The top card sharks in Australasia will flock to Auckland over the next nine days hoping to turn a little into a lot at Sky City's Festival of Poker (FOP) series.
The FOP packs 12 events into nine-days from Nov 14th - Nov 21, and culminates in a $2300 buy-in event that is expected to generate a prize pool over $720,000.
Sound a bit overwhelming? Don't worry because there are smaller events too. Satellite tournaments start from as little as $70, while there is also a $330 ladies event, Pot Limit Omaha, Limit Holdem tournament and much more.
Still sound a bit much, mostly because you don't know how to play poker? We've got you covered too. Swat up here with our dummies guide to poker.
Read more: Huge poker prizepool comes to Auckland.
Beginner's guide to poker:
So you're new to Texas Holdem poker? Not a problem. Texas Holdem poker is by far the best game for a beginner to learn. Texas Holdem can be learned in a few minutes and you can be playing fairly well with a few hours of practice. However, in order to learn the game you must play and you must play fairly often.
Planning and discipline: Some poker players, and it's no more than a handful, really do have a genius for the game - an inexplicable, Picasso-like talent that isn't easily defined and usually has to be seen to be believed. But even in the absence of genius - and most winning players certainly are not poker savants - poker is an eminently learnable skill. Inherent ability helps, and while you need some talent, you really don't need all that much.
Plotting a strategy: If you aspire to play winning poker, then you need a plan to learn the game. Most of today's better poker players have added a solid grounding in poker theory to their over-the-table experiences. You can find a slew of information to help you learn the game - in books, magazines, and online.
Discipline: All the strategic knowledge in the world does not guarantee success to any poker player. Personal characteristics are equally important. Success demands a certain quality of character in addition to strategic know-how. Players lacking self-discipline, for example, have a hard time ever winning consistently regardless of how strategically sophisticated they may be. If one lacks the discipline to throw away poor starting hands, then all the knowledge in the world can't overcome this flaw.
The object of the game: The objective of poker is to win money by capturing the pot, which contains bets made by various players during the hand. A player wagers a bet in hopes that he has the best hand, or to give the impression that he holds a strong hand and thus convince his opponents to fold (abandon) their hands. Because money saved is just as valuable as money won, knowing when to release a hand that appears to be beaten is just as important as knowing when to bet. In most poker games, the top combination of five cards is the best hand.
A Texas Hold'em poker game goes as follows:
1) Depending on the limit and betting structure, players will place out blinds and antes so there is an initial amount to get things started. This is called posting.
2) The dealer shuffles up a standard deck of 52 playing cards.
3) Each player is dealt two private cards face down. These are called your hole cards or pocket cards.
4) Then there is a round of betting starting with the player to the left of the blinds. This is the preflop betting round. Like most games of poker, players can call, raise, or fold.
5) After the betting round ends, the dealer discards the top card of the deck. This is called a burn card. This is done to prevent cheating.
6) The dealer then flips the next three cards face up on the table. This is called the flop. These are communal cards that anyone can use in combination with their two pocket cards to form a poker hand.
7) The player to the left of the dealer starts another betting round.
8) After the betting concludes, the dealer burns again then flips another communal card onto the table. This is called the turn.
9) The player to the left of the dealer begins another round of betting. In many types of games, this is where the bet size doubles.
10) Again, the dealer burns a card and places a final card face up on the table. This is called the river. Players can now use any of the five cards on the table or the two cards in their pocket to form a five card poker hand.
11) There is one final round of betting starting with the player to the left of the dealer.
12) After that, we have the showdown. All of the players who haven't folded reveal their hands. This begins with the player to the left of the last player to call. Players use a combination of their pocket cards and the community cards to form a five card poker hand.
13) The player who shows the best hand wins! Although sometimes players with the same hand split the pot.
Once you understand the game's basic structure, you can play Texas hold 'em and even some of its variants. Texas Holdem is an easy game to learn, just difficult to master. The "mastering" part is the costly part, requiring study and practice.
There are a ton of great learning resources online. This Poker for Dummies site is a great place to start.