So you love poker games or even just all kinds of card games. You’re a regular at the casino who enjoys the thrill of and strategy behind games. But did you know that many casino games besides Texas Hold’em also involve poker or a part of how poker games work, according to USGamblingSites.com? Games like Three Card Poker, Mississippi Stud, Mexican Stud Poker, and Let It Ride all revolve around poker gameplay or are variants of it. To ace games at casinos, you definitely need some good poker skills. The good news is, you can improve your poker skills just by picking up some skills, tips, and tricks! Read on to find out what these useful tips and skills are!
Understanding Hand Rankings
If you’re a regular at casinos and enjoy games of poker with your friends, I’m sure that you’re already aware of how to play the games and how the basics work. Even if you’re a beginner who has no background in the game, the basics of poker are easy to learn and simple to grasp. The most basic thing you should know is your hand. Hands follow a ranking based on how hard it is to achieve the combination of cards from a deck of playing cards—which means that the harder the hand to achieve, the higher it is ranked. This is why a royal flush is typically ranked the highest as it is the hardest to attain since it even includes an ace, the highest-ranked card, in it. To start playing any form of casino game that involves poker, you need to know the rankings of the hands.
- Royal Flush
- Straight Flush
- Four of a Kind
- Full House
- Three of a Kind
- Two Pair
- High Card
As mentioned, a royal flush is regarded as the highest. In the case where some hands have the same rank, the order is then decided by the highest card, where the hand with the highest card wins. Ace is the highest-ranked card, with the lowest card being two.
Most casino games follow the traditional hand rankings if they use the workings of poker. But it is important to note that not all games follow the ranking mentioned above. An example is the Three Card Poker game. In the game, a flush is actually ranked lower than a straight hand, different from the usual hand ranking. This is because, in a Three Card Poker game, a straight is actually harder to attain than a flush. Following the same reason, three of a kind is therefore also ranked higher than a straight. For other games like video poker games or those that contain wildcards in the gameplay, other hands also come into the picture and this changes the ranking of hands.
So now that you’ve understood the ranking of hands, we can jump into odds. Understanding odds is the key to understanding how the ranking of hands work. In fact, hands are ranked according to the odds of drawing and being dealt certain cards. These odds determine which hands are harder to complete than others, and why some hands are ranked higher than others. When playing any game that is based on poker, a good tip is to make use of odds when making decisions.
Here is an example: You have four cards to a flush, and just received a pair of queens. Should you choose to hold on to the latter or the former? You can determine the answer based on the odds of how you can improve your hands, in both ways. If you hold onto the pair of queens, you will not only be getting paid every time, but you might also draw more queens for a better hand. You might even draw two pair or a full house. On the other hand, holding onto the four to a flush means that there are only nine more cards that achieve your flush. Compared to 38 other cards that don’t, it means you are more likely to draw one out of the 38 cards for your hand.
Even though a flush pays higher, when taking into account the profit for each hand, it is actually more profitable to keep the pair of queens. You can also use odds in other games that are based on poker. This helps you make better decisions, and therefore better your gameplay. Odds can even be used when thinking about the remaining cards in the deck. Let’s think about
this with the blackjack table in mind. By tracking the cards that have been dealt and played, you can know the ratio of high to low cards that remain. With this in mind, you can think about how likely you are to receive a card that is beneficial, compared to one that is not. You can then make your decision.
Practice Makes Perfect
Practice makes perfect— I’m sure we have all heard this many times over. But this age-old saying stays true and relevant, even when it comes to casino games. Undeniably, the best way to improve any skill is to practice! This applies to poker as well. You can start by simply dealing out a deck of cards and looking at the hands that unfold. With the workings of the different games in mind, deal out hands to practice your poker skills and see if the decisions you make are correct. To better your skills, it also helps to read up on the games online and even watch some YouTube videos on them. The truth is, poker and its variant games are mostly based on mathematics, and understanding the underlying math is how you can ace the games.
If you are able to ace the basics of poker and know how it works inside out, you are sure to ace many games at the casinos. Since a vast variety of casino games are based on or are variants of poker, having basic and advanced poker skills will help you make better and wiser decisions, which bring better gameplay and outcomes. Even if you’re not a strong player, it is not difficult to improve on your poker skills as all you need to do is simply practice regularly and read up about the gameplay.