Poker is one of the most popular card games on the globe and it’s easy to play online, making it ideal for passing the time during lockdown.
From deciding which variant you’re going to play to keeping things friendly and fun, this is your guide to hosting a lockdown poker game.
Decide which variant to play
It’s not quite so simple as saying “I’m going to play poker, let’s get started!” As with any other game, you need to know the rules and with poker this depends on the variant you decide to play.
Texas hold’em is the most popular variant across the globe. It’s played by millions of people and one of the main reasons is that the rules are so simple to learn.
This is why we recommend playing Texas hold’em and you can give yourself (and your fellow players) a helping hand by watching the introductory video below.
Learn the Different Poker Hands
Hands are the centerpiece of poker. You win games by having a good one and you lose them by having a bad one. It really is that simple. This means it’s essential that you and the other people playing your lockdown game need to learn the poker hands.
Many people know that a royal flush is the best poker hand you can get. It can’t can’t be beaten if you get it but the chances of this happening are very low — 649,739:1 to be precise.
There are ten hands you can get in Texas hold’em. They range from royal flush down to high card. Knowing the strength of them will tell you if it’s a good idea to play or fold your hand.
Top tip: three of a kind is a hand that often pays dividends. It’s rare someone will have a better hand than this and there’s the chance that it can develop into a full house, the fourth best hand you can get.
Pick a Poker Cardroom to Use
While it would be great to play poker in person, lockdown means this simply isn’t feasible for many of us — unless you’re playing with the people in your household. This means you need to play online and the best place to do so is a poker cardroom.
Cardrooms are a digital version of a poker table and game. While you lose some of the atmosphere you get from playing face-to-face, there are some benefits to using them. These include not having to assign a dealer and it being much easier to place your bets.
There are many well-known poker cardrooms, both from specialist poker sites and online casinos. Grosvenor Casinos’ cardroom is one of the most highly regarded but there are plenty of options available to you.
The key to selecting the right poker cardroom is to do your research. A great way of doing this is to check out poker forums, as these feature comments from people who are more than happy to share their good/bad experiences for their fellow players.
Keep Things Friendly and Fun
Deciding which variant of poker to play is key. Knowing the poker hand rankings is vital. Choosing your poker cardroom is a big decision. But the most important thing is to remember to keep things friendly and fun.
This can be tricky when you’re competing against your friends, colleagues and/or relatives for money because people might feel unhappy about losing cash. An ideal way of making sure things stay on good terms is to play a tournament, rather than a cash game.
Some people say poker tournaments are more fun than cash games. The reason for this (at least in part) is that it’s a knockout where you pay a set entry fee and then leave the table when you get knocked out. This is unlike a cash game where you can lose all the money you have at the table then rebuy and continue topping up until you literally have no cash left.
Top tip: tournament poker makes it easier to bet responsibly and keep in control of how much money people spend on your lockdown poker game.
Now you know the key things you need to host the perfect lockdown poker game. There’s just one thing left — decide who your players will be. So, make a list of the people who will sit around your virtual poker table and then kick things off!
And if you’re looking for a way to pass time with the people from your household, then you can try a lockdown games night (with a twist) once you’ve completed your poker session.