How to Play
How to play poker: learning the poker rules
If you are new to poker and have your first game coming up or simply want to learn how to play poker quickly, then this handy 5 step guide will help you get to grips with the poker rules.
Learn how to play poker in 5 simple steps
1. Choosing a poker set up
Poker is an exciting card game that is played either online or live:
• Online: Online poker takes place around virtual tables with other players, strangers, or friends. For that you need to install a poker software, download a mobile poker app or even create a private online poker game if you prefer to play in a close circle of friends.
• Live: Live poker is the term used to describe the game of poker when you play in a brick-and-mortar venue. This may be at a casino, or at home with friends. You need a poker chip set and a deck of playing cards.
Explore this how to play poker section to find rules and tips for other poker variants.
2. Understanding the positions at the poker table
◦ The player to the dealer’s immediate left is called the small blind.
◦ The player to the small blind’s left is known as the big blind.
• Middle position: These players are seated a couple of seats to the left of early position.
3. Knowing the poker hands
Depending on the type of game, players need to form the best combination of 5 cards (hands) based on the 2 cards they receive from the dealer the "hole cards" (2 private cards dealt to each player) and the 5 "community cards" (5 cards placed in the centre of the table available to all players).
There are 10 poker hands that every player should know when learning how to play poker. Before even launching yourself into a game, you should know which combinations are the most valuable.
4. Cards distribution and blinds
• Small blind: This is paid by the player to the dealer's immediate left.
• Big blind: This is paid by the player to the small blind's immediate left. The price of the big blind is twice the size of the small blind.
The dealer deals one card to each player starting with the small blind. The dealer then deals a second card to all the players, again, starting with the small blind. Players keep their own cards, known as hole cards, face down so their opponents cannot see them.
It is time to start the betting rounds once every player has two hole cards in front of them.
5. Betting rounds during a game
• Fold: Folding is when you do not want to invest any more money in the hand, usually because you have poor hole cards. Folding sees you give your cards back to the dealer, and the action moves to the player to your left.
• Call: During the preflop betting round, calling is matching the current largest bet at the table.
• Raise: Raising is when you decide to increase the previous bet's size. You can even bet all of your chips, which is known as going all-in.
B. The flop
Betting follows a similar pattern to preflop, except players can now "check" if they do not want to bet and nobody else has bet before them. Once everyone has acted and there are at least two players remaining in the hand, the dealer deals the next community card.
C. The turn
D. The river
E. The showdown
Master poker easily with more poker rules, guides, and tips
There are of course many more things to know when learning how to play poker if you want to excel in the game.
Whether you need to learn more on the different poker variants, the hand rankings, tactics or even understand the jargon, we gathered advice and tips from professional players to guide you throughout your learning process and help you improve your skills.
Browse the handy guides to uncover or revisit the main rules of poker and embark on your journey into becoming a potential poker legend!
One of the keys to success at the tables relies on the knowledge and understanding of the different types of poker games.
You most certainly heard about Texas Holdem (the most popular game in the world) but if you don't know the other variants such as Omaha, this section will help you learn the rules and find out more about the different poker variations.
In poker, the cards distributed to players form a set which is called 'hands'. The value of these hands is subject to ranking also commonly referred to as hand rankings (or order).
Poker hands are one of the things that every aspiring or experienced poker player should know. Familiarise yourself with the 10 ranking categories.
Before you join the action at the poker tables, it is important to master the fundamentals.
Our guides, perfect for those who are new to poker, will help you understand the main poker rules and all the necessary tips you will easily remember.
Find out more on the poker basics and discover helpful tips for beginners.
There is a lot more in this game than simply knowing the rules.
Once the basics are assimilated, it is not only important for players to keep improving their skills but also to know how to adapt their game to their opponents and be more strategic.
As you may have just started your journey into the poker world, tournaments can seem a bit daunting.
If you don’t feel confident enough yet to join some live or online poker tournaments, read more about how tournaments work, tips and even tactics in this dedicated section.
If you want to explore further, you can also browse helpful guides on how to play multi-table tournaments (MTTs) or how to play Sit & Go tournaments (SNGs).
Not sure what a “shark” refers to? Or what “tilt” means and how it may affect your game?
If you are still unsure of some terminology, why not browse the handy poker glossary to pick up useful poker terms that you may stumble across.