A Beginner’s Guide to a night of Poker

Working within the iGaming industry, yet not having any experience with betting can sometimes present a few challenges. However, attending a company Poker tournament without having any poker experience is when the real hurdles come in. Carla Formosa, Content Marketing Specialist at Enteractive explains how she dipped her toes into the world of poker. 

The idea of a night at a casino has always been coated with sparkle, glam and of course money. So when Enteractive organised a company poker tournament at Portomaso Casino, I envisioned a night of class, suited up next to my very own version of Sean Connery. However, amidst planning the event amongst colleagues and testing everyone’s poker face, the one part I failed to prepare were my poker skills… or to state the facts, my lack of poker skills. Having never previously sat at a poker table, I forgot that I was going to rip off the band aid surrounded by professional iGaming customer support advisors and reactivation sales agents.

So with my sweaty palms sucking away all the glam from the night, I sat down near two of my colleagues, both of whom are frequent poker players. Through patience from Portomaso’s dealer, and a few nudges from the boys who were willing to share some tricks, I survived my first Poker night without being the first one off the table.

Whether your poker skills are as green as mine, or you’d like a few tips of how not to behave at your next casino trip, here is what I learnt:

Understand a good starting hand selection

Like myself, you might get over excited when dealt a face card. However, simple having a Jack in your palm doesn’t necessarily lead to a winning hand, so hold back your chips until the round gets going or the flop is revealed.

Leave your cards on the table

As the dealer politely educated me, holding your cards on your lap can indicated some funny business. Therefore, to ensure you’re playing morally and so the dealer knows you’re still in the game, keep your cards on the table. To camouflage yourself as an experienced player, you may also want to place a chip on top of them.

Patience is a virtue

A tip from the pros will always be to only play your very best hands and fold all the rest. Poker is a very much a waiting game, so unless you’re dealt high-suited cards or any other hand, you’re better off just folding. Nonetheless, if your mission for the night is to have fun with friends, you’ll be happy to play any hand. And hey, if you’re out before you can say fold, casinos contain plenty of entertainment and games to keep you company.

Bluff rarely 

All the talk about keeping a straight poker face as your bluffing, isn’t as useful as we’ve been educated to think. In most cases, especially in a friendly set up as I was in, the person with the best hand actually does win. When there’s little money at stake, and you’re there to have a good time, bluffing with a low ranking hand won’t probably work out the way you’d hoped.

Don’t worry about it being your first time, everyone starts somewhere

As nervous as I was, I soon started to realise that playing poker in such settings is a lot about luck. In time, I began understanding the strengths and weaknesses of my hand, however no matter my skills, the hand I was dealt was always down to luck.

With a few life ropes thrown by my colleagues, and after embarrassing myself by thinking the river is poker’s version of the Mexican wave, I officially survived my first poker night. I wouldn’t necessarily call myself a poker pro, but at least I can confidently look the part whilst playing the part at our next poker event.

We are constantly on the look-out for people to join our Enteractive Family. If you feel that we might be the right fit for you, contact our HR Manager, Anthony Micallef at jobs@enteractive.se