A gold hand holding a J, Q, K, A in black and gold cards

Poker is one of Grande Vegas Casino’s most popular instant play casino games. It is more than just a game of chance. It's a game of skill, strategy, and psychology. Whether you're a novice starting out, a new player who wants to improve your skills or a seasoned player who wants to take your poker to the next level, you can follow this basic guide to poker to learn key strategies and techniques that will help you become a better poker player.

Check out some basic tips and insights that can help you master the art of poker.


Poker, possibly the best known casino game, is believed to have originated in 16th and 17th century Europe where it evolved from a domino-card game played by a 10th-century Chinese emperor. There are other theories that state that it was based on the Persian card game “As Nas.”

By the 16th century, “Primero” was being played in Spain, “Poque" in France and "Pochspiel" (or “Pochen”) in Germany. All of these games involved elements of bluffing and betting, actions which are fundamental aspects of today’s poker.

The games moved to America with European immigrants in the 19th century where they quickly became popular with settlers along the Mississippi River and ranchers and other Western pioneers in America’s West.

During America’s Civil War (1861-1865) soldiers on both sides of the conflict played poker which contributed to its spread around the country. Saloons and gambling halls were common spots where poker games were played and legendary figures like Doc Holliday and Wyatt Earp were known to be skilled poker players.

As poker spread, different variations of the game emerged, each with its own rules and conventions. By the time the Vegas casinos started to open in the 1930s, standardized sets of rules began to emerge for each specific poker variation.

At first, gamers could choose between draw poker and stud poker but as time passed, different variants including Texas Hold'em, Omaha, and Seven Card Stud emerged, with their popularity soon exceeding the original poker variations. Many Vegas casinos started to organize poker tournaments and professional players started to write guidebook that gave amateur players direction about poker strategy.

The World Series of Poker (WSOP) was established in 1970. WSOP has played a crucial role in elevating poker to a mainstream spectator sport. Today you can find television broadcasts and Internet streams of tournament games along with and tutorials, all of which has led to a poker renaissance boom.

In addition to poker tables at land-based casinos, players can now play poker online at online casinos from the comfort of their own homes.

Become a Better Poker Player

How can you become a better poker player? Follow these basic rules and strategies:

  1. Understand the Basics – It may seem fun to set out by diving into advanced strategies but that’s not the way to develop your poker skills. If you’re planning on playing poker to win cash prizes, remember, slow and easy is the key. It's crucial to develop a solid understanding of the basic rules and mechanics of the game by familiarizing yourself with hand rankings and betting structures.

    You should also learn about some of the different variations of poker such as Omaha Poker, Texas Hold 'em Poker, Seven-Card Stud and others. Once you know the fundamentals you’ll have a strong foundation upon which you can build your skills.

  2. Study the Game -- Improvement in any endeavor comes through learning and poker is no exception. Explore available resources including books, online tutorials, and strategy forums to learn basic strategy and what different pros advice for different situations. Analyze hands played by experienced professionals and study the reasoning behind their decisions. If you’re interested in playing poker on a high level, you might want to invest in poker training software or hire a coach who can provide personalized guidance.

  3. Master Probability and Odds – Poker is a game of probabilities so if you want to make the most informed decisions, you’ll need to understand the odds of various outcomes.   Some terms that you might want to learn more about include implied odds, pot odds and expected value (EV). Knowing more about these terms and what they imply will guide you as you learn when to call, raise, or fold. Your goal will be to improve your hand relative to the potential payoff so that you can play on the highest level possible.

  4. Develop Strong Fundamentals – The key to poker success is consistency and that comes when you develop strong fundamentals. Aspects such as hand selection and position play are good fundamentals on which to focus. Poker advisors suggest that you avoid getting involved in marginal situations where the odds are not in your favor. Also, don’t fall into the trap of playing too many hands. You’ll want to strive to make well-thought-out, disciplined decisions that are based on the available information.

  5. Manage Your Bankroll – The reminder about the importance of managing your bankroll seems like it should be directed at new players but, in fact, it’s frequently the veteran players who forget how important bankroll management is in ensuring long-term sustainability as a poker player.

    Before you place your first wager, decide on your poker bankroll. Establish clear guidelines for how much you are prepared to risk in any given session or tournament. Never play with money you can't afford to lose and don’t chase losses. Managing your bankroll properly allows you to withstand the ups and downs of the game.

  6. Practice A LOT -- Practice is essential for improvement in poker. Dedicate time to playing regularly – it doesn’t matter whether you play live games or online. Start with low-stakes games so you gain experience and confidence. Then you can move up to higher levels.

    Take notes on your performance and review your hands so you can identify areas for improvement. As you hone your skills and refine your strategies, you'll become a more proficient and successful poker player.

To become a better poker player you’ll need dedication, study, and practice. With perseverance and determination, you can unlock your full potential and achieve success at the poker table.

Back to Overview Separator
SIGN UP Play Now