lose.
So now you need to know how to play a steady solid game. Luckily it's pretty simple to teach basic poker strategy that should have you showing a profit, but first you need to know the basics of how a poker game is played - click here to learn more about poker basics.