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All you ever need to know about "Poker"

Posted by Prinahata  |  08. July 2011



Poker is a card game which combines
elements of both skill and luck. While the game in its current form originated in the United States, today it is widely played across the globe in countless variations - though most versions share certain similarities (for example, most have the same hand rankings to judge the winning hand). Unlike most other casino games, Poker is played against other players rather than against the "house". It can be played either in a 'ring game' format for chips (usually representing money) or in a tournament format where each competitor starts out with the same number of chips and plays until one player is holding all the chips. Tournaments generally award prizes for the top finishers. The team of PokerStrategy.com helps us learn the basics of Poker by answering the following questions.

Tell us something about your website?
PokerStrategy.com is the world's largest online poker school. We have over 5 million members and produce content in 18 different languages. The content we offer includes poker training videos, written articles, and interactive quizzes. We also have forums in each language where players can interact with each other by talking about poker or anything else they like. We believe our success is strongly correlated to the sense of community within our forums.

Most of our coaches are well-known professional poker players who are extremely qualified to teach the material. We have coaches who cater to every level of player from absolute beginners to high-stakes veterans.

How can one learn poker online... how efficient is it?
Learning poker online is probably the fastest and best way to learn the game for a number of reasons. First, the strategy of the game is constantly evolving. A book that may have been considered excellent just a few years ago but e-learning is the fad now as books become outdated and online one can incorporate information frequently and videos using cutting edge analysis are being created all the time.

Another great reason to learn poker online is because the majority of poker playing in the world today takes place online. It is much easier to play with little money online than playing at a casino. Online poker is an excellent alternative to live play at all levels, and beginners are likely to find it easier to start off playing on the internet. The best way to learn poker is the combination of both playing and studying it. Study can be watching videos, reading articles, and talking about the strategy of the game.

Poker is an extremely popular game abroad... how is the trend catching up in India?
In India, poker is not yet covered by mass media like it is in Europe where most online sports portals have a poker section. However, in the last several weeks a lot of editorial content on the subject has been published in the Indian media. For the first time they are noticing the rise in popularity of poker. Right now, India has a vivid live poker scene that regularly gathers in Goa to play poker tournaments.

Tell us the five basic rules of poker?
The rules for each poker variant are different, but here are the elementary rules of the most popular game, Texas Hold'em:
• All players in a hand are dealt 2 cards, face-down. Players may look only at their own cards.
• A "dealer button" rotates clockwise from player to player around the table after each hand is played. This designates the order that players must act, and it designates which players must put in the 'blinds'- bets which a player is forced to make before even receiving their cards.
• Each player acts in order and can either bet (place chips into the pot that must be matched by opponents), call (match the bets of opponents), raise (place more chips in the pot than opponents had bet), or fold (choose to put no more chips into the pot and forfeit their hand and chance to win the pot).
• After all players have completed an action, there is the "flop": 3 community face-up cards are placed on the center of the table. Another round of betting occurs. The "turn", 1 community face-up card, is placed next to the "flop", followed by another round of betting. A final "river" face-up card is placed with the other 4 community cards, followed by a last round of betting.
• The player(s) with the best 5-card poker hand out of their 7 available cards (the 2 in their hand and the 5 community cards combined) wins the pot. If at any point all of the players but 1 chooses to fold, the remaining player wins the pot without having to complete all of the betting rounds.

While the rules may seem complicated reading them, this and other forms of poker are very simple to learn- but can take a lifetime to master.

Give the readers a few tips on poker?
Two of the most important concepts for beginners to learn are playing "tight" and "in position". "Tight" play means that a player is only playing strong hands. Putting chips into the pot with weak starting hands is rarely the correct decision; it almost always results in an unprofitable situation. Examples of strong hands include pairs (both of your cards are the same value of different suits) and hands with 2 high cards (face cards such as a King or Queen and Aces).

Playing "in position" means that you should try to play hands when you are last to act. The player with the dealer button has the best position in each hand because he gets to act last on each round of betting. The advantage of acting last is that you can see the actions of all of your opponents before you need to make your decision to continue in a hand or fold.

E-learning is the biggest fad now... do you think even other games can be learnt online?
Learning skills via the internet is perhaps not a "fad" as much as it is advancement on previous teaching methods. In the past, the two primary ways for individuals to learn a game properly were by reading books or getting private lessons. E-learning as a format can be effectively used for teaching any game with a significant strategy component. Games like poker, chess, and backgammon come to mind immediately. Any time there are enough players interested in mastering a game; there will likely be someone willing to fill the void in the market with a website to teach them.
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