The basics of poker every beginner needs to know!

The basics of poker every beginner needs to know!
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How do you play Poker (step-by-step)?

Poker is arguably the most popular card game that involves betting and skill. There are several variants of the game, with each following a different set of rules but the overall gameplay is similar to each other. While a huge section of people feel that is a completely luck-oriented game, the truth is far from it. You need an exceptional set of skills and understanding of poker basics if you are to keep winning in the long run. Here, we have covered some of the poker game rules to give you a good enough understanding for you to learn how to play poker.

Is it easy to learn poker?

Poker is a fairly easy game to learn. However, for a complete beginner, the poker rules might seem challenging at first. But no need to be demotivated. It is not hard to learn how to play poker, and you can make rapid advancements in the game of poker if you are willing to learn.

Top Variations of Poker

There are a lot of variants of poker, as people have made quite a few tweaks in the original rule book to create new styles that suit them. To know each variant in detail and learn how to play poker in accordance with them can be quite a task.  Stud poker, draw poker, and community card poker is the ones that most people play and are the three most common variants.

We have listed some of the other top variants as well for your reference.

A comprehensive guide to the basic poker rules!

Some rules and tiny details do change from variant to variant but there are certain guidelines that are followed across each one of them.

What is poker and how is it played?

Here, we have listed some of the basic poker game rules that a beginner must know to learn how to play poker. Make sure to check out our app to play poker and learn more!

1. Number of players that take part in a game

To learn poker, you first need to get an understanding of the number of players that are involved in a game. A single table can host anywhere between two to ten players and this number basically depends on the variant of the game you are playing. When it comes to cash games, it is always played on a single table but the bigger tournaments can be played across multiple tables.

2. Cards used in the game

More often than not, a full-sized deck is used to play poker. The cards are distributed in odd numbers, 3, 5, or 7, depending on the variant you are playing. The cards that are dealt face down are called the hole cards and these cards have a huge say in determining whether you will win or not. In some games, cards are dealt back to the middle of the table, and the other players can take them to form a better hand. These cards are called community cards. When you learn how to play poker, it is important to know how to choose the right cards from these available ones on the table.

3. Objective of the game

You cannot learn how to play poker if you do not know the objective of the game, which is simple – to win pots. A new pot is created with every new deal. Players make their bets when they feel it is appropriate to do so (they are forced to bet as well in some instances) and the chips keep adding in the pot. To win the pot, you either need to have the best hand at the end of all the betting or be the last player with an active hand.

4. Rankings of cards

If you are to learn poker and be good at it, then one thing you need to always have at the back of your mind is the ranking of cards. This is one of the most important poker game rules to keep in mind when you learn how to play poker.

  • High Card – When there is no combination, and the card with the highest value has the highest rank
  • Pair – When there are two cards of the same rank. For example Two Jacks
  • 2 Pair – When there are two pairs of a pair in the hand
  • 3 of a kind – When there are three cards of the same rank
  • Straight - When there are five consecutive cards
  • Flush – When all five cards in your hand belong to the same suit
  • Full House – When there is a pair and a three of a kind in the hand
  • 4 of a kind – When there are four cards of the same rank
  • Straight flush - When there are five consecutive cards of the same suit
  • Royal Flush – When there is a straight flush but only with cards ranging from 10 to Ace

5. Antes and Blinds

Most poker variants use both antes and blinds and this is exactly why it is crucial to ensure that you have a clear understanding of these things while you learn how to play poker. These are basically forced bets that a player has to make in certain positions of the game.

A Small Blind is a bet placed by the player sitting on the left of the dealer and a Big Blind is the bet placed by the player sitting two positions left of the dealer. Finally, an Ante is a bet that every player is forced to place during a game. To learn poker fully, you need to be good at identifying moments when antes and blinds will play a role.

6. Possible betting options

To truly learn poker, you must be well-versed with all the possible betting options that you have during your turn. There are up to five options that are available and they are as follows:

  • Check – You remain active in the game by calling future bets but do not make bets in the current round.
  • Bet – You can make a bet that you feel is right. This is only for the player who starts the round.
  • Call – You can remain active in the round by matching the bet and adding the chips, similar to the previous bet.
  • Raise – You increase the size of the bet by adding an additional amount on top of the previous betting amount.
  • Fold – You give away all your cards and abandon the chance of winning the pot.

7. Structures of betting

The amount you raise or bet in a round of poker is not completely dependent on the stakes you feel are right – they also depend on the betting structure used in the game. When you learn how to play poker, you must know the differences between these structures and the poker game rules that apply to them.

  • Fixed Limit – There is a fixed amount allotted for each betting.
  • No Limit – The players have complete reign over determining the size of the bet.
  • Pot Limit – The player can raise or bet anywhere between the minimum required for the game and the limit set for the pot.
  • Spread Limit – In this case, there is a predetermined range, which every player will have to follow.
  • Cap Limit – This is similar to the spread limit but slightly different because only the upper limit is locked in this and the lower limit depends on the variant of the poker you are playing.

What kind of poker is illegal?

Having gone through some legal challenges, the legality bill underwent the state legislature and was later approved by the President of India in October 2018. With this, skills games like offline and online poker and rummy aren't illegal.

Now that you know the basic poker game rules and terminologies, you should be able to learn how to play poker through practice. Why wait for more? Learn poker and more on our app to become a Poker Champion in no time!

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About The  

Kanchan Sharma
Kanchan Sharma

Kanchan Sharma started her career as a learning designer at an MNC while pursuing poker as a hobby. However, she soon pivoted to becoming a professional MTT (Multi Table Tournaments) player. She is currently a leading player, who has taken the male dominated poker world by storm. During her stint as a poker player, she has bagged many titles including India Online Poker Championship (IOPC) for Rs. 17,98,906, Winter Celebration Series for Rs. 6,62,500 and has final tabled multiple tournaments. She continually seeks to improve her poker game and work on her mindset to win the WSOP title soon. Her journey from being a recreational player to a poker pro is inspiring for many people out there.

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