Learn the rules of Poker and the strategy you should follow for the best success in this how to play poker guide. Poker has become the hottest casino game played over the last few years. It is different then other casino games in that you are actually playing against other players and not against the casino.

If you play poker, or want to play free poker, you can do so at online poker rooms where you can play for free.

Did you know that each free online poker variation has its own rules? Check out the poker school to learn more. Join one of the many online poker hand tournaments and win great prizes and big cash.

Playing Poker

Poker’s popularity continues to climb.  Players bet on the value of their hand by placing chips into the pot.  The winner is the player with the best hand based on hand rankings or if that player is the last one in the hand if everyone else has folded out.

Poker is not a single game, but a name referring to a collection of card games.  

Poker games are played with concealed cards, so that only the player knows exactly what his hand is.  Many of the games involve community cards that can be used by everyone in the game in addition to their own personal concealed cards to make the best five-card hand.

In the casino or when you play poker, the house has a dealer which runs the game as efficiently and fairly as possible, but has no vested interested in who wins.  They rake a few dollars out of every pot regardless of whom or how much is won.

The dealer button symbolizes who the dealer is and where the cards begin being dealt from and this button rotates clockwise around the table each hand. This also determines the order of betting throughout the hand.

In community card games like Texas Hold’em and Omaha, forced bets take place before the hand is dealt to the two players to the left of the dealer. These forced bets are called the blinds, small blind and big blind.  In other games like Seven Card Stud, all players usually ante a small amount to build a pot before play begins.  

The initial deal takes place and the first of several betting rounds occurs.  After the betting round, all bets are gathered into the central pot. 

Next, the players’ hands develop by adding additional cards such as community cards in flop games.  Another round of betting takes place, then additional cards, and this continues for 4-5 total betting rounds depending on the game.

During a betting round, if a player makes a bet, opponents have to choice to fold their hand and give up, call the bet, or raise and make the bet bigger.

If nobody calls the bet, the hand ends and the better wins the pot without having to show his hand.  This allows for the possibility of a player to bluff their way to winning the pot. Bluffing is what makes poker special, it is the act of betting with a weak hand hoping that opponents all fold allowing the bluffer to win a pot that he or she did not have a good enough hand to have won otherwise in a showdown.  

After the last betting round, is the showdown, which is when the players reveal their concealed cards and all hands are evaluated to see who has the best hand, that player wins the entire pot.

Forms of Poker

Draw Poker: where players each receive five concealed cards. After a betting round, players can choose to replace one or more of these cards.  The number of times this occurs depends on the game being played.

Texas Holdem Poker: Each player is dealt two cards and five community cards are used to make the best possible hand.

Omaha Poker: Each Player is dealt four cards and like Texas Holdem, they use five community cards to make their best hand. The big difference between Omaha and Texas Holdem is that in Omaha, a player must use 2 cards from his hand and three from the board to make his best 5 card hand. On the other hand, in Holdem, a player can use 0, 1, or both of his hole cards to make his best hand.

Stud Poker: Players start with a couple of concealed cards and one face up card, after each betting round an additional face up card is dealt to each player.  Usually the final card for each player is dealt concealed to the player.

Poker Strategy

Of all casino games, poker is by far the most complex, most challenging, and most exciting.  The amount of strategy involved is much greater then other games because of the many variations of poker games, the complexity of playing against a table of other players, and tough decisions as to when to fold, call, raise or bluff.

The best place to learn how to play poker for free is at poker rooms that offer great sign up bonuses, safe and secure play, exciting big prize pool poker tournaments, and variable stakes from free play to tables in excess of $100 per bet..

Another great resource to learn the rules and strategy is from a World Series of Poker champion who teaches how to play the different games at his poker school. Using video and audio to explain the different poker games and the tactics, strategy, and style to have success playing poker

Free Poker

Learning how to play poker is often a different experience for different people. Some people learn how to play poker at home from their parents, some learn from watching TV, some learning by walking into a casino and sitting down at a poker seat, and some learn by playing online poker.

What is cool about online poker is that is anonymous so you don't have to be self conscious about making mistakes in front of people. Online nobody knows who you are so you can go at your own pace when learning the rules, how the game is played and basic strategy. And the best part of playing online poker is that it is free. Playing for free poker is readily available all over the Internet and this for free poker guide is constantly reviewing which free online poker rooms have the best graphics, game play and tournaments that you can play.

Let for free poker be a guide to helping you get your feet wet playing online poker. Remember, players often play a little wilder when playing with free poker chips so be ready to win and lose some big pots.

The following is a comprehensive list of the best free online poker rooms where you can set up an account and be playing with play chips in minutes. But first let me mention that the best way to sign up for an online poker room is through a site in order to get Rake back if you ever decide to go from playing free poker to playing for real money. Poker Rake back returns some of the money the online poker rooms rake from the pot back into your poker account. What is great is that the following free poker rooms let you play 100% free poker tournaments and if you decide to make a deposit you will be getting the best bonus and highest rake back percentages.

Practice playing poker for free is about the best thing you can do to improve your poker skills and understand the game rules. Free poker games exist all over the Internet from state of the art online poker rooms to playing your friends on Facebook. No matter where you play free poker it gives you an opportunity to enjoy the fun and excitement of playing poker while showing you the tough beats and agony.

Another place to practice is to play with your friends. Set up a poker tournament and deal some cards out with nothing but pride on the line. The beauty of poker is that even for free the competitive juice flows as you try your best to outwit your opponents or friends in order to collect as many poker chips as you can. Practice poker for free and you will be ready to play poker against the pros, just don't rush it.

Free poker tournaments are everywhere these days. A free poker tournament is often referred to as a free roll tournament and usually has a small cash prize for the top finishers. Some free roll tournaments have prize pools of $25 and some have much larger prize pools. Having a little something to play for makes the free poker tournament competitive as players try their best to finish in the money. But playing free poker tournaments to win money should not be the only reason you play these poker tournaments. Free poker tournaments are an excellent way to learn and improve your poker game.

Try new things like being more aggressive before the flop. For example, maybe you can try to steal the blinds when you are in good position but you are holding weak cards. If no one has called when it is your turn to act, raise the pot about triple the big blind, hopefully everyone folds and you win the blinds. This type of play in a poker tournament is important because you add needed chips to your stack that will counteract the chips you lose when it is your turn to be in the big blind and small blind. This type of aggressive before the flop play is something that pros do quite often during every poker tournament they play. Learning the timing and technique to this poker play will increase your chance of finishing in the money during your free poker tournament. The great part about playing free poker tournaments is that you have nothing to lose, so trying new strategies and aggressive plays is something you should experiment with to see what works best for you during multiple table poker tournaments.

Free poker tournaments are offered on nearly every online poker site but do not just click on the first advertisement you see. Instead, try going to a reputable site where you not only can sign up to play free poker tournaments at many different poker rooms but you can also sign up for rake back and receive the best first deposit bonus as well when you decide to make the move from free poker tournaments to real money poker tournaments. Rake is the small percentage of money you pay the online poker room as an entry fee into poker tournaments. That entry fee or rake is usually less then 10% of the buy-in for the tournament. With rake back, you get a good percentage of that rake they take from you put back into your account each week.

Playing free poker tournaments is a great way to get started playing online poker because you can really get a great feel for how poker tournaments are run, understand the rules of poker tournaments and experience the excitement of approaching and making a final table. Best of luck always, but remember poker is a game of skill so try to improve your poker game by experimenting with new ideas during the free poker tournaments and analyze the outcomes to help you find which decisions work best during the free poker tournament.

Free poker is offered at nearly every major online poker room. Free poker games benefit not only the players but also benefits the online card rooms because free poker games attract new players and teaches them how to play poker so they feel comfortable and become depositing poker players. Many regular players begin by playing free poker games before realizing they are good enough to start playing cash poker games and real buy-in poker tournaments. Free poker games are fun and entertaining without the stress of actually gambling your money.

Famous poker player Chris Ferguson has won several World Series of Poker bracelets. On one occasion Chris Ferguson challenged himself to see if he could take his online poker account from $0 to $1000. Obviously starting with no money meant Chris Ferguson had to play free poker tournaments just to get his bankroll started. After finishing in the money in one of the free poker tournaments Chris Ferguson took his winnings and started to build his bankroll and within a few months reached his $10,000 goal. Using great bankroll management techniques the poker pro moved from free poker games up the ladder generating a healthy profit in the process.

For Free Poker recommends you get your online poker feet wet by starting out playing free poker games and tournaments with play chips. The play chips have no value, but act as a scorecard to see how you are progressing. You can build up your play chip bankroll setting and reaching goals for yourself. Combine that with reading books and articles on the Internet and watching free poker videos that teach you strategies that you can use to improve your poker results.

Last night I was playing poker for free online and I was having such a good time. I was playing two tables at the same time. The first was a free roll tournament with a prize pool of $20. The other was a free play table in which everyone has free chips and can practice without the pressure of real money. The free roll tournament was free to get into so there was thousands of players competing. I love playing these free roll tournaments because I learn quite a bit and can use the poker strategy I have read about and seen watching poker videos to improve my chances of winning.

In the tournament, I was able to build up a large stack of chips which for awhile put me in the top 100 players in the tournament. After a long dry spell I was starting to get short stacked and I became more aggressive. Because of the for free poker chips being used players were probably playing a little looser than normal. I raised under the gun with Ace Queen and was re raised all-in by a player who was just switched to my table. After everyone else folded, the tough decision of whether or not I should call for all of my remaining chips was on me. I decided Ace Queen was pretty good and that I needed to win a hand sooner or later. I called. My opponent had a pair of 7's and the flop, turn and river were all little cards so I got eliminated in 785th place. The experience of playing in a large tournament with lots of players really should help me in the future.

Oh, and in the side game I played patiently all night and tripled the for free poker play chips I started with when I first sat down at the table. Good Luck! Free online poker tournaments are happening all over the Internet right now, and with cash prizes for even poker tournaments that are free to enter you can start winning today.

Poker Hand Rankings

Poker uses hand rankings to determine who has the best hand when two or more players are competing for the same pot. Below is a description an examples of poker hand rankings.

Poker is a five card betting game played with standard playing cards. The betting aspect allows players to bet as to who holds the best card combination by progressively raising the stakes until either there is a showdown-when the best hand wins all the pot or only one person remains because everyone else has given up betting and dropped out. In the last case, because there is no showdown, it is possible for the pot to be won by a hand that is not actually the best hand, but by betting the bettor has bluffed out the other players and won the hand. Regardless of the number of cards dealt to each player, the best five cards are used to determine the ranking of the player's hand.

From the highest ranking hand to the lowest ranking hand:

Royal Flush: five cards in suit and sequence, spade 10JQKA.

Straight Flush: five cards in suit and sequence, heart 8910JQ.

Four of a Kind: aka Fours-four cards of the same rank and one idler, as J-J-J-J-x.

Full House: aka Full Boat-three of one rank and two of another, as K-K-K-5-5.

Flush: five cards in suit but not in sequence, heart 3-heart 4-heart 8-heart 10-heart K.

Straight: five cards in sequence but not in suit, club 8-heart 9-diamond 10-spade J-diamond Q.

Three of a Kind: aka Threes, Triplet, Trips, Set-three of the same rank plus two of two different ranks, as 9-9-9-x-y.

Two Pair: two different pairs, A-A-8-8-x.

One Pair: one pair, 6-6-x-y-z.

High Card: no combination, between two high card hands the one with the highest card wins.

You can learn to play online poker for free at some online poker rooms.

Poker

Poker is a card game played with two or more players. Poker card games involve several rounds of betting in which players wager on the value of their cards in an effort to win chips or money from their opponents. The rules of betting and game play are slightly different for each of the many poker game variations. The most popular poker game is Texas Holdem, which is a community card game where each player at the table is dealt two pocket cards that only he or she knows the value of and then uses the pocket cards with the community cards to make the best possible five card poker hand. The possible five card poker hands are ranked and using these hand rankings the winning poker hand is determined.

Poker Game Play

Poker games are different from each other by how the cards are dealt, the way hands are formed, limits on bets, number of betting rounds and in some games whether the high and/or low hand wins the pot. During poker game play the first round of betting begins with a forced bet to create a pot and induce the betting action during the hand. The action then goes to the left, clockwise, around the table. Each player in turn must match the previous bet or fold. Folding in poker means a player has given up on that hand and therefore can no longer win that hand. During poker game play a player who decides not to fold has a choice to either match the previous bet an act known as calling or the player can increase the previous bet an act known as raising. Each poker betting round ends when all players have either folded or matched the last bet. If only one player remains after any betting round the hand is over and that player collects the pot. If during the final round of betting more then one player remains, each hand is shown and the highest ranking poker hand wins the pot.

Poker Skill

Poker is known as a skill game because unlike most other gambling games the money wagered is only placed into the pot voluntarily by each player. Winning poker players make better betting decisions based on probability, psychology and experience. Each poker hand involves chance as to who will win that particular hand. However, skilled poker players understand that over the long run winning poker players make better betting decisions than losing poker players and this determines a players poker skill. The betting system is what differentiates poker from other gambling games.

Poker Games

Poker games are played in many different variations. Draw games, community card games and stud games make up the majority of poker game variations. Poker community card games are also known as flop games and are the most popular modern poker games played. The family of community card games contain the notable poker variations of Texas Holdem, Omaha Hi-Lo and Omaha. Draw games in which you exchange unwanted cards for new cards was originally one of poker's top games but have been heavily replaced as the game of choice first by stud games and more recently the community card games. Stud games like 7-card Stud involve players betting against one another based on the strength of their hands and their opponents hand with some cards from each hand exposed to everyone and some cards kept private until the showdown. The different poker games and the variations of them make poker an exciting and challenging card game.

Understanding Poker Odds

Calculate Poker Odds to Learn How to Win PokerCome check out and learn the mathematical odds for poker that will help you win and become a better poker player.Understanding Poker Odds is a vital aspect of winning poker. Check the odds explains the various odds calculations and poker probabilities to improve your decision making at the poker table.

Start off by looking at the Flop Odds Chart that will show you the probability that your starting hand will flop either a hand or a draw.

The Heads Up Odds Chart offers shows common heads up situations that occur when a player is all in before the flop and is against a single opponent.

The Drawing Odds page explains the probability of making a draw on the turn and river. Odds to make a straight, odds to make a flush, and odds to make a full house are vital probabilities to know by heart when making poker decisions such as should you call when facing a bet or should you semi-bluff. A semi-bluff is when you bet or raise when you are on a draw, though you currently do not have a winning hand, the prospect of winning the pot right away if your opponents fold plus the chance of making your draw make semi-bluffing a valuable play.

The Pot Odds page explains the concept of pot odds and how they should be calculated when making a poker decision like calling or folding.

Implied Odds is an important concept that many beginners often do not understand. Yet, implied odds are really a simple concept that will dramatically change the way you play poker.

The Poker Odds Calculator allows you to input several hands into the program to see the outcome. Compare the winning percentages of certain poker hands verse others to deepen your understanding of poker hand values.

Heads-up Odds

All-in Preflop Heads Up HandsOdds of Winning
AA vs. KK AA wins about 80%
AA vs. AK AA wins about 87%
KK vs. AK KK wins about 66%
AA vs. 22 AA wins about 80%
AA vs. 76 suited AA wins about 77%
AK vs. 76 suited AK wins about 60%
AK vs. QJ AK wins about 64%
AK vs. 22 22 wins about 51%
AK vs. KQ AK wins about 73%
AQ vs. KQ AQ wins about 70%
AQ vs. QJ AQ wins about 70%
AQ vs. KJ AQ wins about 60%
AT vs. KQ AT wins about 58%
A2 vs. JT A2 wins about 55%
KK vs. K2 KK wins about 94%

Flop Odds for Common Poker Hand Situations

CHANCES of FLOPPING    
With two unpaired cards, Qh-9c Probability Odds Against
Nothing 71.0%
0.4
to 1
One pair 26.9%
2.7
to 1
Two pair (using both pocket cards) 2.0%
48.5
to 1
Trips 1.3%
73.2
to 1
Full house 0.1%
1,087.1
to 1
Quads 0.0%
9,799.0
to 1
With pocket pair, i.e. 10-10
 
Probability Odds Against
Two pair 16.2%
5.2
to 1
Set 10.8%
8.3
to 1
Full house 0.7%
135.1
to 1
Quads 0.2%
407.2
to 1
With two unsuited cards, i.e. 5d-8h
 
Probability Odds Against
Flush draw 2.2%
43.5
to 1
Backdoor flush draw 12.8%
6.8
to 1
Flush by the river 1.8%
53.3
to 1
With two suited cards, i.e. 4s-9s
 
Probability Odds Against
Flush 0.8%
117.8
to 1
Flush draw 10.9%
8.1
to 1
Backdoor flush draw 41.6%
1.4
to 1
Flush by the river 6.4%
14.6
to 1
With suited connectors, 6s-7s
 
Probability Odds Against
Straight 1.3%
76.5
to 1
Straight draw (open-ended) 9.6%
9.4
to 1
Flush draw 10.9%
8.1
to 1
Straight or flush draw 19.1%
4.2
to 1
With connectors, i.e. 7-8
 
Probability Odds Against
Straight 1.3%
76.5
to 1
Straight draw (open-ended) 9.6%
9.4
to 1
Straight by the river: AK, A2 3.0%
32.3
to 1
Straight by the river: KQ, 23 6.5%
14.4
to 1
Straight by the river: QJ, 34 10.0%
9.0
to 1
Straight by the river: All others 13.0%
6.7
to 1
With 1-gap connectors, i.e. 7-9
 
Probability Odds Against
Straight 1.0%
101.0
to 1
Straight draw (open-ended) 8.1%
11.4
to 1
Straight by the river: AQ, A3 3.0%
32.3
to 1
Straight by the river: KJ, 24 6.5%
14.4
to 1
Straight by the river: All others 10.0%
9.0
to 1

Knowing your probabilities will give you a better understanding of your relative hand value. Note, if heads up and your opponent has two unpaired cards, he will flop nothing over 70 percent of the time.

What are the Poker Draw Odds for Making Hopefully Winning Poker Hands

Type of Drawing HandImprove to this HandNumber of OutsOdds on the Flop to Make Your Hand on Turn or RiverOdds On the Turn to Make Your Hand on the River
Open Ended Straight Flush Draw Straight or Flush or Pair 21 72.32% 47.73%
Open Ended Straight Flush Draw Straight or Flush 15 54.10% 32.60%
Inside Straight Straight or Pair 10 38.40% 21.70%
Four Flush Flush 9 35% 19.60%
Open Ended Straight Draw Straight 8 31.50% 17.40%
Three of a Kind Full House 7 27.80% 15.20%
Unmatched Pocket Cards One Pair 6 24.10% 13%
One Pair Two pair or Three of a Kind 5 20.40% 10.90%
Two Pair Full House 4 16.50% 8.70%
Inside Straight Straight 4 16.50% 8.70%
One Pair Two Pair 3 12.50% 6.50%
Pocket Pair Three of a Kind 2 8.40% 4.30%
Three of a Kind Four of a Kind 1 4.30% 2.20%

Number of Outs is the number of cards that exist in the deck that can make your hand. For example, you would have 8 outs for an open ended straight draw. If you hold 78, and the flop is 56K, then you would make a straight with the four 4's in the deck and the four 9's in the deck. Those eight cards are your outs.

Poker Odds Calculator to Help Learn the Mathematical Odds of Specific Poker Situations

Check the Odds for poker. Calculate Hand Odds, Calculate Pot Odds, and Calculate Poker Odds. Calculate No Limit Holdem Odds, Limit Holdem Odds, Omaha Odds, Omaha High Low Odds, 7 Card Stud Odds, and Razz Odds.

 

When you play poker and wish to know your winning percentages, the odds calculator always has the answer. The odds calculator by Poker Listings provides you with poker hand percentages, flop percentages, and the odds calculations that can teach you how to play poker better. The odds poker calculator tool calculates Texas holdem poker odds and hand odds percentages between two and five players. Use the Texas Holdem Poker Odds Calculator to learn the relative poker hand odds and help you make better decisions and use the odds calculator to study hands you have played to see if you made the best decision.

What are Pot Odds in Poker?

Pot Odds are the ratio of the size of the pot to the amount of the call you have to make. For example, a pot with $100 in it and you have to either call $10 or fold, then you have 100 to 10 (10 to 1) pot odds on that call. Usually this is written as 10:1.

Compare the pot odds to your probability of winning the hand. For example, if you have a flush draw after the flop, you have a 35% chance of winning the hand by making a flush on the turn or the river. 35% expressed as 3.5:10 shows you how easy it is to compare to pot odds. If you have 1:10 pots odds on the flop call but have 3.5:10 chance of winning, then making that call is easy. This comparison is known as expected value of your hand.

The expected value of a call is calculated by comparing the pot odds to the odds of making your draw that wins the pot. When you have that drawing hand that you know is behind but can win if you catch one of your outs, then you can use the pot odds comparison to determine whether the expected value of your hand is worth making the call. When the chances of making your draw is higher then the pot odds then the call has a positive expectation. A positive expectation, or positive EV, is that in the long run that call will be profitable. On the other hand, if the odds of making your draw are less then the pot odds then the call has a negative expectation. A negative expectation, or negative EV, means that in the long run that call will be unprofitable.

Note, the expected value should be adjusted for implied odds, which takes into account the next round of betting.

Pot Odds are an important concept to understand. Consistently making positive EV decisions and folding during negative EV decisions are characteristics of winning poker players.

What are Implied Odds in Poker

Implied Odds in Poker is an extension of Pot Odds. Implied Pot Odds are calculated the same way you calculate Pot Odds but with Implied Pot Odds you consider future betting rounds. Implied Odds are figured in situations where you will likely fold on the next round of betting if you miss your draw, but if you make the hand your drawing to then you will gain additional bets from the player(s) who call.

You can add these expected additional bets to the current pot and this gives you the implied pot. When you use the Implied Pot when calculating your Pot Odds decision, you are calculating the Implied Pot Odds.

Often times a call will appear to have a negative expectation when looking only at the current pot odds, but when you consider the additional bets on the next betting round that you will gain if you make your hand then the call may become a positive expectation play.

Texas Holdem poker example,, you are facing a $20 call into a $100 pot during the betting round before the river card is dealt, a 1:5 (20%) decision. You have an open ended straight draw giving you 8 outs out of the 46 unseen cards. 8:46 (17.4%). Looking at your pot odds, this call would have a negative expectation. However, if you add the additional $20 bet you will earn on the river if you make your straight draw, then your implied pot will be $120. So the $20 call you face actually wins $120, making it 1:6 (16.7%) decision. Since the odds of making your hand is 17.4%, which is greater then the implied pot odds of 16.7%, making the call here has a positive expectation.

Implied Odds

Implied odds is a concept that takes pot odds to the next level. Understanding pot odds can help make marginal decisions easier and can generally enhance one’s Odds Calculations in Poker

In general, when making a poker decision, the challenge is to determine your highest expected value play, or in lay terms, the play that is going to make you the most money. If you calculate that you are 4-to-1 to win a hand, you need the pot to offer you better than 4-to-1 odds to make a call correct.

However, this calculation does not take into consideration additional money you may win if you hit your hand. This can be an important factor.

Implied Odds in Poker

Implied odds expands the idea of pot odds to help give a more accurate picture of a situation. For example, you hold 8s 9s and the board reads Td 7h As. There is $50 in the pot and your opponent bets $50 more, offering you $50 to win $100, or 2-to-1. Your odds of making an open ended straight draw are closer to 5-to-1, so in normal circumstances this would be a fold.
However, lets say your opponent is very deep stacked and you are confident he has a big ace. If you call, he will probably bet again on the turn.

If a jack or six comes, you may be able to raise and get a call from him. If you think you can get him to put another $200 in the pot after you hit your hand, you are really putting in $50 for a chance to win $300, or 6-to-1. In this case, your $50 call would be correct due to the implied odds offered by the extra money you can win after hitting your hand. Important Facts about Implied Odds:

Implied odds, unlike pot odds, are an estimate. There’s no way to know if and how much an opponent will be willing to put in after you hit your hand. This is especially true if you are drawing at a flush, which is easy to see if it comes. And since the real game – unlike Caribbean poker and other casino variations – is played against other players, you can just make a more or less qualified guess how your opponents will act.

Be careful about your implied odds estimates and use implied odds as a legitimate tool to help with marginal decisions, not as an excuse to make questionable calls.

Poker Chips Cards Tables Guide

Poker Chips Guide for Tournament Poker Game Fun and Excellence

Most casino chips are made of clay and other composite materials, and are produced through a process of compression molding. Quality chip manufacturing is a difficult process that expensive and takes a great deal of time and effort. The compression molding process exerts extreme pressure of 10,000 psi and extreme heat of 300 °F.

Ceramic chips are an alternative to clay chips and are often referred to as clay composite. Composite chips are injection molded solid white ceramic disks with printed on designs. Many home chip sets are molded around metal inserts in the middle to add weight to the chip. When playing, the ability to easily stack chips is important, and generally a heavier chip will stack better then a light one. The weight of the chips vary between 8.5 and 13.5 grams. Normally, the heavier the chip the better they are for playing, but heavier chips make transporting them more difficult.

Prices for chip sets vary and you usually get what you pay for. For example, you will notice the game play is much more enjoyable for heavier clay or composite chips then those that are cheap like plastic. Most home game poker set designs show six faces of a die or the suit symbols circling the face of the chip's outer edge. The colors for chip sets are usually white, red, and blue. Some sets have additional colors like black and yellow as well. Usually, having a sufficient amount of the three basic colors will enable chip counting aspect of the game to be simplified making the overall playing experience better.

Poker Cards Guide

Playing cards are made up of either cardboard or plastic. To increase the durability and enhance the brightness of the colors, the cardboard or paper sheets go through a varnishing process. The printed sheets go through an automated process which cuts each card out and rounds the corners. The 52 card deck plus 2 jokers is then wrapped in cellophane and placed inside its cardboard case.

Do not overlook the importance of getting quality playing cards. The cards themselves make a huge impact when playing poker. Shuffling, dealing, and the overall game speed are all improved when using higher performance cards. There are many different designs to choose from when buying a deck of cards, but for a good home game you should usually look to get two decks of a name brand like card manufacturer like Copag. Make sure the two decks are different colors so they do not get mixed up, usually a blue deck and a red deck work best. When playing at a home game, while the dealer is dealing the current hand the player to his left will be shuffling the next deck of cards so he will be ready to deal when the current hand ends. Note the size of the card rank and symbol, when sitting at the end of an oval table it is often difficult to see the cards clearly especially if the rank and symbol design is small.

Poker Table Guide

When buying a poker table there are some things you need to consider in order to get one that is conducive to playing cards. The shape of the table is certainly something you need to consider. The importance of the table shape is evident when several seated players can easily be able to reach the middle, where the game play takes place and where the pot is usually located. The closer the players are to the center the easier it is to deal out cards, to see the community cards that are laid face up in the middle, and for players to reach the cards or chips located in the center of the table. If your game consists of 6-8 players, round or octagonal tables work the best as every sitting player will be able to reach the center of the poker table. If you plan to have 8-10 players, then an oval table is the better choice. Oval poker tables allow the players in the center to easily reach the edges to help push chips and cards in and out to the ends of the table making the home game run smoother.

The surface of the table should be slick enough to allow the cards to glide across the top easily, yet it should have enough grip that the cards do not slip off the other side. Normally, felt type material works the best such as baize, or the Teflon-coated fabric known as speed cloth which slides the cards easily across the table top. If the table top is wood, a lacquer finish is recommended so that the cards slide easily to their intended destination. Higher end poker tables have a padded and slightly raised edge, known as the rail where players can rest their arms. Occasionally, a wooden space between the rail and felt circles around the table. This flat surface is known as the race track and is often used for cup holders.

The most important detail in whatever table you choose is its sturdiness. Look for table legs that provide solid support to the poker table, especially because you need to expect players to lean on the table, rest their elbows on the table, and to place drinks and food on the table. The table needs to be sturdy enough to handle these things.

If you only plan to use the table occasionally, then having the legs fold inward for storage is important. For fold away tables, look for one that is lightweight so it can be easily moved and one that folds easily without pinching your fingers.

Hosting Poker Holdem Games Strategy

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