playing poker

Poker Turn

The dealer places a fourth card face up in the center of the table, adjacent to the three flop cards.  This card is called Poker Turn.  Another round of betting follows, only this time, the stakes double.  In a $4-$ 8 game, the first two rounds of betting are in $4 increments.  On Poker Turn, betting occurs in $ 8 increments.  Apart from that, players have the same betting options as the previous round.  They can check or bet if no bet has yet been made.  They can fold, call, or raise if a bet has been made – up to the cap.

The River

Finally, the dealer the fifth card face up in the center of the table, adjacent to the four community cards already there.  This card is known as the river.   A final round of betting takes place, again at the higher level.
  When the betting has been equalized, there is a showdown of all remaining hands, and the best hand wins the pot.

  If only one player remains; that is, there has been a bet or raise that has not been called, then that player wins the pot and no cards are shown.  The exception is if any player is all in, that is, has run out of chips, there still is a showdown, even though the betting has not been equalized.  You can never be bet out of a pot just because you run out of chips before a hand is over.  If you run out of chips and other players have chips left with which to bet, then a side pot is created that the all-in player cannot win.  On the showdown, the best hand in contention for the main pot wins it, and the best hand in contention for the side pot wins that.  The same hand might win both the main pot and side pot.

Reading the Board

If you are new to hold’em, one of your top priorities should be to learn how to accurately read the board   (how the community cards relate to your two cards).  Reading the board in hold’em is not nearly as complex as in games such as omaha eight-or-better.  It’s important, nonetheless.  These examples show situations that beginners sometimes misread.


   Your hand     Opponent’s hand




  In  Example 1, your hand is the ace-high (nut*)flush, which beats your opponent’s hand.  He uses his 7© with the 8 9 Ton the board to make a straight.  If either the 6 or J had been the river  card, instead of the K ª, your opponent would have a straight flush – and win.  When you start with considerably the best of it, such as this situation of flopping the nut flush, and end up losing on the river to a straight flush against a player who starts with only one card of that suit, you have suffered what players call a bad beat .  Part of the ability to read the board should include realizing that even if you have the nut flush, if three – or four! – cards to a straight flush are on the board, you might end up losing.  As it will be costly if you do.  So if a solid (conservative, not likely to get out of line) opponent keeps raising on Poker Turn or the river in a situation in which you think you have the nuts, take another look at the board to see if a better hand is possible. 

   Who wins the hand in Example 2?  Although you have two pair, you lose the pot to your opponent’s A-K.  Why?  He can play sevens and fours with an ace kicker, while you must play the board.  That is, the best hand you can make by using the best five of the seven available to you is what’s on the board, sevens and fours with a 5 kicker.  Your

Nut refers to the best possible hand for the situation.  Thus a nut flush  is the best possible flush that can be made.  With four hearts on the board, for example, whoever holds the A has the nut flush.  Similarly, with a board of 6 8 Q A, anyone with hole cards T-9 of any suits would have the nut straight.  That hand would also be known as the nuts, because it is the best possible hand that can be made with that board.