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  • Affiliate Disclosure / Casino Guide / Poker Rules for Beginners 2024

Poker Rules for Beginners 2024

Publish Date: June 23, 2021
Fact checked by: Jesse M Cox

We welcome all you globetrotters looking for a new table game to check out our guide on the rules of poker. Here we show you how to play one of the best table games in the world.

Our guide on the rules of poker will have you playing like a pro in no time. The game can be a little daunting at first but once you read our guide on the rules of poker you’ll know exactly how to play this game of skill. So, read on to learn more about the rules of poker.

Poker rules for dummies – are poker rules simple to follow?

Poker is one of the oldest table games around and has blossomed over the years since its first inception. There are plenty of different variations of poker to play, which we will get to in our guide, but the variations that are most loved by all are Texas Hold’em and Omaha poker.

Understanding the rules of poker should be a straightforward process. However, sometimes it can be very challenging for beginners. But this should not disappoint you. If you put your mind to it and use the best online casino in 2021, you’ll find yourself becoming an expert poker player within a very short period. Before we start with how to play the various games, its pertinent that you learn more about the terms revolving around the game and how to structure the various poker rankings (hand values).

Standard terms used in poker – must-know terms

Before you can learn to play the various poker games, it’s vital that you know the terminology. Our experts have compiled all you need to know to set you up.

1. Poker-hand rankings

All poker games use poker-hand rankings to determine the hand of the player that wins the game. Depending on the type of poker game, the hand that wins varies. For example, in low-ball poker, the hand that has the lowest value wins.

2. Forced bets

In most forms of poker, there is a compulsory bet when the hand begins. This is called a Blind or Ante. Also, many poker games feature a big and small blind, with the big one double the small one in most cases.

3. Bluffing

This tactic is used to increase your chances of winning poker hands in situations where you do not hold the best card. Bluffing involves making your counterparts believe in your hand by placing bets in a way that suggests that you have a better hand. In the process, you could make them believe your moves and fold instead of risking and having you in the showdown.

4. Dealer

The dealer ensures casino poker rules are observed – how players place their bets and how blinds are put up in the poker rules game. It doesn’t matter where you play, whether in a brick-and-mortar casino, at home, or in an online gambling provider. The dealer usually starts the game, and then it flows in a clockwise direction. In both online and physical casinos, the dealer is not among the players. A token is used to denote which player becomes the dealer for each specific hand.

Poker betting options

The initial betting round usually begins after the forced bets. Each player has the following options for placing bets depending on how much they believe in their hand.

  • Raise – To increase the size of your bet in the same betting round.
  • Call – To match the raise or bet of another player.
  • Fold – The act of withdrawing from the hand. If you do this, you end up sacrificing any bets that you had previously made.
  • All in – This occurs when a player does not have sufficient chips left to make a call on a bet. In this case, they can play all the remaining chips. The next betting occurs on the side pot. The all-in player may only win all chips in the pot if they go all-in in the next showdown.
  • Check – This occurs when a player refuses to make a bet until later when they want to. This can only happen as long as the first betting round has not been placed.

You can explore the best poker offers for 2021 to familiarize yourself with these terms.

What is the meaning of a betting round? A brief explanation

When playing poker, a betting round provides players with a chance to use the betting options stated in the previous section. This is based on how much you believe in your hand and how you perceive the quality of your competitors’ hand. You can determine the letter by observing how they bet or raise. All poker types have at least one betting round, while the majority have at least two.

These rounds take place before the game and after the game. Also, they allow players to strategize to a certain extent as the hand goes on.

Our top 5 favourite poker sites

Betting limits

There are several ways of structuring the betting process when playing poker. When using the best poker apps with real money for 2021, the structures listed below are the most popular. They are always listed with the poker type in poker lobbies online.

  1. Fixed limit (FL) – In this type, you are required to do raising and betting using fixed limits
  2. Pot Limit (PL) – A player is capable of betting or raising any amount that’s either lower or equal to the total pot size
  3. No Limit (NL) – A player is capable of betting all their chips when their turn to bet comes

We will look at two prevalent types of poker, Texas hold’em, and Omaha in the next part.

Poker Rankings – The different hands in poker

The most important thing to know about the rules of poker is the different hand combinations that you can make. Let’s quickly run through all of the different hands that you can make in Texas hold’em. Once you know these, you already know half the rules of poker that you need to.

  • High card: A high card is simply having the highest individual card on the table. This could be an ace or a king but whatever the case may be it is unlikely that you will win solely with a high card as all the players can use the cards in the middle of the table to their advantage as well.
  • Pair: Having a pair means matching 1 of the cards in your hand to one of the cards on the table. For example, you could have a 7 and an 8 in your hand and the first three cards that come up could be a 4, 6 and a 7. That would mean that you have a pair of 7’s. You can also be dealt a pair which is known as a “pocket pair”.
  • 2 pair: Two pairs is the same concept only you have made two separate pairs from the cards in your hand and the cards on your table. So, you may have a 10 and a king in your hand and within the 5 cards on the table, there is a king and 10 in which case you have made 2 pairs.
  • Three of a kind: This is also known as “trips” in the poker world and all that it means is that you have 3 of the same cards. Whether you only have one of them in your hand and 2 out on the table or 2 in your hand and one on the table, that is known as three of a kind.
  • Straight: A straight is where things get slightly more complicated but not by much. A straight is simply 5 consecutive cards running in order. For example, if you have a 2 and a 3 in your hand and the first three cards in the middle of the table are a 4, 5 and 6 then you will have “flopped” your straight. This can be any consecutive numbers or face cards. So, if you made a face card straight it would be 10, jack, queen, king and an ace (10, J, Q, K, A).
  • Flush: A flush is a similar concept but it’s not cards in a specific order you need but rather a certain number of the same suit. A flush can be 5-cards that are all hearts, spades, clubs or diamonds.
  • Full house: If you land a full house then you have hit a very strong hand. A full house is simply a pair and also a three of a kind that make the hand. For example, if you have a 10 and an ace in your hand and there is a 10 and 2 aces on the table then you would have 2 10s and 3 aces which make up a full house (10,10, A, A, A)
  • 4 of a kind: Similar to a three of a kind but far more scarce to actually get this hand. A 4 of a kind is simply 4 of the same card. For example, you have a pocket 8’s and flop 2 8’s which would give you your 4 of kind (8, 8, 8, 8).
  • Straight flush: Think about the flush we mentioned and the straight as well. A straight flush is having specific consecutive numbers that are all the same suit as well. An example would be 2, 3, 4, and 5 that are all hearts.
  • Royal flush: A nigh on impossible hand to actually get, it is the strongest hand in poker. A royal flush is having 10, jack, queen, king and an ace but they are all the same suit.

How to play poker – The passage of play and poker rules

Now that you are familiar with the poker terms and the rankings, we can move on to how to play both Holdem and Omaha poker. These are the two most popular variants found at poker rooms around the world.

The basic poker rules of Texas Hold’em

This is arguably the most popular poker rules card game globally and it uses very easy rules of poker. When the game starts, every player gets two cards (down ones); next, a round of betting takes place. Afterward, three cards are turned simultaneously, and then another betting round is done. In the next step, one card is turned at any given time, followed by a betting round.

A player may choose any combination of five cards from personal and board cards. You can even decide only to use the board cards and no personal cards. In this case, you have to use a dealer button. The most common way is to play using two blinds, but you can also choose to use one blind, an ante, multiple blinds, or several blinds and an ante.

Betting rounds

  1. Opening deal – Every player receives hole cards, which are two cards facing downwards.
  2. First betting round – Starting with the player on the left (using the big blind as the reference point), each player can call a fold or raise.
  3. The Flop – The card is burned by the dealer. Afterward, a total of three cards (community ones) are dealt facing upwards. The first three community cards are referred to as a flop.
  4. In the next round, the gambler on the left (using the dealer button as the reference point) starts placing the bets. After everyone has placed their bets, any place can call, fold or raise.
  5. Next, the dealer burns a new card and places the fourth card facing upwards on the community cards.
  6. In the next betting round, the procedure is similar to the one observed in the second betting round. However, the stakes are usually more.
  7. Then comes the River, where the dealer burns an extra card and mixes the final card with community cards.
  8. Finally, there is another last round of betting, which is similar to the third round.
  9. Each player reveals the best combination of five cards that consists of community cards and hole cards – the last raiser or better does so last. The gambler that has the biggest five-card wins.

Other important rules of  Texas Holdem poker

A misdeal occurs when either of the first two hole cards is exposed after being dealt. If this happens, the dealer should retrieve that card, reshuffle, and recut those cards. If this happens again due to an error caused by the dealer, the deal goes on. However, the exposed card is not retained.

In case the fourth card turns before a complete betting round, the card is removed from play. The betting is considered complete. The card that was to be in the fifth place is burned in place of the fourth one. The deck is then reshuffled.

If, by mistake, the dealer deals the first player an extra card, the card should be returned to the deck. It’s applied as a burn card.  If they’re two or more, that’s considered a misdeal. If you decide to play the board, you should say so before throwing your cards away.

The Basics poker rules of Omaha

This game could be mistaken for casino hold’em because it follows the same rules of poker. First, the three-card flop, fourth and fifth board cards are the same. However, each player receives four hole cards at the beginning. A player is required to use two hole cards with the three board cards. The process of betting is the same as with hold’em.

During the showdown, the four-card must be shown to get the pot. The highest five-card hand wins.

Betting rounds

  1. Each player gets four face-down cards.
  2. Initial betting round – One card is burned and three community cards flopped by the dealer.
  3. Second betting round – The dealer burns an extra card and burns another community card.
  4. The third round of betting – A card is burned and the last community card is turned.
  5. Last round of betting/Showdown – All players show hand; players must use three board cards and two pocket cards.

Note that all the rules of poker used in hold’em are used in Omaha, with the exception of the rule used on playing the board.

How to choose a good poker casino

You have to look at various factors when choosing the best poker site online in 2021. The aim is to increase your chances of winning and understand the rules of poker. Some of the casino aspects that you should consider are:

1. Welcome bonus – lucrative offers

In most poker casinos, you will find poker bonuses that range between 50% to 200%. However, it is more than just the bonuses offered. Just because the bonus is high does not put it among the best legal online poker sites in 2021. It would help if you spent some time analyzing the bonus amounts, the wagering requirements, and other rules of poker determining how you can use the bonus.

2. Your competitors – engage weak competitors

Playing with poker experts will enable you to improve your understanding of rules of poker. However, you should also engage weaker opponents to increase your chances of winning large amounts of money.

3. Range of games – explore various games

The more the games that are offered in a poker casino, the more your chances of winning. You can explore and try new markets, enabling you to find the best game and understand the rules of poker.

4. Go for a legit poker casino

There are so many poker casinos around the world using almost similar rules of poker. You should make a point of verifying the poker casino that you use. Some of the factors that you can look at are:

  • Whether the casino has a license to operate
  • Does the casino have any past scandals?
  • How efficient is the casino’s customer care?
  • What type of payment options does the casino provide, and are they safe?
  • What are the users’ past experiences with the casino? What are they saying about it in online forums? Etc.

The best poker providers

Poker variations – plenty to choose from

We have now given you a closer look at Texas Hold’em but there are plenty of other poker variations that you can play as well, each with their own rules of poker. Here are a few of the most popular poker variations that you can play right now:


This is probably the 2nd most popular variation on poker behind Texas Hold’em. The rules of poker when it comes to Omaha work very much the same in terms of the hands you can make and the fact that there are cards in the middle of the table. However, players receive 4 cards in their hands as opposed to 2 which means that the strategy for playing Omaha is quite different.

5-card Omaha

As the name suggests this is pretty much just an Omaha bit instead of 4 cards you receive 5 at the start. The rules of poker for 5-card Omaha are all but identical to the classic variation.

5-card draw

The rules of poker for 5-card draw are wholly different to Texas Hold’em. Each player starts with 5 cards in their hand which is then followed by a round of betting. They can then decide to do away with as many of these cards as they like and fill their hand back up to 5. You can only do this once. Once this has been done a final round of betting takes place and the cards are revealed to see who has made the best hand with their 5 cards.

Stud poker

In this case, cards are dealt to players using a specific combination of face downs and face-ups. Usually, there is a betting round between the cards being dealt. Popular poker games in this category are razz and seven-card stud.

Now you know that you can use our guide on the rules of poker and plenty of other poker guides on our site. However, we are far more than just a poker guide site. Here at we have tons of different guides on how to play certain table games and slots to guides on specific strategies and when you should use them.

We have everything you need from learning more about how to win online slots to a guide on how to play roulette for beginners. We leave nothing out at as we try to give our readers every betting resource that they could possibly need.

Conclusion –  learn the rules of poker before heading to the tables

As we have seen in this guide, there are many things that you have to look at if you want to get into poker gambling. First, there are several glossary terms used in poker casinos globally, and it is essential that you understand their meanings. Besides, there are rules of poker that you should be familiar with to increase your chances of winning.

There is a reason that poker is one of the most popular table games in the world if not the most popular. That is why understanding the rules of poker first is so important before you head straight off to one of the best online poker sites. Poker can take a little time to really get the hang of so don’t start out with massive bets but rather get a feel for the gamer and build your way up. Remember, poker isn’t gambling, so hone your skills to win bigger pots in the long run before you begin to traverse the world of online poker play.

If poker sounds like it’s going to be too much work for you then we highly recommend checking out our roulette rules for dummies guide or our guide on the blackjack game rules.

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Rules of poker FAQ

Is poker a difficult game to understand?

If you have ever come across Texas Hold’em or one of the many different poker variations then you may have certain ideas about how difficult it is to learn for newcomers. We are here to tell you that it won’t be difficult at all for you to learn. That is because our guide on the rules of poker will have you clued up in a matter of minutes. We explain the game in all its glory to you in a comprehensive way with our guide. We can even take you through our casino guide first to make sure you have a lay of the land when it comes to online gambling sites.

Where can I find a poker rules chart?

Here at, we shed some light on all the poker rules and hands so that you know exactly how the game works. We also have a poker rules chart so you can see everything right in front of you but with easy-to-understand information. You’ll have no problem understanding the game in more detail with our poker rules chart.

What is the best online poker site to play on?

Three are plenty of online operators in the world right now, if you have ever conducted a search for one then you know what we are talking about. Here at, we conduct tons of reviews of the best online poker sites in the world. Our rankings on our site will show you exactly who we think is the best operator that you should be taking your business to.

Are there any poker strategies I should know about?

Just like any sport, poker is a game of skill. When it comes to playing games of skill you need to have a strategy going in. There are plenty of proven poker strategies that you can check out on our site with our plethora of guides. We’ll not only show you the rules of poker but what poker strategies are best for beginners and what strategies are best for seasoned veterans as well.

There are so many poker variations nowadays, and we can expect new ones to keep coming in the future. However, finding the one that suits your style of play can be quite hard. In most cases, the popular versions are easy to play and they use easy rules of poker, which explains why they are popular in the first play. It will help if you read our latest poker review to find the most popular version of poker that can suit your gambling needs.

What is the best free poker app?

It is undeniable that most poker gamblers prefer using mobile applications for their online betting activities. Mobile phones and tablets are easy to carry around, and they provide some convenience that you can’t get anywhere else.

This partly explains why there are so many poker apps. However, it would help if you were careful about fake poker apps that also exist. We recommend reading our poker rules hands and app reviews to know whether the app you decide to use is authentic. To save you the struggle of researching, our experts at have created the best poker apps for 2021 reviews that you can read to learn more.

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