Poker for Beginners Guide
Online poker is one of the most popular card games played for free and for real money on the internet and our poker for beginners guide covers everything you need to know including the poker hand rankings and the basic poker rules. There are lots of different variations of this game but the basic rules are the same no matter what variant you play.
Online Poker or Live Poker
The basic poker rules are the same whether you are playing at an online poker room, in person, or at a live poker table. There are a few differences though and these include the fact that online poker games tend to be faster and the betting limits can be set to suit your budget. You can also find games to play no matter what time of the day or night it is. If you are playing online you don't have to perfect your poker face either.
Online Poker for Beginners
The first thing you need to do is find a good online poker room. You will need to be of legal age to bet for real money, but there are plenty of free poker games you can play too which is a great way to learn the rules too.
You will need to make a deposit and this usually requires a credit or debit card or an e-wallet account. Most online poker rooms have a range of payment methods for players to choose from. Once you have your account set up, the next thing will be to choose the poker game you want to play.
Types of Poker Games to Play
There are numerous online poker games to choose from. The most popular is Texas Hold'em. It is simple to learn and a great choice when starting to learn how to play poker. Other variants include 7 Card Stud, 5 Card Stud, and Omaha. You can check out our poker games page for more information on each of these.
Poker for Beginners Guide
In this poker for beginners guide we are using No-Limit Texas Hold'em to explain everything. It is one of the easiest poker games to play and the most popular variant around the world. This poker game uses a mix of strategy and psychology and is played by professionals too. In this game, players receive two cards. You then use your cards in combination with the five community cards to make your best five-card poker hand. There are four rounds of betting involved and you can bet as much as you like.
Before we look at the basic poker rules, it is important to explain the poker hand rankings.
Poker Hand Rankings
Nearly all beginner mistakes in poker occur because players don't know the poker hand rankings. Below are the hand rankings you need to know.
- Royal Flush - all the same suit, sequence A,K,Q,J,T
- Straight Flush - any sequence all the same suit, example 9,8,7,6,5
- Four of a Kind - four cards that are the same value, example K,K,K,K
- Full House - Three of a kind and a pair
- Flush - all cards of the same suit
- Straight - a basic sequence such as 9,8,7,6,5
- Three of a Kind - Three cards that are the same value, example 9,9,9
- Two pair - Two pairs such as A,A and 5,5
- Pair - Any pair
- High Card - whatever your highest card is
Memorizing the poker hand rankings is a good idea or have them printed out beside you whenever you play. This will make it easier when deciding what cards to keep or discard.
There are some common misconceptions when it comes to poker hand rankings too. We have the most common listed below.
- A straight beats a flush - this isn't true. Remember that all one suit is better than a sequence.
- Two pair beats three of a kind - again not true. Three beats two all the time.
- Card strength doesn't matter it's the high card - An ace high flush will always beat a king high flush so always keep your high cards.
Poker for Beginners - Basic Rules
Texas Hold'em uses a standard deck of 52 cards both online and offline. It requires both skill and luck to win. The game can be played by up to ten people at a single table. Tournament formats can have thousands of players.
The dealer will deal everyone two cards starting on his left and ending with himself. The player on the left goes first and then can choose to bet any amount they want. The rest of the players then have the option of calling, folding, or raising. This continues until everyone has called or all the chips are in the middle. The dealer will then put three cards face up on the board. These are called community cards and anyone can use these. This is called the flop. Everyone gets to bet, raise, or fold. The dealer then puts the fourth card on the table that anyone can use. This is called the turn. Everyone gets to bet, raise, or fold again. The dealer will then place the fifth card on the table for anyone to use. This is called the river. This is the final chance to bet, raise, or fold.
There is also the big blind and the small blind. These are small bets that the two players on the direct left to the dealer are forced to put in the pot before every hand starts. You have to put them in without seeing your cards and this is why the term blind is used.
Tips for Poker Beginners
Look for good hands. You can start by looking for pairs and working your way up to higher hands.
Try to avoid calling all the time. This is one of the things that most beginners do because they aren't sure if their hand is good or not.
Play free online poker games to learn the basic rules and the poker hand rankings before you play for real money.