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Poker for new players

New to poker? Do you play home games or in a pub league and fancy taking the next step? Why not join us and come and play in the biggest card room in Agadir with warm and friendly staff and a real community vibe between the players, playing poker couldn’t be more fun! With a wide variety of tournaments and cash games on offer to suit all levels, we’ve got something for everyone. If you’d like to play for real with your mates but feel you need some extra tips and hints before you sit down to a real game, fill in your details opposite to request a *free rake table. * Free rake table is available for one hour before any rake fees are taken. Open to new members and can only be redeemed once.

Don't play too many hands.

A very common mistake that new players make is not being selective enough with their starting hands. Don't fall into the common trap of thinking that ‘any hand can win'. Although this is true, some hands are more likely to win than others and will help you win more money, whilst others will help you in losing more money. So be selective about which hands you play.

Don't bluff too much.

Another common misconception about poker is that you need to bluff to win. You may see spectacular bluffs on the WSOP shows, but these are edited to show the highlights of the tournaments and so give the wrong impression of the frequency that top players bluff. Bluffing in poker is not as essential as you think it is.

It is better to play your cards well rather than trying to bluff your opponents out of hands. It is good to try occasional bluffs here and there, but the real art of knowing when to bluff comes from knowledge and practice

Pay attention to the game.

The best way to pick up ‘tells’ is to watch your opponents and how they play in each pot. Even when you are not in the hand, you should still concentrate on the game to understand how your opponents play.

Don't jump in at the high limits.

There are two reasons why you shouldn't play for too much money as a beginner. Firstly, the players at the higher limits will be better than the players at the lower limits. There is less chance that you will be able to beat them and you will spend a lot of money trying to learn the game in the process.

Secondly, you only want to play at limits you can afford. You should not play at limits where you are going to drop money that you cannot afford to lose - bank roll management is Key.

Don't pay too much for draws.

You will often find yourself holding half a hand that only needs one card to complete your flush or your straight. As a general rule, if you opponent is betting heavily it is unlikely to be profitable to chase after these draws. However, if there is only a small amount of betting it may be wise to call, in the hope of making your hand. If the amount your opponent bets seems too big to warrant a call to make your hand, then don't.

Know the rules.

As obvious as it seems, there is no substitute for knowing the rules of the game. You don't want to find yourself calling a player all in, thinking that your straight beats his flush and losing all of your chips. There is no way you can be a winning poker player if you don't know the fundamental rules of the game.

Ace in the hole

One of the hole cards is an ace

Act

To make a play (bet, call, raise, or fold) at the required time

Action

A player's turn to act

Action card

In Texas hold 'em, and other community card poker games, a card appearing on the board that causes significant betting action because it helps two or more players

Aggressive

The tendency for a player to open betting or raise rather than call or check.

All in

When a player bets all of their chips in the current hand.

Ante

A forced bet required, in some types of poker, of all players before the hand begins

Bad beat

To lose a hand where one hand is considerably ahead of the eventual winning hand.

Bankroll

The amount of money that a player has to wager for the duration of his or her poker career.

Bankroll management

Choosing the correct stakes and game type to avoid exhausting a bankroll during downswings

Bet

Any money wagered during the play of a hand

Big blind

The larger of two forced bets in certain types of poker.

Big blind special

A hand won by the big blind playing very weak pocket cards because there was no raise pre-flop

Big stack

A stack of chips that is relatively large for the stakes being played.

Blank

A card, frequently a community card, of no apparent value. Compare with rag, brick, bomb.

Blind

A type of forced bet.

Bluff

A bet made with a hand that is mathematically unlikely to be the best hand, either to make money or to disguise play patterns.

Board

The set of community cards in a community card game.

Boat

Another name for a full house

Bounty

An aspect of some poker tournaments that reward players for eliminating other players with a cash prize for each player they eliminate, separate from the tournament payout structure.

Broadway

A 10 through ace straight. Can also include any group of cards from 10 to ace.

Bubble

The last finishing position in a poker tournament before entering the payout structure.

Bully

A player who raises frequently to force out more cautious players, especially one with a large stack for the size of the game.

Button

Most commonly a marker that indicates the dealer position at the table, but other specialized buttons exist.

Buy-in

The minimum required amount of chips that must be bought to become involved in a game or tournament Making a bet when no one else is betting so as to force the other players to fold, thus winning the pot uncontested. A specialized version of this is buying the blinds by making a large raise in the first round forcing all other players out of the hand.

Call

To match a bet or raise.

Call the clock

A method of discouraging players from taking an excessively long time to act. When someone calls the clock, the player has a set amount of time in which to make up their mind; if they fail to do so, their hand is immediately declared dead. In tournament play, a common rule is that if a player takes too long and no one calls the clock, the dealer or floor personnel will automatically do so.

Calling station

A player who frequently calls bets, but rarely raises them. A calling station is usually a loose passive player.

Cash game

A game where each hand is played for real money as opposed to tournament play.

Cashing

Winning a share of the prize money in a tournament

Check

To bet nothing.

Chip

A small disk used in place of money

Chip leader

The player currently holding the most chips in a tournament (or occasionally a live no limit game)

Chip race

An event in tournament poker where chips of a value lower than the minimum required are removed from play

Connectors

Two or more cards of consecutive or close to consecutive rank

Cut card

A distinctive card, usually stiff solid-colored plastic, held against the bottom of the deck during the deal to prevent observation of the bottom card.

Dead hand

A player's hand that is not entitled to participate in the deal for some reason, such as having been fouled by touching another player's cards, being found to contain the wrong number of cards, being dealt to a player who did not make the appropriate forced bets, etc.

Deal

To distribute cards to players in accordance with the rules of the game being played.

Dealer

The person dealing the cards.

Declare

To verbally indicate an action or intention.

Felt

The cloth covering of a poker table, whatever the actual material.

Field

All players as a collective in a large tournament

Final table

The last table in a multi-table poker tournament. The final table is set when a sufficient amount of people have been eliminated from the tournament leaving an exact amount of players to occupy one table (typically no more than ten players).

Floor man, floor person

A casino employee whose duties include adjudicating player disputes, keeping games filled and balanced, and managing dealers and other personnel. Players may shout floor to call for a floorperson to resolve a dispute, to ask for a table or seat change, or to ask for some other casino service.

Flop

The dealing of the first three face-up cards to the board, refers also to those three cards themselves.

Fold

To discard one's hand and forfeit interest in the current pot.

Forward motion

A house rule of some casinos states that if a player in turn picks up chips from his stack and moves their hand toward the pot (forward motion with chips in hand), this constitutes a commitment to bet (or call), and the player may not withdraw their hand to check or fold.

Four of a kind

A hand containing four cards of equal rank.

Freeze out

The most common form of tournament. There are no rebuys, play continues until one player has all the chips.

Going south

To sneak a portion of chips from the table while the game is underway.

Grinder

A player who earns a living by making small profits over a long period of consistent, conservative play.

Heads up poker

Playing against a single opponent

Hero call

Calling when a player has a relatively weak hand but suspects their opponent may be bluffing

In position (IP)

A player is said to be in position, if the player is last to act on the flop, turn and river betting rounds

In the money, (ITM)

To finish high enough in a poker tournament to win prize money.

In turn

A player is said to be in turn if that player is expected to act next under the rules.

Laydown

A tough choice to fold a strong hand in anticipation of superior opposition. Level Used in tournament play to refer to the size of the blinds that are periodically increased

Limp, limp in

To enter a pot by simply calling a bet instead of raising.

Lock up

To lock up a seat in a cash game means to place a poker chip, player's card, or other personal effect on the table in front of the seat, to signify that the seat is occupied even though the player may not be present.

Misdeal

A deal which is ruined for some reason and must be redealt

Missed blind

A required bet that is not posted when it is a player's turn to do so, perhaps occurring when a player absents themself from the table. Various rules require the missed bet to be made up upon the player's return.

Muck

To fold

Nut hand (the nuts)

The nut hand is the best possible hand in a given situation. Players sometimes evaluate hands by ranking them as being the second nuts or the pure nuts.

Offsuit

Cards that are not of the same suit

Orbit

A full rotation of the blinds at a table, equal to the number of people at the table.

Out of position,

A player is said to be out of position, if they are either first to act, or is not last to act in a betting round.

Over card

A community card with a higher rank than a player's pocket pair. A higher card

Pair

Two cards of the same rank.

Play the board

In games such as Texas hold 'em, where five community cards are dealt, if the player's best hand is on the board and the player goes to the showdown they are said to play the board.

Poker face

A blank expression that does not reveal anything about the cards being held.

Pot-committed

More often in the context of a no limit game; the situation where one can no longer fold because the size of the pot is so large compared to the size of one's stack.

Pre-flop

The time when players already have their pocket cards but no flop has been dealt yet.

Push

To bet all in

Rabbit hunt

After a hand is complete, to reveal cards that would have been dealt later in the hand had it continued. This is usually prohibited in casinos because it slows the game and may reveal information about concealed hands. Also fox hunt

Rainbow

Three or four cards of different suits, especially said of a flop.

Rebuy

An amount of chips purchased after the buy-in. In some tournaments, players are allowed to rebuy chips one or more times for a limited period after the start of the game, providing that their stack is at or under its initial level.

Raise

Raise after one has been raised. Also coming over the top

River

The river or river card is the final card dealt in a poker hand, to be followed by a final round of betting and, if necessary, a showdown. In Texas hold 'em and Omaha hold'em, the river is the fifth and last card to be dealt to the community card board, after the flop and turn. A player losing the pot due only to the river card is said to have been rivered.

Rock

A very tight player (plays very few hands and only continues with strong hands).

Royal flush

A straight flush of the top five cards of any suit. This is generally the highest possible hand.

Satellite

A tournament in which the prize is a free entrance to another (larger) tournament.

Set

Three of a kind, especially a situation where two of the cards are concealed in the player's hole cards. Compare with trips

Shootout

A poker tournament format where the last remaining player of a table goes on to play the remaining players of other tables. Each table plays independently of the others; that is, there is no balancing as players are eliminated.

Showdown

When, if more than one player remains after the last betting round, remaining players expose and compare their hands to determine the winner or winners.

Side pot

A separate pot created to deal with the situation of one player going "all in".

Slow roll

To delay or avoid showing one's hand at showdown, forcing other players to expose their hands first. When done while holding a good hand likely to be the winner, it is considered poor etiquette.

Soft-play

To intentionally go easy on a player. Soft play is expressly prohibited in most card rooms, and may result in penalties ranging from forced sit-outs to forfeiture of stakes or winnings.

Splash the pot

To throw one's chips in the pot in a disorderly fashion. Not typically allowed, because the dealer can not tell how much has been bet.

Spread

The range between a table's minimum and maximum bets

Stack

The total chips and currency that a player has in play at a given moment A collection of 20 poker chips of the same denomination, usually arranged in an orderly column

Street

A street is another term for a dealt card or betting round.

String bet

A call with one motion and a later raise with another, or a reach for more chips without stating the intended amount. String bets are prohibited in public cardroom rules

Suck out

A situation when a hand heavily favored to win loses to an inferior hand after all the cards are dealt. The winning hand is said to have sucked out.

Super satellite

A multi-table poker tournament in which the prize is a free entrance to a satellite tournament or a tournament in which all the top finishers gain entrance to a larger tournament.

Tell

A tell in poker is a detectable change in a player's behavior or demeanor that gives clues to that player's assessment of their hand.

Tight

To play fewer hands than average for the game or for the player normally.

Tilt

Emotional upset, mental confusion or frustration in which a player adopts a less than optimal strategy, usually resulting in poor play.

Top pair

In community card poker games, top pair is a pair comprising a pocket card and the highest-ranking card on the board.

Trips

When one of a player's hole cards in Texas hold 'em connect with two cards on the board to make three of a kind. This differs from a set where a pocket pair connects with one card on the board to make three of a kind.

Turn

The turn, turn card or fourth street is the fourth of five cards dealt to a community card board, constituting one face-up community card that each of the players in the game can use to make up their final hand.

Under the gun

The playing position to the direct left of the blinds in Texas hold 'em or Omaha hold 'em. The player who is under the gun must act first on the first round of betting.

Up the ante

Increase the stakes

Value bet

A bet made by a player who wants it to be called (as opposed to a bluff or protection bet).

Variance

The statistical measure of how far actual results differ from expectation.

Wake up

To "wake up with a hand" means to discover a strong starting hand, often when there has already been action in front of the player.

Walk

A walk is a situation where all players fold to the big blind.

Wash

To mix the deck by spreading the cards face down on the table and mixing them up.

Weak ace

An ace with a low kicker. Also small ace, soft ace, ace-rag

Wheel

A five-high straight (A-2-3-4-5), with the ace playing low.

The aim of the game is for one Player, using their best five card poker hand, to beat the other Players and win the pot. This is done by either having the highest ranking hand or by all the other Players folding.

How to Play Texas Hold'em

Two hole cards are dealt to each Player, followed by a round of betting. Three community cards are dealt face up (the flop) followed by another round of betting. Another card (the turn) is dealt, then the final community card (the river), each with a round of betting. The winning Player is the one with the best five card hand formed from any combination of their hole cards and community cards.

How to Play Omaha

Each Player receives between four and six hole cards. The community cards are dealt as in Texas Hold’em, and the betting round follows the same process. The winning hand in Omaha is the best five card hand formed by two of the Player’s hole cards and three of the community cards. Other variations may be available, with rules posted in the poker room.

LEARN ALL ABOUT POKER

The Importance of Starting Hand Selection. As you know Poker is a game of maths and probability. It is therefore possible to know which starting hands are most probable to win a hand and this has been statistically proven in many studies.

RankHand NameHand DescriptionExempleProbabilityCombination
1Royal Flush10, Jack, Queen, King, Ace all in the same suit. 1 in 649,737 4
2Straight FlushFive cards in a row, all in the same suit. 1 in 72,193 36
3Four of a KindThe same card in each of the four suits. 1 in 4,164 624
4Full HouseA pair plus three of a kind in the same hand. 1 in 693 3,744
5FlushFive cards, all in one suit, but not in numerical order. 1 in 508 5,108
6StraightFive cards in numerical order, but not of the same suit. 1 in 253 10,200
7Three of a KindThree of one card and two non-paired cards. 1 in 46 54,912
8Two PairTwo different pairings or sets of the same card in one hand. 1 in 20 123,552
9One PairOne pairing of the same card. 1 in 1.36 1,098,240
10High CardNo matching cards. 1 in 0.99 1,302,540

Top 10 Best Starting Hands in Texas Hold'em Poker

Key to being good at Texas Hold'em is knowing your hands and knowing what's playable.

1. Pocket Aces

Poker Atlantic Agadir

This one is a poker classic.
The strongest starting hand in poker, pocket aces are a strong pre-flop favorite over any other two cards and a 4:1 favorite over almost any hand. You will be dealt 'pocket rockets', as they are also known, on average once every 221 hands, so it makes sense to get excited about them pre-flop. However, it's worth remembering that their likelihood of winning goes down as more players enter the pot, so the fewer opponents you're up against the better.

Other Nicknames: Pocket Rockets, Bullets, American Airlines, Snake Eyes, Batteries, Needles, Two Pips

2. Pocket Kings

Poker Atlantic Agadir

Pocket Kings, also known as 'cowboys', are a favourite against any hand (except aces).
There are not many flops that should make you too worried - however, it is worth remembering that kings will only win against a hand with one ace just over two thirds of the time. You will almost always be happy to get your money in pre-flop with pocket kings.
Other Nicknames: Cowboys, King Kong, Kevin Keegan, Krispy Kreme, Ace Magnets, Elvis Presley

3. Pocket Queens

Poker Atlantic Agadir

If you get dealt pocket queens, you are safe in the knowledge that only eight overcards are left in the deck, or even fewer if you get your money in against an opponent with an ace, a king, or ace king. You will want to play this hand strongly before the flop, raising or re-raising from any position almost all of the time, and you will still frequently run into plenty of opponents prepared to commit their money with weaker hands.
Other Nicknames: Ladies

4. Ace-King Suited

Poker Atlantic Agadir

This hand is often nicknamed 'Anna Kournikova' by recreational players - it's pretty to look at, but doesn't win as much as you think it should. It is easy to fall in love with ace-king suited, and it is by no means a weak hand, winning against all pocket pairs half of the time (except for pocket aces and pocket kings). However, it is also worth bearing in mind that if you don't connect with the flop, then you just have ace-high.

Other Nicknames: Big Slick, Santa Barbara, Anna Kournikova, Big Ugly, King Arthur, Korean Airlines, Mike Haven, Walking Back To Houston

5. Pocket Jacks

Poker Atlantic Agadir

It's a classic poker saying that there are three ways to play pocket jacks, and all of them are wrong. However, this is a bit of a cliché, and the hand is a favorite or coin-flip (50:50) against any unpaired hand and a strong pre-flop favorite over any lower pocket pair. It is still a very strong hand, particularly if the pot is unraised and you look down at jacks in late-position, though you can be a little more careful if an opponent has come in for an early-position raise.
Other Nicknames: Fishhooks, Brothers, Jaybirds, Kid Dy-No-Mite, The Two Jakes, Suckers

6. Pocket Tens

Poker Atlantic Agadir Pocket Tens

Pocket tens are a strong starting hand and a real poker classic. They're strong enough that you don't need to hit a third ten on the flop to continue. They will still win against overcards every other time, though there are far more combinations where it is not as strong a favourite as pocket jacks. If there is a lot of action before you, it is sometimes easy to fold tens before the flop.

Other Nicknames: Dimes, TNT, Dynamite, Tension

7. Ace-Queen Suited

Poker Atlantic Agadir

While this hand is an underdog against an offsuit Ace-King, it ranks higher due to its relative strength against other starting hands. Sometimes, you will find yourself in a spot where you need to fold, even after hitting a pair on the flop. However, if you completely miss the flop, it's easier to stay out of trouble with an Ace-Queen.

Other Nicknames: Big Chick, Little Slick, Mrs. Click, Antony & Cleopatra, Mrs. Slick, Rocket Queen

8. Ace-King Offsuit

Poker Atlantic Agadir Ace-King Offsuit

Weaker than its suited counterpart due to its decreased likelihood of hitting a flush, an offsuit ace-king will still win at least 40% of the time against any hand other than aces or kings. Sometimes, it is worth calling in position with this hand before the flop to keep the pot small and still get paid if you pair one of your two hole cards.

Other Nicknames: Big Slick, Santa Barbara, Anna Kournikova, Big Ugly, King Arthur, Korean Airlines, Mike Haven, Walking Back To Houston

9. Ace-Jack Suited

Poker Atlantic Agadir Ace-Jack Suited

Like a suited ace-king or ace-queen, this hand can make a royal flush. However, it is one that is worth playing more carefully; especially if a player has raised from early position. Any ace-king or ace-queen combination still has you beat if you pair your ace, so you don't want to fall in love with an ace-jack.

Other Nicknames: Ajax, Armani Jeans, Hijack, Jackass, Apple Jacks, Blackjack

10. King-Queen Suited

Poker Atlantic Agadir King-Queen Suited

Just edging out ace-ten suited and pocket nines, king-queen suited is a hand that is said to 'flop well'. It can make a large number of straights and flushes, while just hitting one pair will sometimes give you the best hand. However, you should be able to fold this hand fairly easily if the action before you suggests other players are entering the pot with a strong hand.

Other Nicknames: Marriage

What Are Poker Suits?

A French deck of cards is split into four suits: Clubs, Diamonds, Hearts, and Spades. Typically, no one suit is ranked above another. For example, in poker, a Royal Flush with hearts is worth the same as a Royal Flush with clubs.

Poker Atlantic Agadir

Club

The club depicts a three-leaf and corresponds to the acorns in a German deck.

Poker Atlantic Agadir

Diamond

The diamond in a French deck corresponds to bells in a German deck of cards.

Poker Atlantic Agadir

Heart

You'll find hearts in both German and French playing card sets.

Poker Atlantic Agadir

Spade

The spade symbolises a medieval weapon and corresponds to leaves in a German set.

Poker Hands Explained

Royal Flush

Poker Atlantic Agadir Royal-Flush

This is the best hand in poker. It's always A♥ K♥ Q♥ J♥ 10♥. It doesn't matter what suit it is, but all cards must be of the same suit. It's basically an ace-high straight flush.

Straight Flush

Poker Atlantic Agadir straight-flush

A straight flush is any other hand made up of five cards of sequential rank in the same suit, such as 7♠ 6♠ 5♠ 4♠ 3♠ or Q♥ J♥ 10♥ 9♥ 8♥. If two players get a straight flush, the hand with the highest-ranking card wins. A straight flush beats four of a kind.

Four of a kind

Poker Atlantic Agadir Four-for-a-kind

A four of a kind is made up of four cards in one rank, and the last card (or 'kicker') in another rank, such as 3♣ 3♠ 3♦ 3♥ 8♥. If two players have a four of a kind, the hand with the highest-ranking four of a kind wins. If two players have the same four of a kind, the winner will be the player with the highest kicker card. A four of a kind beats a full house.

Full House

Poker Atlantic Agadir Full-House

A full house consists of three cards of one rank and two cards of another rank, such as 9♣ 9♠ 9♦ 5♣ 5♠ (nines over fives) or Q♦ Q♠ Q♣ 2♣ 2♦ (queens over twos). If two players have a full house, the person with the highest triplet wins. If the triplet is the same, the person with the highest pair wins. A full house beats a flush.

Flush

Poker Atlantic Agadir Flush

Also called a full boat, a flush is any hand where all five cards are of the same suit. They do not need to be in sequential order. For example, K♣ 9♣ 4♣ A♣ 2♣ or 5♦ J♦ 3♦ K♦ 4♦. A flush is ranked first by the highest card, then by the second highest card, and so on. A flush beats a straight.

Straight

Poker Atlantic Agadir Straight

A straight is a hand that contains five cards in sequential rank, but they can be of any suit. For example, Q♦ J♦ 10♣ 9♠ 8♥ is a straight, as is 5♣ 4♠ 3♠ 2♥ A♦. If two players have a straight, the player with the highest-ranking card wins. A straight beats a three of a kind.

Three of a kind

Poker Atlantic Agadir Three of a kind

Sometimes called trips or a set, a three of a kind is a hand consisting of three cards of the same rank, such as 8♦ 8♠ 8♣ K♠ A♠ or Q♥ Q♠ Q♦ 2♥ 8♥. If two players have a three of a kind, the player with the highest-ranking three of a kind wins. A three of a kind beats a two pair.

Two Pair

Poker Atlantic Agadir Two Pair

A two pair is a hand consisting of two cards of one rank, two cards of another rank, and the last card of another rank, such as 9♠ 9♥ 5♦ 5♥ A♠. If two players have a two-pair, the player with the highest-ranking pairs win. For example, a pair of queens and a pair of fives would beat a pair of threes and a pair of fives. If one pair is the same, the winner is determined by the second pair. If both pairs are the same, the winner of the hand is determined by the kicker. A two pair beats a one pair.

One Pair

Poker Atlantic Agadir One Pair

A one pair is simply a hand that contains two cards of the same rank, such as 6♦ 6♥ 2♥ 5♠ K♣. If both players have a one pair, the player with the highest-ranking pair wins. If both pairs are the same, the player with the highest-ranking kicker wins. A one pair only beats a high card.

High Card

Poker Atlantic Agadir High Card

A high card means you haven't got any of the previous hands, and so your hand will be determined by the single highest-ranking card you have. For example, if you had Q♠ 5♣ 4♦ 3♦ 2♣, you would be betting with a queen-high.

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