Basic Poker Rules for Beginners

Poker is a card game where players are dealt 2-5 cards based on which poker game they are playing. Once all the cards have been dealt and the game starts, players go through a number of staking rounds where the poker players can use their poker life skills to win the pot.

Every poker card game has its own rules. The most popular game is Texas Holdem but the rules for this game are different from its variants. Now that you understand what the game is all about, you can now get into the poker rules as well.

Knowing poker game rules makes it easier to play poker. Poker players strive to make the best poker hand they can with their poker cards

  • We'll see how poker cards are dealt and the ten poker hand rankings.
  • Find out what are blinds and antes.
  • Then we'll look at betting rounds and learn about the pre-flop, flop, turn, and river.
  • Further, we’ll understand betting actions like check, call, raise, all-in, and fold.
  • Lastly, we'll understand the basic poker rules such as betting formats like no-limit, pot-limit, and fixed-limit.

There are various poker games, we'll understand the basics of poker rules with Texas Hold 'em poker as an example.


There are two types of cards as per the poker card rules:

  • Hole cards.
  • Community cards.

Hole cards are private cards only individual players can see, and community cards are common cards for everyone on the table.


  • Usually, there are 2-8 players in a poker game.
  • The dealer gives cards to players in a clockwise direction.
  • The player sitting to the immediate left of the dealer gets the first card.
  • Then the rest of the players get their poker cards in a clockwise manner.

Gameplay with Poker Rules

Learning How to play poker is fairly simple. This is a simple and fun game to play for people who like a little adventure every day. The exhilarating nail-biting experience that leads to a pot full of winnings is why people love to play poker so much. 

Dealing of Cards

Players are dealt cards according to the variant of poker they play. Players are given cards at the start of the poker game. They can see their cards and then start pledging amounts. In popular poker games such as Texas Hold’em and Omaha Poker, players are given two types of cards:

  • Hole cards.
  • Community cards.

However, in games like Chinese Poker, the dealing of cards will be completely different. Players are given thirteen cards at the beginning of Chinese Poker.

There are usually 2 types of poker: Stud and Draw Poker.

  • Stud Poker: Here each player is dealt 5 cards and they have to place a stake based on the strength of their hand. The player who wages the best poker chips wins the pot. Only the last 2 remaining players show their cards though.
  • Draw Poker: Each player is dealt 5 cards, and they can trade up to 3 cards with those from the deck to create the best hand. The player with the best hand wins.

Several actions can be used while playing a poker game. These will determine the course of the game. They are:

  1. Call: When the stakes have been raised, the players have to decide where they want to raise the stakes or fold.
  2. Raise: When a player has a good hand they can raise the stakes.
  3. Check: When a player agrees with the stake and the amount isn’t increased.
  4. Fold: When the player wants to drop out of the current game, they have to fold during the staking round.

After the cards are dealt, the amount pledging rounds begin. The staking starts with blinds. Players add two types of blinds.

  • Small Blind.
  • Big Blind.

Two players who are sitting to the left of the dealer button have to add a small and big blind. The player sitting to the immediate left of the dealer adds a small blind and the player sitting to the left of the small blind adds a big blind. The big blind is usually double the small blind. Then the staking starts. We shall take examples of popular games such as Texas Hold’em Poker and Omaha Poker to understand the staking rounds.

  • Pre-Flop: Players see their hole cards and decide the stakes.
  • Flop: Three community cards unfold for everyone on the poker table. Players stake cash after seeing these cards.
  • Turn: One community card unfolds. Players stake after seeing the fourth card.
  • River: One community card unfolds. Players stake after seeing the fifth card.
  • Showdown: All the players have to show their cards to each other at the end of the game. The player who has the best poker hand is declared the winner. 

Hand Rankings

Have a look at the poker hand rankings below to understand the poker hierarchy. 

  1. Royal Flush: This hand is a combination of cards - A, K, Q, J, and 10 of the same suit.
  2. Straight Flush: This hand comprises five cards in a sequence like Q♥ J♥ 10♥ 9♥ 8♥, all in the same card suit.
  3. Four of a Kind: In this particular hand, there are four cards like 9♣ 9♠ 9♦ 9♥ J♥ of equal rank for any suit.
  4. Full House: This hand is made of three matching cards of one rank and two matching cards of another rank ( 3♣ 3♠ 3♦ 6♣ 6♥)
  5. Flush: Any five cards of the same suit like K♣ 10♣ 7♣ 6♣ 4♣, but not in a sequence. 
  6. Straight: Five cards in a sequence such/ as 7♣ 6♠ 5♠ 4♥ 3♥, but not of the same suit.
  7. Three of a Kind: Three cards of the same rank like 2♦ 2♠ 2♣ K♠ 6♥.
  8. Two Pairs: Two different pairs like J♥ J♣ 4♣ 4♠ 9♥.
  9. One Pair: Two cards of the same rank like 4♥ 4♠ K♠ 10♦ 5♠.
  10. High Card: In case of a tie: The highest card wins, and if necessary, the second-highest, third-highest, fourth-highest, and smallest card can be used to break the tie like K♥ J♥ 8♣ 7♦ 4♠.

Wagering According to Poker Rules

Staking means spending a certain sum of money at the start of a poker game. The initial stake is made by the person sitting left of the dealer. Other players can fold, call, or raise once a stake has been placed. When a player folds, they can not play the game until the next round.

There are three reasons to stake during a poker hand in general:

  • Value: When you play for value, you are hoping to profit by being called by weaker hands.
  • Bluffing: Bluffing is when you try to persuade your opponent to fold a better hand than you have.
  • Semi-Bluff: When your hand has minimal value now, you can semi-bluff. However, there is a great opportunity to improve to a much stronger hand, that is when you have a draw. You can win by forcing your opponent to fold right now or by doing considerably better on a subsequent street.

Stake Limits in Poker

Three types of amounts to be staked limits in poker.

  1. Fixed Limit- In fixed-limit games, the staking limit is decided at the start of the game. The players can stake only a fixed amount of chips. 
  2. No Limit- In no-limit games, the players can stake as much as they want. No-Limit Texas Hold’em is the most popular type of poker. Players have the full liberty to staking in no-limit games.
  3. Pot Limit- In pot-limit games, the players can stake only as much as the pot limit or less than the pot limit. They cannot pledge more than the pot limit. Omaha Poker is mainly played at the pot limit.

Rules of Poker Variants

Texas Holdem Poker Rules Omaha Poker Rules OFC Chinese Poker Rules
Texas Hold’em is the most-played variant. Texas poker rules are simple. Omaha Poker is the second most commonly played variant in poker. The Rules of Chinese Poker are quite like Texas Hold’em Poker.
Players are given two hole cards and five community cards. Players get four cards in Omaha Poker. The only difference in the rules of Texas Hold’em and Pineapple Poker is that players get three-hole cards in OFC Chinese Poker.
Players have to form a poker hand with any five cards of their choice. Players make a poker hands by using only two hole cards combined with three community cards. They see the three-hole cards and then discard one of them before the players start staking.
They can either combine the hole cards and community cards or else use only the community cards. It is a poker rule to create a hand in Omaha with two hole cards and three community cards. Players can use only two hole cards to play.
Texas Hold’em is a game that gives players a lot of liberty. Players enjoy playing the No-Limit Texas Hold’em Variant the most. Texas Holdem Poker Rules and Omaha Poker Rules have many similarities. Rules of Texas Hold’em were tweaked to create Omaha Poker. All the other rules of Chinese Poker are the same as Texas Hold’em.

Poker Rules of Underrated Variants

7 Card Stud

Stud Poker is usually played with a Pot-Limit and there are no community cards. Instead, the players are dealt 7 cards each and the big and small blinds are set to 5% of the ante. The cards are dealt in a particular manner so that 4 cards are face up and 3 are face down by the end of the game. Then after the game ends, all the hands are compared, and the player with the best hand wins. 


The poker rules for this game are not at all like any other poker game. That is because there are no hand rankings in this game, so the standard poker hand ranking rules do not apply in this case. You can have any kind of hand, but eventually, the player with the lowest hand at showdown is the person who wins in Razz poker.


This poker game divides the pot between the player with the highest and lowest hand, that’s why it's called Hi-Lo. It is also possible for a person to win both the pots- also known as ‘scooping’ (this happens when there is no qualifying low hand. Then the whole pot goes to the best High Hand). 

The only way for a person to qualify for the Low hand is if all 5 of their cards are below 8. If any card in the hand is above 8 then the pot goes to the player with the highest hand. 

Short Deck

In this variation, the poker rules are the same as Texas Hold’em game, but there is one small twist- the 2’s and 5’s are removed from the deck. This changes up the whole game and adds a certain level of thrill and excitement to the poker game. 

There is one other poker rule that changes in the Short Deck game- a flush beats a full house. In some other versions of the poker game, three-of-a-kind can also beat a straight

Play Poker to Earn Online

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