This year’s biggest event on the poker calendar, the World Series of Poker, kicks off in just over one month’s time on the 31st May. Taking over the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, this year is the 47th World Series, making it poker’s longest running tournament. If you consider yourself a die-hard poker fan, no doubt you’ve got your ticket already, if not, perhaps the hype is encouraging you to finally learn to play? Who knows, play your cards right and this time in 2017, you could be in the running to take home some serious prize money.

If you’re new to the game, we recommend starting off with Texas Hold’em, arguably the most popular version of the game, and the World Series of Poker’s main event.

 

A game of Texas Hold’em is usually played between two and nine players. Each player is dealt two cards face down, and they will be given a chance to place a bet based upon these initial cards. Next up, three cards are dealt face-up on the table for all players to make use of – this is called “the flop”, and is followed by a round of betting. Another card, known as “the turn” is dealt next, and is again followed by a round of betting. The final community card is called “the river” and, you’ve guessed it, it’s followed by another round of betting. Once all of these bets have been made, players have reached the “showdown”, when the player with the highest-ranking hand still in play wins all of the bets made.

 

Understanding the popularity of Texas hold’em isn’t hard – this is a simple game that will only take novices mere minutes to grasp. All the players have to focus on is forming the strongest hand possible.

The game can be enjoyed by everyone regardless of wage packets due to the introduction of pot limits, fixed limits, and no limits hold’em, meaning you can always find a game to suit your means. Plus one of the most enjoyable parts of the game is crafting your bluffing skills – which can take years. Such importance is placed on the ability to deceive and read your opponents that serious players will spend years perfecting the art, often opting to study recordings of opponents in the run up to competitions in a bid to figure them out. Poker lovers believe that bluffing is an art form, and take the process seriously. If you’re aiming to master the game in time for the next World Series of Poker, you probably should too.