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Everything about the Basics of Poker, Explained in Easy and Simple Terms



Poker game

Poker is a popular game that is super easy to play. Each player bets according to the rank they believe their hand is compared to the other players. This process repeats in a clockwise manner and the player that has the highest rank wins. 2 to 4 players can play this game, the ideal being 6, 7, or 8 players. 

Once you understand the concepts and rules of poker, you can easily play poker. But, do you want to master it? For that, you need to understand the strategies of the card game and how to use different variations to your advantage. 

Let’s learn about poker, understand the basics of poker rules and how you can create your own winning strategy!

Common Concepts of Poker

  • The Pack

Poker uses the standard 52-card park, sometimes with the addition of one or two jokers. Usually, poker is a one-pack game but all the virtual games usually use two packs of contrasting colours. One pack is dealt while the other is shuffled for the next deal. 

  • Chips

Poker is played with poker chips. A game with seven or more players usually uses a minimum of 200 chips. The white or light-coloured chips are the unit or the lowest-valued chips. This is whatever the minimum ante or bet is. The red chip or any other colour chip is worth five whites. The blue or dark-coloured chip is worth 10, 20 or 25 whites or two, four or five reds. Every player has to purchase a certain number of chips at the beginning of the game. 

  • The Dealer

A dealer is the one who determines the order in which the blinds are put up and players make their bets, whether it is a physical or online game. The dealer starts the game where they deal with each player in a clockwise manner. 

  • The Banker

One player is designated as the banker who keeps the stock of chips and records the number of chips that have been issued to the player or chips exchanged for cash. 

  • Bluffing

You need to play with a proper strategy in mind. This is where bluffing plays a role where you can trick your opponents into thinking your hand is better. This can turn the tables for you as your opponent can believe you can fold rather than risk taking you on in the showdown.

  • Forced Bets

In every game of poker, there are usually forced or compulsory bets at the beginning of the game referred to as the “ante” or “blind”. 

How to Play Poker?

You need to know the basic poker rules to be a skilful player. Follow the steps to learn how you can play one of the most popular poker games called Texas Holden:

Step 1: The dealer deals each player with two cards.

Step 2: The small blind placed or “ante up”. This is followed by the big blind.

Step 3: The first start of betting begins. All players bet, call, or raise according to the confidence in their hands.

Step 4: The dealer deals three “community cards” face up. These shared cards, also known as flop, turn, river, or the board, are dealt on the table and are used by all players. 

Step 5: After this, the second round of betting begins. 

Step 6: The dealer now deals with the fourth community card, also known as the turn. 

Step 7: The third round of betting ensues.

Step 8: The dealer deals with the fifth community card, also known as the river. 

Step 9: The final round of betting starts.

Step 10: If two or more players still haven’t folded, all the remaining players show their poker cards.

The winner is the one with the best hand according to the poker hand rankings. Now that you know the poker game rules, let’s understand the importance of poker hands. 

What are the Different Poker Hand Rankings?

If you are learning how to play poker, you need to be familiar with the strengths of the different poker hands which is vital for in-game decision-making. All popular forms of the poker game such as Texas Holdem or Omaha follow these poker order rankings. 


Let’s learn the order of poker sequence from the highest to lowest:

  1. Royal Flush

The royal flush is the best or the highest-ranking hand available in poker. It includes a 10, Jack, Queen, King, and Ace of the same suit. The royal flush of another suit can not beat but only tie it.

  1. Straight Flush

A straight flush comprises five consecutive cards in the same suit that’s not a royal flush. Cards ranking higher or royal flush are the only hands that can beat a straight flush.

  1. Four of a Kind

This hand comprises four of the same cards of four different suits. This card hand is completed by a fifth card of any rank. 

  1. Full House

A full house contains three matching cards of one rank and two matching cards of another rank. If a player has a full house, the player with the highest value three of a kind will win the hand. 

  1. Flush

Five cards of the same suit in no particular order make the flush. If more than one player has a flush, the hand with the highest-valued card will win. 

  1. Straight

A straight contains five cards of consecutive numerical value composed of more than one suit.

  1. Three-of-a-Kind

A poker hand containing three cards of the same rank in three different suits makes this hand. The two highest available cards besides the three complete the hand. 

  1. Two Pair

This hand is created from two different sets of cards from matching ranks. The highest-ranked left available completes the hand. 

  1. Pair

A pair means you have two cards of the same rank along with three other unmatched cards.

  1. High Card

This is the lowest-ranking hand when no two cards have the same rank. Here, the highest card in the hand is your best hand. 

What are the Different Betting Options?

When you are playing a game of poker, you will come face to face with different rounds of betting. Each betting round offers you a chance to utilise the betting options as compared to their previous rounds. All poker games have at least one round of betting, while the major includes a minimum of two rounds. 

The first round of betting begins after the forced bets. Players can make use of the following betting options depending on the confidence in their hand:

  • Call: A player can match another player’s bet or raise.
  • Raise: Increase the size of your existing bet in the same round of betting.
  • Fold: Withdraw from the hand by sacrificing any bets already made.
  • Check: Until the first bet in the betting round, you can choose to check. This means, you can decline to make a bet while reserving the right to bet later in the round. 
  • All-in: When a player does not have enough chips left to call a bet, they can play all their remaining chips. The subsequent betting takes place in a side pot. The all-in player can only win the amount of chips in the pot when they go all-in in any subsequent showdown.

What is the Betting Structure or Limit?

To score and win poker, you need to be aware of the different ways betting can be structured. Some of the common structures in online poker are:

  • Pot Limit (PL):

A player may bet or raise any amount to the size of the total pot. 

  • Fixed Limit (FL):

Betting and raising must be done by fixed amounts. The limit usually varies depending on the stage of the game. 

  • No Limit (NL):

A poker player can bet all their chips any time, even if it’s not their turn. 

  • Table Stakes:

A player can bet only up to the number of chips they have in front of them. They can withdraw chips from the table, or return chips to the banker until they leave the game. They can also add to their stack, but only between the deal just completed and the beginning of the next deal. 

  • Poverty Poker:

A maximum limit is put on the number of chips any player may lose. Each player takes one stack at the start. If they lose that stack, the banker issues another without charging for it. The player can get a third stack for free before dropping out of the game. 

  • Whangdoodles or Roodles

Players can agree to a fixed-limit game in which everyone’s antes double and the betting limit doubles after a very good hand is played.

What are the Main Variations of Poker?

We can classify poker card games into the following categories:

  • Community Card Poker

In community card poker, players are dealt several cards which are less than a complete five-card poker hand. Several face-up community cards are dealt with a certain aim. All the players must make the best possible five-card hand with poker combinations of their own cards and community cards.

Famous varieties: Texas Holden, Omaha

  • Straight Poker

Straight poker is one of the earliest forms of poker where each player is dealt a full hand of five cards. In this game, a round of betting begins where players can raise and reraise bets until the game concludes. 

Famous varieties: Three-card brag, Five-card brag

  • Draw Poker

In draw poker, players receive all five cards at the beginning of the game. The draw poker allows them to attempt to improve their hand by discarding the cards and dealing with their replacements. 

Famous varieties: Five-card draw

  • Stud Poker

Players are dealt their cards one by one in a specific combination of face-up and face-down cards in stud poker. Typically, there is a round of betting between when each card is being dealt.

Famous varieties: Seven-card stud, Razz

Wrapping Up

Now you know the basic elements of playing poker. Understand the betting limits and use the hand rankings to create your game strategy and go for the win!