There's an old phrase that is often muttered about poker, which goes 'it takes a few minutes to learn how to play poker, and a lifetime to master'. And it's absolutely spot on.
The rules of the game are incredibly simple, yet there is so much psychology involved in the game, you'll discover that you never stop learning about poker once you start playing.
There are numerous forms of poker, but it's Texas hold 'em that has come to dominate the game. Immortalised in the film 'Rounders' and described as the 'Rolls Royce of poker', it has grown exponentially in popularity in recent years and is enjoyed by millions of people around the world.
The rules of Texas hold 'em are really simple. Each player gets 2 hole cards, which are personal cards, and 5 community cards are dealt in the centre of the table. Whichever player can make the best hand, using 5 cards from the 7, is the winner of the hand.
However, it's not quite that simple. The 2 hole cards are dealt first and there's a round of betting. Players can either call, raise or fold during this, and every round.
Once this round is completed, 3 cards, known as the flop, are dealt. The surviving players from the first round then carry out the same actions of call, raise or fold. Following this, the turn is dealt. It's only one card and there's a round of betting.
The final round of betting determines the winner of the hand and takes place after the river has been dealt. Like the turn, the river is a single card. If there's only one player left, they take the pot without showing their cards, and if there's more than one player left, the pot is awarded to the player with the best hand.