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How to Play Poker – Basics and Poker Rules for Beginners



Germans had been playing a bluffing game known as “Pochen” since the sixteenth century. It was later adapted into a French version known as “Poque,” which was eventually brought to New Orleans and played on Mississippi riverboats. This game was further refined in the 1830s, and it eventually became known as Poker. The key rule of drawing cards to improve one’s hand was added during the Civil War. Stud Poker, a variation of poker, emerged around the same period.

There are actually hundreds of poker variations, and the game can be played both professionally in famous casinos for thousands of dollars and socially for pennies. Then of course is the option to play online on

While there is an element of chance in poker, the game also involves an incredible amount of skill, and each player is the master of their own fate. Poker is a lot like life in that way. It’s a game of chance where you have to make strategic decisions in conditions of uncertainty when the potential reward surpasses the risk.

You may not consider yourself a poker player, but you go through life thinking like one since the path you take is ultimately a culmination of the bets you’ve made. The quality of your life improves if you continue to make successful bets, but a bad bet can set you back or wipe out everything you’ve worked for. Everything in your life, from your studies to your career to your partner and home, is a bet.

Poker is a strategy game in which you must continually read the other players to determine when to fold, when to bluff, and when to call another player’s bluff.

As we mentioned, there are hundreds of variations, but if you’re only going to learn one poker game, we recommend No-Limit Texas Hold ’em. It’s one of the simplest poker games to pick up, but it’s also challenging, entertaining, and rewarding. Plus, since it’s so popular, you’ll have no trouble finding somebody to play with.

Poker Hand Rankings

The hands will always be the same, no matter what variation of poker you choose to play. The royal straight flush is the highest-ranking hand and contains a 10, Jack, Queen, King, and Ace of the same suit. This hand can only be tied and not beaten by a royal flush of another suit.

A straight flush consists of five consecutive cards of the same suit.

When you have four cards of the same rank but different suits and a fifth card of any rank, you have four of a kind (such as four aces and a 9). If you have four aces, it means no one else can have a hand that includes an ace, hence no royal flush is possible.

A flush is made up of five cards of the same suit. These aren’t in any particular order, but they’re all from the same suit.

If you have three cards of the same rank plus two unmatched cards, it means you have three of a kind.

Two cards of one rank plus two cards of another rank plus one unmatched card make up a 2 pair.

Pair refers to having two cards of the same rank plus three additional unmatched cards.

The lowest-ranking hand is called a high card, and it’s also referred to as “nothing.” You have nothing when your five cards are not from the same suit, are not consecutive, nor do they contain two cards of the same rank.

If two players have the same type of hand, the one with the higher-ranking cards will win. If the cads also have the same rank, it means it’s a tie, and the prize will be split. The suit does not matter. You can learn more about poker hand rankings and get some practice on platforms like

Starting Bets

In poker, bets are placed in one of two ways at the start of the game. In Texas Hold ’em, the player on the dealer’s left usually places a small blind bet equal to half of the minimum bet, while the player to that player’s left has to place a big blind which is at least equal to the minimum bet.

The second option is for each player to “ante up” the minimum starting bet, which entails putting a minimum starting bet into the pool. Most poker variants, with the exception of Texas Hold ’em, use an “ante up” system.

Your Hand

The first card in the deck will be “burned,” which means it will be removed from play. Then the dealer will give each player two cards. At this point, you’ll want to discreetly check your cards to see what you have. Players don’t show their cards to anyone until the showdown.

The dealer will continue to burn a card at every round since it makes it more difficult for the players to predict which card will be dealt next. The dealer will always start passing out the cards from their left clockwise.

Bet, Call or Raise

You’ll place a bet every time the dealer puts out new cards. Your first bet will be based only on the two cards you have in your hands. This is done in a circle. You wait your turn, and then you have several options.

If you don’t want to bet, you can say “check.” If you want to match another player’s bet, you can say “call.” In case you want to add more money to the betting pool, you can say “raise,” and the other players can either “call” your “raise” or fold. You say “fold” if someone else has made a bet and you don’t want to match it.

The Flop

Following this initial betting round, the dealer “burns” the top card. Then they’ll lay out three cards face-up on the table. This is what’s referred to as the “flop.” These three cards are community cards you can use to build your hand, so you’ll want to see how they could combine with the cards in your hand so you know if you should fold or place a bet.

The dealer will reveal five cards in total, so you essentially have a total of seven cards you can combine to get the best hand of five. Depending on what rules are implemented where you’re playing, you might also be able to draw cards to replace the ones in your hand.

The “Turn” Card

After the second betting round, the top card will be “burned” by the dealer, who will then place one card face up next to the flop. This card is known as the “turn” or “fourth street” card. Once again, you have to consider the cars in your hands and the cards on the table to know if you should call, bet or raise.

Your game may allow you to exchange cards at this stage, but this isn’t common in professional games.

You’ll also want to consider what cards the other players might have. If all four cards on the table are spades, for example, any player holding a spade will have a flush. Or if the cards on the table are 5, 6, 7 and 8, anyone who has a 4 or 9 will have a straight.

If you realize that the cards on the table can combine into an easy winning hand and you don’t have anything good in your hand, it’s best to fold.

The “River” Card

After the dealer “burns” the top card from the deck, they will place one final card face up alongside the “turn” card. The “river” card is this last card. You’ll once again want to consider the cards in your hands and how they combine with the community cards to know if you should fold, bet or call.

You may be able to exchange your hand one last time before or after betting if the rules allow it.

The “Showdown”

Following the conclusion of the previous round, in which each player called, folded, or bet, the remaining players will participate in the “showdown.” Each will turn their cards face up to reveal them, starting from the left of the dealer. Each player’s hand will be examined to determine the best one that will win the entire pot.

If there is a tie, the pot is shared between the tied players.

Note that you don’t have to show your cars if you decided to fold.

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