We will make an effort to cover all the essential information about poker in the article below. Our step-by-step guide is designed to help new poker players who have never played poker before and those who are unsure of the rules of some types of poker.
Poker is a competitive card game where skill triumphs over luck. When compared to simpler card and table games like blackjack, baccarat, and roulette, poker rules can be a bit confusing due to their complexity. However, fret not, we will do our best to be as clear as we can be in the explanations so you can start playing poker right away!
What is Poker?
The card game of poker pits two or more players against one another while enforcing a set of rules. Although some variations of the game are played with fewer than 52 cards, the game uses a standard 52-card deck.
A poker hand typically consists of several betting rounds in which players alternately fold, bet, raise, or call other players’ bets. Chips are used to represent the value of each player’s wager in place of actual money.
A dealer is used in every poker game, and they deal the cards to the players as well as lay some cards face-up on the table. Community cards are those that have been revealed and can be used by all players in conjunction with the cards they currently hold in their hands.
There are two ways to determine the winner of a poker round:
- when a player enters a showdown with the strongest poker hand;
- when all players except one fold their cards before the showdown.
When two or more players have the same hand ranking at the showdown in certain circumstances, there is no winner and therefore the pot is divided equally.
Poker Hand Rankings
In most poker games, the winner is decided by the poker hand rankings. Here are all hand rankings from weakest to strongest.
High Card — An unpaired card with the highest value in a five-card combination
Pair — Two cards of the same value
Two Pair — Two sets of two cards with the same value
Three of a Kind — Three cards of the same value
Straight — Five cards in concession
Flush — Five cards of the same suit
Full House — Three of a kind plus one pair
Four of a Kind — Four cards of the same value
Straight Flush — Any five consecutive cards of the same suit
Royal Flush — A same-suited straight from 10 to Ace
Texas Holdem Poker Rules
By far the most common poker type played today, Texas Hold’em is also widely regarded as the most exciting. A 52-card deck and 2 to 10 players are needed to play Texas Hold’em. The rules for each round are the same, though the betting limits can change. A step-by-step tutorial for playing Texas Hold’em is provided below:
- The dealer is one of the players. A dealer button is placed in front of one of the players to indicate who will act first, regardless of whether you’re playing in an official casino where a qualified dealer deals the cards. After every round, the player on the button rotates clockwise.
- To start the game, each participant must place a small wager. The ante refers to this wager.
- The small blind and big blind are the players who sit to the left of the dealer button, respectively. The big bling contributes twice as much to the pot as the small blind, who puts in the same amount of ante.
- Two cards are dealt face down to each player (also referred to as hole cards).
- Players act in accordance with the cards dealt to them in the opening betting round (pre-flop). The person seated to the left of the big blind is the first to act (under the gun).
- The players move clockwise and have the option to fold (surrender), call (match the bet), or raise.
- Three face-up cards will be dealt in the middle of the table once every player has decided on the same wager. Every player who is still in the game can use these community cards along with their hole cards to form a hand.
- The next round of betting has begun. Now, the players have a few options: bet, check (if no bets have been placed behind them), call, or raise. The fourth community card will become visible following the conclusion of the betting round (the turn).
- The next betting round begins with the same guidelines as the previous ones. The dealer will then flip the final community card if there are still two or more players left.
- The final betting round starts after the river. It’s time for the showdown if there are still more than two players left in the game.
- All surviving players are required to show their hands during the showdown. The player with the optimal five-card combination wins.
Omaha Poker Rules
The rules of Omaha poker are largely the same as those of Texas Hold’em, with a few variations. Each player will receive four hole cards rather than just two at the beginning of each round from the dealer. Like in Texas Hold’em, the button, blinds, antes, betting rotation, and community board all function the same.
When it’s time to choose a winning hand, however, things change a little. In other words, players can only use two cards from their hand and three cards from the board. Because of its simpler rules, Texas Hold’em is preferred by many new players over Omaha because it makes determining the best hand a little bit trickier.
Flushes and straights are ignored in the variation of Omaha poker known as Hi-Lo, where the player with the lowest hand and the player with the highest hand can both win the pot.
Five Card Draw Poker Rules
Many players believe that 5-Card Draw is the most basic variation of poker and the best game for beginners. Each player in this version of the game is dealt five cards by the dealer. There are no shared cards, and the showdown is decided by the best five-card hand.
The dealer deals each player five cards after the blinds and antes have been combined into a pot. Players begin the first round of betting based on the cards they were dealt. Following the conclusion of the betting round, the draw can start.
Any number of a player’s cards may be discarded, and a new set of cards may be drawn from the deck. During the draw, a player can naturally discard one card or keep all five of them.
The second and final betting round can start after the new cards have been dealt and each player once more has five cards in hand. The player with the best five-card hand wins the pot if there are still two or more players left.
Seven Card Stud Poker Rules
Seven Card Stud might seem a little perplexing at first, but after hearing all the fundamental guidelines, you’ll realize that it’s actually one of the game’s most straightforward variations.
All participants are required to contribute an ante before the cards are dealt. Seven-Card Stud has no blinds. The dealer then distributes three cards to each player, two of which are face up and one face down. In contrast to Texas Hold’em, where the dealer button establishes the betting order, 7-Card Stud betting begins with the player holding the lowest up-card (the door card).
Since 7-Card Stud is a limit game, the bet limits are predetermined. In addition to the ante, there are two other bets: small and large.
The first player to act may either “complete” by placing a wager equal to the small bet or “bring in” (betting an amount equal to the ante). Only small bets or large bets can be made in order to raise a small bet by players who choose to raise it. The dealer will deal the fourth card face-up to each of the remaining players after the first betting round (third street) is over. The player with the best two-up-card combination initiates the second betting round (fourth street), which moves clockwise.
For the fifth and sixth streets, the rules are the same, but the betting limits are not doubled. Each player is dealt a face-down copy of the seventh and final card. Players can then reveal their own cards, and the pot is won by the player with the best five-card poker hand.