How to Play Poker

The popularity of online poker has helped to make it one of the most common card games in the world, but there are several different varieties of poker that may appear complicated to a beginner. Telegraph Betting here presents you with the basic ideas that tie all forms of poker together and explains how they work together to play one of the game’s most popular variants, Texas Holdem.

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We’ll also talk about the four main sorts of poker, under which all poker games can be classified. After that, you may discover our how-tos for playing the most popular types of poker at the bottom of this page.

Play poker: the fundamental principles

Poker-hand rankings

All poker games are based on common poker-hand rankings, which are used to decide which player’s hand wins a game of poker. Some poker game types use the common hand ranking in different ways, such as making the lowest value hand the most desirable (lowball poker).


It is possible to win poker hands without holding the best hand by bluffing your opponents. Bluffing generally entails demonstrating confidence in your hand by betting in a manner that seems to imply it’s stronger than it is, hoping that your foes will believe you and fold rather than taking you on in the showdown.

Forced bets

Poker has a beginning wager called the «ante» or «blind,» which is required by law in most countries. The small blind and the big blind are two different types of bet in many versions of poker, with the latter typically being twice as large as the former.

The dealer

The position of the dealer influences the order in which the blinds are put up and players make their bets in any form of physical or online poker. The game generally progresses around a table starting with the dealer. The dealer is not one of the participants in physical or online casinos, so each hand is identified by a token that rotates clockwise from player to player.

Hand Rankings in Poker

Betting options

The first round of betting commences after the forced bets. Depending on their confidence in their hand, players usually have the following betting alternatives.

  • Call — Matching the bet or raise of another player.
  • Raise — Increasing the size of your present wager in the same round of betting.
  • Fold — To withdraw from the hand, even if you’ve already placed wagers.
  • Check — Players may decline to make a bet while reserving the right to do so throughout the round.
  • All in — When a player doesn’t have enough chips to call a bet, they can use their remaining chips to call the bet. The all-in player may only win the amount of chips in the pot at any subsequent showdown if they went all-in during every previous showdown.

Rounds of betting

In poker, each round of betting presents a chance to use the skills outlined in the previous section based on your confidence in your hand and your view of the quality of your opponents’ hands. The latter can mostly be determined by how much they are betting or raising. There is at least one round of betting in every form of poker, with the vast majority containing at least two rounds.

In most online casinos, there are typically only two betting rounds during each hand. Round bets and raises occur before and after the game’s events, such as the flop in Texas Hold’em, allowing for players to strategize as the hand goes along. Up to four rounds of betting may be found in community card games such as Texas Hold’em and Omaha.

How to play in a poker in a nutshell

In this game, you must have a lot of money. But the difficulty comes when you try to maximize your business earnings by buying low and selling high as demand fluctuates with time.

We’ll show you how to play a game of poker in a few simple steps. This is how to play Texas Holdem, the world’s current most popular variety of poker.

  1. Each player is given two cards, one by the dealer.
  2. The small blind is put first, then the big blind.
  3. The first betting round begins, and players bet according to the confidence they have in their cards.
  4. Three ‘community cards’ are dealt face up in the center of the table.
  5. The second round of betting begins
  6. Dealer exchanges the fourth community card, also known as the turn.
  7. The third round of betting commences.
  8. The fifth community card is dealt, also known as the river.
  9. The final betting round begins.
  10. If two or more players still haven’t folded by the time all remaining players show their hands, it’s time for a showdown.
  11. The winner is the player with the best hand, as determined by the poker hand rankings.

Betting structure/limits

In poker, there are a variety of different ways to structure betting. The three structures on the following page are the most popular in online poker and are frequently found in online poker lobbies with the kind of poker.

Pot limit (PL) — A player may wager or increase the amount wagered up to the total pot’s size.

Fixed limit (FL) — Fixed amounts must be used to bet and raise.

No limit (NL) — When it’s their turn to bet, a player may wager all of their chips at any moment.

The four main poker variations

The many various sorts of poker may usually be divided into one of the four following categories.

Community card poker

Each player is given a smaller number of cards than what would be required to make a full five-card poker hand. The objective is for the players to construct the best possible five-card combination using their own cards and the community cards that have been dealt face up.

Famous varieties include: Texas Holdem, Omaha

Straight poker

Poker began as a five-card hand, with each player receiving a full deck. The game continues until one player has no cards or cannot make a higher valid bet.

Famous varieties include: five-card brag, three-card brag 

Draw poker

Another poker variation in which players receive all five cards at the beginning of the game, draw poker then allows them to attempt to improve their hand by discarding cards and being dealt replacements.

Famous varieties include: five-card draw

Stud poker

In stud-poker games, players are dealt their cards one by one in a specific combination of face-up and face-down cards, usually culminating with a round of betting between each card deal.

Famous varieties include: seven-card stud, razz

Tips how to play poker for beginners

  • If you’re not playing a cash game, choose «banker.» That individual will write and keep the chip supply under lock and key.
  • A scorekeeper should be chosen to keep track of the amounts earned and lost, as well as tabulate the standings.
  • By betting big, you may deceive others into believing you have a strong hand by bluffing. They’ll fold if they believe it, and you’ll win the pot with a weak hand if they fall for it.
  • Watching professional poker players at events is an excellent way to learn more about the game. You may watch them on television or online.
  • Don’t put out more money than you’re willing to lose—fold if a lot of extremely large bets start flying around.

How to Play Poker Online

Unlike live, in-person poker, online poker has its own set of rules and regulations. However, it’s no less exciting – and for budding poker players, it’s a lot more convenient. Simply sign up with an online poker site like 888 to get started; then pick your stakes and join a virtual table.

Key differences between online poker and live poker play

  • Speed of the game. When you play online, manual activities like shuffling and dealing are completed almost instantly, allowing the game to proceed at a quicker pace.
  • 24/7 convenience. When you want to play online poker, you’ll almost always be able to find a seat at the virtual table. Online cash games and tournaments are generally accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, whether you’re unwinding in the afternoon or searching for a game after work.
  • In-person play vs online play. One of the most fascinating aspects of playing in person is being able to ‘read’’ your opponents’ style of play – everything from how they bet to whether they have a tell that you can use to your benefit. Although online poker does not allow you to read people in person, if you pay attention, you may be able to figure out their betting methods and routines.
  • Socialising with players. Online poker rooms have a chat option that lets you interact with other players in the same manner as during a live game.

Different kinds of online poker games

You’ll find a variety of different types of poker games to play, as well as traditional variants. You may also participate in online gaming where you can use your favorite devices to play.

  • The most popular and often played variant of online poker is Sit n’ Go, which is generally the quickest form available. There is no set starting time; play begins as soon as enough players have agreed to compete at the table. A Sit n’ Go game may last anywhere from one hour to even less.
  • Multi-table tournaments, sometimes called «pluribus,» allow you to compete in a large group of players for a share of the overall prize pool. This style of tournament means that even modest stakes can potentially make you rich.
  • The chips you’re playing with in cash games represent the money you’ve put up. In organized tournament games, each player starts with the same amount of chips.

How to play poker online with friends

You can even create and play private games with your pals on many poker websites. Even if you can’t all be in the same location, you may join a private poker room online to catch up with friends while playing.


Can you play poker with two people?

Yes! This is known as «heads-up poker,» and it’s a type of game with two players or a scenario in which two players remain at the end of a tournament. There’s no reason why you can’t have as much fun playing cards alone as you would with more people. Find out how to make the most of a «two-player only» game in our blog.

Is online poker rigged?

The simple answer is no. Online poker rooms use random number generators (RNGs) to ensure that the cards are dealt fairly and randomly. These RNGs are regularly tested by third-party auditors to ensure their fairness.

What’s the best way to deposit money into an online poker account?

The safest and most popular method is to use a credit or debit card. However, some players prefer to use e-wallets like PayPal, Skrill, or Neteller for their online poker transactions. These services act as an intermediary between your bank and the poker site.

What is the highest hand in poker?

The highest hand you can obtain is a Royal Flush, which consists of 10-J-Q-K-A, all of which are in the same suit. When it comes to all possible poker hands, it reigns supreme as the greatest Straight Flush.

What does muck mean in poker?

The «muck» is the pile of discarded cards in poker. It also refers to the act of folding your hand and placing it face-down on the table, signifying that you are no longer involved in the current hand.

 What is the ante in poker?

An ante is a minor bet made by each player before the round begins. The word «ante» comes from the Latin term for «before.» In Hold’em, Blind bets made by two players in each round are typically replaced with an ante.

What is a small blind in poker?

The player to the left of the dealer Button in each round becomes the ‘Small Blind.’ Two Blind players make wagers before seeing their cards (hence being ‘blind’ to what they have). This is done to begin the betting. The player to the left of the Small Blind makes a larger bet, known as the «Big Blind.»

How many poker chips do you start with?

The amount of starting chips you receive varies based on whether you’re playing a tournament game or a cash game. In a tournament game, each player receives the same number of starter chips, although there may be options to «top up» or buy back in at specific intervals. With cash games, you’ll receive the chips that represent precisely the value for money that you’ve purchased in for, which might be more or less than your opponents. There will usually be a minimum and maximum buy-in requirement at many tables.

Is one suit higher than another in poker?

It is not possible to know who you’re playing against. Unlike other card games such as contract bridge or Ninety-Nine, all suits are treated equally when the cards are down. Poker is concerned with the relative ranks of each card; for example, a higher straight beats a lower one.

What is a wraparound straight?

A wraparound straight is a sequence of cards that starts high and finishes low, or vice versa. A Q-K-A-2-3 is an example of a wraparound straight. It’s vital to understand when learning how to play poker that a wraparound straight isn’t considered a hand in most variants. An Ace-King high, for example, would not be good enough against a pair.

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