WSOP: Beginner's Guide to Poker

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10 minutes

Poker is a popular card game that requires players to have a lot of specific skills, attention and stamina. To start playing and eventually become a poker pro, players need to know not only the basic rules, but also the differences between certain poker varieties and card combinations. It will also be useful to understand the terminology. We offer a detailed guide, which will be useful for poker beginners.

Varieties of Poker

Poker is popular all over the world. It is actively played by over a million players, tournaments and competitions are held. The game is available in several formats: 

  • online as a casino slot machine;
  • Live - the game is controlled by a real dealer;
  • Playing in a mobile format, such as the WSOP platform or social/classic casino apps (Huuuge Casino, DoubleU Casino);
  • Offline - in casinos or poker rooms.

Each of the formats has peculiarities. This can also be said about the varieties of poker. Let's break down 3 types of card game: Texas Hold'em, Omaha, Oasis. 

Texas Hold'em

There can be anywhere from 2 to 10 people involved in a Hold'em hand. Each player is dealt 2 cards. After the players receive the cards, the trade begins. Even before it starts, the two players to the left of the dealer make blinds - a mandatory bet to encourage active play. Their size is fixed and specified in the description to the cash table. 

Each stage of the trade consists of several actions:

  1. Players place bets.
  2. A call is specified - a bet equal to the other player's bet.
  3. Raise. A bet is increased relative to the other player's bet.
  4. Fold. A player refuses to play and automatically leaves the deal.
  5. Check or Skip. If the bet was made a long time ago, or other players did not bet, you can leave everything as it is. The bankroll will also remain unchanged. 

At each stage, the player must perform a certain action - this is a mandatory rule of the game. If there are more than 3 players left in the deal, 3 cards are thrown on the table. This action is called the flop. In addition, another card is thrown on the table - it is called the turn


The last card on the table is called the river. It triggers another trade and then the course of the game depends on the number of players in the deal. If there are two or more players left, the cards are opened. Based on the results of the combinations made, the winner of the deal is determined. 


Omaha is a form of poker with similar rules to Texas Hold'em. It provides unusual rules, which contributes to its popularity. The rounds and stages of trading are identical to Texas Hold'em. The goal of the game is to put together a five-card hand whose value will be higher than the cards of other players or the dealer. 

The difference in Hold'em and Omaha affects the hand. Thus, in Omaha, the player receives four pocket cards. Make a prize combination can be made from 2 or 3 pocket cards that are on the board (the gaming table). Let's see an example of this rule. 

If there are 4 cards of the same suit on the table and a card of the same suit is in the player's hand, it is not considered to be a flush combination. For comparison, in Hold'em, this is how prize combinations are made. It is mandatory to have two pocket cards (in hand) and 3 cards from the board in order for the combination to count and bring the player his winnings. 


At the beginning of the game, the player has to make an ante. This is a basic bet that is made before the players even know the cards on the table and in their hands. The dealer then deals 5 cards each. One of the cards, at the discretion of both the dealer and the players, must be left open. Then begins trading. It consists of three possible moves: 

The player skips a move and passes;
The player counters the bet made by the opponent to his left;
The player draws another card. 

Then the course of the game depends on the chosen action. For example, if you choose a call (equalizing the bet), the players and the dealer to open the cards. If the dealer loses and failed to make a combination, the player does not open the cards. He gets the specified bet call and ante multiplied by x2. 

Basic card combinations

Regardless of the type of poker, a player can assemble 10 card combinations. It is customary to divide them by seniority. So, the combination "Senior card" has the lowest value, and the combination "Royal Flush" is guaranteed to win. 


The most popular combinations include: pair, straight, flush, square, royal-fresh. To make a combination, you not only need to have the necessary cards. They also need to open correctly. Let's analyze each of the combinations separately. 


This combination had two cards of the same value. For example, two Aces or two Jacks. With this combination, we can see how seniority works. For example, the highest combination will be a pair of Aces and the lowest combination will be a pair of twos. Seniority is always taken into account if two players manage to make the same combination. 


This combination consists of five cards in a row by seniority. It is mandatory that the cards must be of different suits. An example would be this combination of Ace, Deuce, Three, Four, Five. If two players manage to make a straight, the player with the highest highest card wins. 


Once a player has five cards of the same suit, it counts as a Flush. If two players manage to do this, the winner is the one with the last card higher in seniority. If the cards match, the next card is compared. 

Four of a Kind

This combination can only be formed by experienced players, as it involves 4 cards of the same rank. For example, four Aces or four Nines. The same rules apply for Kare as for other combinations. So, if several players manage to collect Kare, the winner is the player with the highest card. 

Royal Fresh

It is rare for anyone to be able to collect this combination. The reason for this is the sequence of cards. For Royal Fresh, the combination must consist of an Ace, King, Queen, Jack and Ten. They must necessarily be of the same suit. This combination is considered to be not only rare, but also the most valuable. There is nothing older than this combination. 


Beginners may not understand what hands in poker are and what they influence. Therefore, in this guide we will try to explain this term as simply and in detail as possible. So, a hand is the pocket cards the player receives at the beginning of the hand. 

Depending on the cards that are dealt, it is possible to distinguish strong or weak hands. It is necessary to understand which hand, as the chances of winning depend on it. Given the strength of the hand, it is also possible to build a strategy of moves in the trade. 

Let's break down the characteristics of each type of hand:

  1. Unpromising, weak, or junk hands. This type has several names, but in each case the chances of winning are low. Experienced players consider the following starting cards to be unlucky: 2 and 7, 3 and 8, 2 and 6, 3 and 9, or 4 and 9. They are considered unlucky because it is rarely possible to collect a prize combination with them.
  2. Medium Strength. This category includes cards whose value is limited at showdown. They can be low value cards or top cards combined with a weak trump card. A medium strength hand can be used in many different ways, much depends on the actions during the trade. There is no need to discard such cards, but players should keep a close eye on the hand.
  3. Premium. If a hand in this category comes up, the player has a high chance of winning the hand. The hand can be divided into two types: Monster cards (90% chance of winning) and strong combinations. The first type includes QQ or AA, while the second type includes combinations of 8 to jacks. 

Understanding which combinations are promising and which are not comes to players only with experience. There is no point in memorizing which cards are strong and which are weak. The more and more active a player plays, the more he'll understand the strength of his initial cards. With this knowledge in mind, he'll be able to build further play properly. 

Tips for playing poker

Any player, including a beginner, can win at poker. To increase the chances of winning, it is worth adhering to a few tips:

  1. Distribute the bankroll wisely. This rule is relevant both for beginners and experienced players. Even if there is a winning streak, you should not change the set bankroll. 
  2. Do not bluff with medium strength hands. Such hands have a nuance: they can both win and lead to winnings - the exact result depends on the deal and the actions of other players. Bluffing in this case is not worth it, because it's rarely possible to guess what cards will fall on the board next.
  3. Strong hands should be played quickly. Don't be afraid to scare off your opponent. The best solution would be an aggressive strategy - this will give a big win with constant bets.
  4. The game should be given twice as much time as the training. Understand the main nuances of poker can be only in the course of the game against real opponents and the dealer. Continuous practice will allow you to automate some actions, as well as learn to understand when other players are bluffing.
  5. There is no need to rush into decisions. Each action in the trade is better to think twice. This will keep from strong financial losses.

First, the player should choose cash tables or freerolls (free tournaments with real winnings), and then you can move on to tournaments. The WSOP platform is also worth paying attention to - it is a poker room where you can play poker from your phone. 

Poker Psychology

In order to play poker it is not enough to know the basic rules and the nuances of forming combinations. It is also necessary to understand the psychology of the game. Every experienced player knows what these situations mean - tilt, downtrick, bad beat. In addition, players know not only how to beat their opponents, but also how to cope with their emotions. Let's analyze these situations in more detail:

  1. Tilt. During the game, players can get carried away. Because of this they cease to adequately assess the game situation. Experienced experts distinguish 7 types of tilt: the player gets more and more carried away with each type and evaluates possible risks less and less. The danger of tilt is that the player can completely drain the bankroll. The situation can be dealt with in this way: it is necessary to evaluate not only the hand, but also the actions of other players. 
  2. Downstream. A losing streak that results in a loss of your bankroll. Every player can be confronted with this situation. If you are already caught up in a downpunch, it is worth taking a break from the game, improve your skills, change your strategy or discipline, and possibly lower your limits. 
  3. Bad beat. In a nutshell: A player is holding a hand and expecting it to win, but the other player or dealer holds a much stronger hand. This not only leads to a lot of frustration, but can also cause uncontrollable outbursts of anger. The only way out is to learn to accept it with dignity.

Separately, it is worth considering bluffing. This is an art that not every player can master. Since poker is a team game in which each player consistently performs certain actions, one of the components of the strategy can be bluffing. 


Using bluffs, a player can beat strong players with weak cards. Or vice versa - convince other players that he has strong cards. There are several situations where bluffing is 100% necessary:

  • bluffing to win: when a player realizes that his hand is not the strongest and he cannot win a hand without bluffing;
  • as a way of pressure: when a tough decision is to be made, bluffing can give the opponent the wrong idea;
  • in order to puzzle the opponents: the opponents necessarily watch the actions of other players. Therefore, if you bluff rarely, you can mislead them. They will call or pass. 

Use bluffs rarely and with the overall situation in mind. Otherwise, it will be revealed and it will lead to a loss. The psychology of poker is just as important as knowing the rules of the game or card combinations. The player's experience is also important - it makes it possible to assess the chances of winning sensibly. 

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