Learn How to Play Poker Online

Playing Poker always required a few hoops to be leapt through. To get your fix, you’d need to visit a dingy poker club, head down to a crowded casino, or invite your friends over for a night of RNR. Due to constant innovation and the lifting of gaming  restrictions, you can now enter a poker tournament from the comfort of your home and with players of the same skill bracket.

If you’re looking to get into the world of poker, then this is the best place to start. There are numerous rules, intricacies, and strategies to keep in mind. It’s best that you don’t just dive into a game without a solid game plan.

Let’s run you through everything you need to know before taking your seat at the  poker table. Here you’ll learn everything that you need to know about the rules, hand rankings, game strategies, and other variations of poker.

Poker 101: How to Play Poker for Beginners

Have you ever heard the term ‘poker face’? Get ready because you’ll need it in this game.

Poker revolves around players getting dealt a hand of cards, placing a bet that aligns with their chances of winning, and revealing their hands to the dealer and other players.

More specifically, each player is dealt a hand to start. From there, you try to determine what rank of hand you either have or can come up with. In some games, it’s simply from whatever cards you are dealt. In other games, it’s a matter of pooling your hand with the community cards shown to see what is the best hand you can make.

Meanwhile, players make bets on the cards that they have. They might have something good, or they might be bluffing, while holding nothing of value. The challenge for you is to evaluate the situation and approach according to the quality of your hand.

As the betting progresses, players can either continue to wager to stay in the game or they can fold, cut their losses, and remove themselves from the action. At the end of the betting phase, the players left standing reveal their cards, where the winner is determined.

Main Poker Rules

 

There are many variations of poker, but the general ruleset is always the same.

#1

Players are dealt an equal number of cards and have to make a bet to get into the action. This first wager to be made is known as the blind. Players can wager different amounts, where a player may choose to raise the stakes, forcing other players to follow suit, raise it further or fold.

#2

After that, there are more rounds of the same: more betting on quality and more cards being dealt. For example, in Texas Hold’Em, each player is dealt two cards and then players have to place a wager to qualify for the flop (the first three cards), the turn (the fourth card) and the river (the fifth card).

#3

At the end of the round, cards are evaluated to determine the victor.

#4

Each round, players can either call, which means match the biggest bet, they can fold, which means bow out and lose whatever money they’ve put in, or they can raise, which is to increase the bet. The action transpires in a clockwise fashion, and each player has to make the same decisions.

#5

As the players wager, the pot grows. That means that if someone folds, the rest of the players are still in the running for the pot. If all but one player fold, then that one player ends up the winner.

#6

If more than one player is still in the running at the end, cards are revealed and whoever has the best hand wins.

Top 10 Online Poker Hands

 

When you’re playing poker, the most important aspect of the game is knowing the hand rankings. That’s how the game is scored. The strongest hand wins, so you have to understand what you have and what you can build towards. Let’s introduce you to the top 10 online poker hands, so you know what the values are.

 

Rank Poker HandExample
1Five of a KindAce of spades playing cardAce of hearts playing cardAce of diamonds playing cardAce of clubs playing cardJoker / Wild playing card
2Straight Flush / Royal FlushJack of clubs playing card10 of clubs playing card9 of clubs playing card8 of clubs playing card7 of clubs playing card
3Four of a Kind5 of clubs playing card5 of diamonds playing card5 of hearts playing card5 of spades playing card2 of diamonds playing card
4Full House6 of spades playing card6 of hearts playing card6 of diamonds playing cardKing of clubs playing cardKing of hearts playing card
5FlushJack of diamonds playing card9 of diamonds playing card8 of diamonds playing card4 of diamonds playing card3 of diamonds playing card
6Straight10 of diamonds playing card9 of spades playing card8 of hearts playing card7 of diamonds playing card6 of clubs playing card
7Three of a KindQueen of spades playing cardQueen of hearts playing cardQueen of clubs playing card9 of hearts playing card2 of spades playing card
8Two PairsJack of hearts playing cardJack of spades playing card3 of spades playing card3 of clubs playing card2 of hearts playing card
9One Pair10 of spades playing card10 of hearts playing card8 of spades playing card7 of hearts playing card4 of clubs playing card
10High Card / No PairKings of diamonds playing cardQueen of diamonds playing card7 of spades playing card4 of spades playing card3 of hearts playing card

1 Five of a Kind This hand will consist of 5 cards sharing the same rank. The provided hand all consists of 1's, which include a spade, heart, diamond, club and a single joker. This hand can beat any other combination in a game of poker, but it's limited to games with a wild or joker.
2 Royal Flush This is when you have an ace, king, queen, jack, and a 10 all in the same suit. It’s the best combination of cards that you can get. While this hand may be a rare pull, it’s the strongest in the game.
3 Four of a Kind This hand is easy to understand, as it’s simply four cards of the same suit. Remember that there is a hierarchy between Four of a kind, as four 10s will beat four 2’s and so on.
4 Full House It’s not just a popular 90s sitcom; it’s a strong hand in poker. This is when you end up with a three of a kind as well as a two of a kind. For example, three aces and two 10s. The higher the cards, the better the hand. For example, a Full Houses with Aces and Kings beats a Full House with Aces and sevens.
5 Flush Not to be confused with a straight or royal flush, this is simply when you have five cards of the same suit. For example, five cards that are all hearts or clubs.
6 Straight This is the same as a Straight Flush, save for the fact that the cards aren’t of the same suit. For example, if you have 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 in any suit, that’s a straight. The higher the last card of the straight, the more valuable. In other words, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 would beat 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.
7 Three of a Kind This is when you have three of the same cards. For example, three Jacks. The higher the card, the more valuable, so three Jacks beats three sevens.
8 Two Pairs This is when you have a pair of something like 2’s, 10s or Aces. Similar to the other examples, two Aces beat two 10s because it goes by ranking.
9 One Pair This hand revolves around one pair of cards with the same rank, ignoring the suit. The other cards can be of the same rank or suit. In this instance, we have a pair of 10s, a 7, 8, and a 4. The winner will either hold the highest pair or have the larger amount of “kickers” in their hand – being the other cards separate from the pair.
10 High Card / No Pair Lastly, there’s simply the high card. That basically means you don’t have much in your hand. Your score is your highest card. If you’re going up against someone else who has a high card, then the highest card wins. In other words, and Ace beats a King or a 10.

How to Play Poker

Now that you know all the different hand rankings, you’re almost ready to play. Let’s walk you through what a hand of Texas Hold’Em Poker might look like.

poker blind

The Blinds

To start, you have to note your position at the table. You might be the small blind (halfway committed) or big blind (fully committed) or you might be neither. Let’s say the blinds are $50, so the big blind is $50 and that player has to enter $50 regardless. The small blind is $25, and they also commit that amount whether they decide to player or not. The blind moves around the table, so each round the big and small blind shift over by one.

Cards icon

Cards are dealt

Next step, the cards are dealt. If you’re the big blind, you’re already committed. If you’re the small blind, you decide if you want to put in another $25 to play. In the case you’re neither, you decide based on what you have in your hand if you aim to commit $50 to play.

Poker icon

Betting, cards, betting, more cards

From there, there is one more betting round as someone can raise. If they do, everyone has to match that raise (or raise again) to continue. Otherwise, they fold. Once everyone is set with the same bet amount, then more cards are dealt.

After the cards come out – in Texas Hold’Em, the first three cards are called The Flop – then the same betting sequence continues. Players can either Check (stand pat), Call (match the bet on the table), raise (increase the bet) or fold (bow out).

cards in hand

Evaluate your hand

Each round, it’s important to determine how your hand is looking. If you have nothing, it might be best to fold. If you have something good, you might want to raise and continue.

At any rate, the betting sequence continues until everyone has matched on the bet amounts. Then another card is dealt, there’s more betting, there’s another card, more betting and then the end has been reached.

If there are still multiple players in the game, then they reveal their cards. Many times, all but one player folds before the end is reached, so the last player standing automatically wins.

Top Games Online Poker Strategies To Help You Win

There are a whole host of poker variations, from games that you play against other players to games you play against the dealer to both. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular variations of the game and expand on some two strategies to deploy for each.

1. Texas Hold’Em Poker Strategy

One of the most popular games, this version is where you’re dealt two cards and then use the five community cards to make the best hand. Here are two things to think about:

Understand the value of your hand

Choose your opening hands wisely. You can even find a table that will tell you exactly what cards to play in your opening hand, what cards to fold and what moves to make if you’re one of the blinds. The more you play, the more you’ll understand which cards you want to push and which you would like to toss away.

Know when to fold ‘em

Many players get married to their hand even though the flop, river, and turn have come, and they still don’t have anything. Try to play good cards and fold the bad hands when it doesn’t cost you anything. When you’re deep in the game and still have nothing or nothing strong, cut your losses.

2. Omaha poker strategy

In Omaha, players are dealt four cards instead of two like Texas Hold’Em. They have to use two of the cards to make the best hand possible.

There’s Less Bluffing

If you see big raises and big bets, you probably want to believe them. In Omaha, more information is available, so there’s less bluffing. If someone is betting big, they most likely have good cards.

Know The Good Starting Hands

Because you’re dealt four cards, there are more combinations that you can end with in Omaha. That’s why you have to know the strong starting hands. If you’re new to the game, rely on online tables. Eventually, you’ll want to naturally know what the top 15 to top 20 best hands are.

3. Stud Poker Strategy

There are several types of Stud games, but the main commonality (and difference from the other games) is that there are no community cards. Seven-card stud used to be the top choice of players before the explosion of Texas Hold’Em. Let’s take a look at a couple of points of strategy with that game:

Be Very Choosy with Your Starting Hand

This is a game where your starting hand is critical. Know what’s a good hand and know the odds of your player having a good hand too.

Read the Table

From early on, start to read your opponents. Are they playing inferior hands? How do they respond to aggressiveness? Who plays long shots? Understanding their tendencies is critical to success in this game.

4. Caribbean stud poker strategy

This is a five-card stud poker variation but instead of playing against players, you face off with the house. Better yet, if you hit a Royal Flush, you usually cash out a massive progressive jackpot.

Bluffing Doesn’t Work

Since you’re playing against the house, there’s no bluffing here. Don’t worry about it in this game, as it doesn’t get you anywhere.

Raise If You’ve Been Dealt A Pair or Higher

The one rule to remember in terms of rate of success is to raise anything at pair or higher. That will lower the house edge and improve your chances of winning.

Top Sites to Play Poker

Now that you know about poker, it’s time to find a place to get some hands in.

The following three sites are the ones that our editors have reviewed thoroughly and recommend to play at:

CasinoBest GameCasino Bonus
1 North Casino Caribbean Stud Poker $5,000
2 Hell Spin Casino Texas Hold’Em Poker Live $5200 + 150 Free Spins
3 GreatWin Casino Casino Hold’ $750 + 200 Free Spins

Poker Top Tips

There are numerous variations of the game, so you really have to understand the specifics to know what strategy to deploy. At the same time, there are some general axioms that are relevant across the board.

Check - Yes

Be selective with your hands

Everyone likes the action, but in poker, you want to be selective. It is a game of chance and probabilities. You can increase your chances of winning if you play quality hands rather than playing everything.

Check - Yes

Fold when you’re not holding much

There are opportunities to bluff occasionally, but generally speaking, you would rather not be married to bad hands. If you’ve been dealt a crummy hand, if you’re hanging around hoping for something good to pop up, if you’re grasping at straws, you’re likely going to lose. Don’t let your ego get in the way, and just fold the bad cards away.

Check - Yes

Know the rules of the game

Whether you’re playing Texas Hold’Em, Stud, Caribbean, or one of the many other variations, know the rules. So many times, players go in assuming but that only decreases your chances of winning. Learn the rules, the hand ranks and the ins and outs before diving in.

Check - Yes

Be careful of telegraphing your moves

Reading the room is a big part of the game. That means you’re being read too, so careful what you communicate. If you become too predictable, players will know what you have and what your strategy is. Always be conscious of your moves and try to throw players off the scent from time to time.

Check - Yes

Play Responsibly

It should be mentioned that the biggest thing with learning poker is that you need to do so responsibly. Don’t throw all of your money into one round with the confidence that you’ll just steal the big pot. If you don’t fully understand the game mechanics, it’s best to just take your time and ease into it.

As the saying goes, only play with money that you’re willing to lose. Don’t push yourself past your limits. Once you know the games, rules and strategies, then slowly start to increase your activity.

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