The basic rules of How to play poker

Our guide will teach you how to play poker. It includes the rules and concepts upon which all poker variations are built. You can also access our guides for popular variations like Omaha and Texas Holdem.

Online poker is becoming a very popular game. However, it can be overwhelming for beginners because there are so many types of poker.

Telegraph Betting explains the concepts that unify all poker forms and shows how they can be used to create Texas Holdem, one of the most popular variations of poker.

We will also be discussing the four major types of poker that can be used to classify all poker games.

Once you have mastered the basics of poker, you will find our guides on how to play the most common types of poker at bottom of this article.

Poker: The most common concepts for all types of poker

Rankings of poker-hands

Poker games are all based on common poker-hand rankings. These rankings are used to determine which hand wins in a poker game.

Different poker game types may use the common hand ranking differently. For example, low-ball poker makes the lowest hand the most desirable.

Check out our poker-hand rankings page to see the order in which poker hands are ranked.


You can win poker hands even if you don't have the best hand. Instead, you can bluff your opponents.

Bluffing is when you project confidence in your hand and bet in a way that makes it seem better than it actually is. This is done in the hope that your opponents will believe what you are doing and decide to fold.

Forcible bets

The majority of poker games require a mandatory bet at the start of each hand. This is commonly referred to as the "ante" or "blind". There are two types of poker: a small blind or a big blind. The latter is generally twice as large as the former.

The dealer

You can play physical poker online, at home or at a brick-and-mortar establishment. The dealer is responsible for setting the order of the blinds and allowing players to place their bets. The game is usually played in a clockwise order, with the dealer as the first player.

The dealer in both online and physical casinos is usually not one of the players. A token indicates which player is nominally designated as the dealer for each hand. The token then turns clockwise from one hand into the next.

You have many betting options

The first round of betting starts after the forced bets. Depending on how confident they are, players usually have the following options for betting.

Call -- Matching or raising the bet of another player

Raise -- This is when you raise the amount of your existing wager in the same round.

Fold -- To fold from the hand and to forfeit any existing bets.

Check -- Players can check before the first round of betting begins.

All-in -- A player can only play their remaining chips if they don't have enough chips to call a wager. The next round of betting is in a sidepot and the all in player can only win the chips remaining in the pot if they are all-in in any subsequent showdown.

Rounds of betting

Poker is a game where you can use the betting options described in the previous section. This depends on how confident you are in your hand and how well you perceive the quality of the hands of your opponents. This can be determined by how much they are betting and raising.

All poker types offer at least one round betting while most have at least two.

These rounds are usually held before or after Texas Holdem game events like the dealing of the Texas flop. They allow players to strategize as the hand progresses. The so-called 'community cards' Texas Holdem and Omaha can have up to four rounds.

A quick guide to playing poker: How to play.

This is how you play poker. This is how you play Texas Holdem, the most popular poker game in the world.

Dealer deals each player two cards

Place the small blind, then place the big blind.

The first round of betting begins. Players place their bets based on their confidence in their hand.

Three 'Community Cards' are offered by dealer face-up.

The second round of bets begins

Dealer sells the fourth community card also known as the turn

The third round of bets begins

Dealer offers the fifth community card, also called the river

The final round of wagering begins.

If more than two players have not folded, the remaining players will show their cards.

According to the poker hand rankings, the winner is the player with the highest hand.

Limits and betting structure

Poker offers many different ways to structure betting. These three structures are most popular in online poker, and they are often listed together with the type of poker used in online poker lobbies.

Pot limit (PL), A player can bet or raise any amount that is equal to the total pot.

Fixed Limit (FL) -- All betting and raising must take place within a fixed amount.

No Limit (NL) -- Any player can place all their chips at any time when it's their turn.

These are the four most popular poker variations

You can categorize the many types of poker as one of these four categories:

Poker for community cards

A player is dealt a smaller number of cards than a full five-card poker hand. The objective is to make the best five-card hand possible with a combination of their cards and those of the community.

Some of the most famous varieties are: Texas Holdem and Omaha

Straight poker

Each player receives a hand of five cards in the earliest form poker. The game ends with a round of betting, where players can raise or reraise their bets until they win.

There are two types of famous varieties: the five-card brag and the three-card bragging.

Draw poker

Another variation of poker is draw poker. Players receive all five cards at start of game. They can then try to improve their hand through discarding cards or being dealt replacements.

Five-card draw is one of the most famous varieties.

Stud poker

Stud-poker is a game where players are dealt their cards in a specific combination of face up and face down cards. Usually, there's a round of betting between each dealt card.

Famous varieties include: seven-card stud, razz

Learn how to play the most popular poker games and the rules for each one

You want to learn the rules for popular poker games? These links will take you to the relevant information.

How to play Texas Holdem Poker

How to play Omaha Poker

How to play 3-card Poker

How to play heads up poker

How to play video poker

Are you ready to play online poker in the UK

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