Do you want to learn how to play poker? Poker is an awesome game, yet a sophisticated one if you really want to win! Before you read of advanced poker strategies and complicated techniques though, you might need to learn the basic rules of the game. Here is a very good poker guide by Maple Casino to get you started.

Your first steps in poker

As a newcomer to the online poker world, I am sure you have absolutely no clue about how to play the game. Any poker game! You stumble upon multiple poker variations and I bet you are feeling lost among the different rules and cards dealing ways.

The poker guide starts you off with the essentials: basic game play and variations of poker such as straight, stud, draw and community poker. All that takes no more than a page, before you are convinced No Limit Texas Hold ‘Em is the most popular poker game out there. Moreover, if you master that one, the ideas you learn, will carry you through other poker variations.

Hand rankings are part of the first steps you take in poker. Whenever I sit down and play with friends, who have never played poker before in their lives, I notice they have trouble remembering which hand beats the others. Briefly explaining the hand ranks seems insufficient, as I see them taking out a piece of paper and writing them down. Sure, you could do that, but at online poker’s high speed, you should really begin by memorizing hand rankings.

The final step is learning of the betting rounds in online poker. You do not go wild betting whenever or whatever you want! Waiting for your turn to come before you bet and knowing proper bet sizing is good poker etiquette to say the least. Not to mention better chance to come out a winner!

Learn about position and basic poker strategy

poker-positionsNow that you know of the basic poker rules, do not rush into sitting down at a table! It is time to build some poker skills even before you are dealt your first hand.

Position, position, position. This may be the most important tip you should remember when playing No Limit poker. Position is paramount. Position dictates your edge. Playing from late positions will always generate more profit than other positions. Always try remembering that!

The poker guide explains the positions’ abbreviations you are going to meet very often in your poker career. Although they are not crucial to learn them by heart, as you read more and more poker books, you will quickly get accustomed to these poker terms. For example, the Cut Off positions, that is the position before the Button, is abbreviated CO. That saves both space when writing and time when talking about poker. You also sound more experienced.

Next, come a couple of pages that talk a little about strategy and bluffing. Perhaps you will need to read them more than once to comprehend their meaning. You will realize that players fall into four categories: tight, loose, aggressive and passive. The first two depend on the number of hands they play, while the last two corresponds to their style of play, in particular their betting activity. Finally, bluffing, although being a popular action, should be avoided during your first poker games.

Find out about poker etiquette and history

Following a more detailed poker variations’ explanation, the Maple poker guide mentions some important things to strive for and things to avoid at live poker tables. Wait for your turn, be respectful and keep your strategy to yourself while avoid chatting that often, taking your cards out of sight and of course, letting other players see your hole cards!

Some of that advice do apply at online poker tables though, such as restrain yourself from playing too loosely just to feel involved in the game!

The final part of the poker guide talks about poker history and trivia that is always a good read to loosen up, after absorbing all the knowledge found in the guide’s previous 15 pages. Did you know for example, that the odds of a Four of a Kind getting beaten by a Royal Flush are 2.7 billion to one – and it happened at the 2008 World Series of Poker?

[box type=”download”] You can download the free Maple poker guide here![/box]