Teaching kids to play poker

Zoe dragging a pot

My niece and poker student Zoe scoops in one of many pots

If you are the sort of person that thinks teaching kids to play poker will lead them to a life of

depravity,consider that they will also learn strategy and tactics, psychology and the power of observation, as well as some math and statistical probability.   Despite all this, they might also learn a few valuable life skills, like how to enjoy and evening of beer, cigars, and socializing with friends.

Between my own kids and the nieces and nephews I’ve got, I’ve played cards with a lot kids, and taught a few to play poker.  I’ve done it wrong enough times, and I know enough about poker and the skills you need to develop that I’ve broken it down into discrete lessons you can teach kids so it’s not overwhelming.

Lessons (will be updated as each is written)

  • Lesson 1: Learning the rank of hands
  • Lesson 2: Learning the flow and rounds of your first poker game (five card draw)
  • Lesson 3: Valueing your hand and how to bet appropritely
  • Lesson 4: Strategies for making the most money (as opposed to strategies for winning hands)
  • Lesson 5: Reading your opponents
  • Lesson 6: Combinatorics (learning about hand ranges and how to figure out where you fall in the range)