To play poker is essentially quite easy, almost
anybody can learn the rules of the most common poker games. We will
give you an introduction to in this section and explain handrankings
etc. This section is intended to serve people who want to learn
how to play poker. For more advanced concepts and strategies we
recommend a selection of books in our 'Poker
Books' section and suggest suitable information resources in
our 'Poker Links' section.
Texas Hold'em Poker Rules
- Omaha Poker Rules
Poker Hand Rankings
Poker is played with a 52-card deck. In some games a Joker is added
that can be used to represent any card in the deck. The deck has
four suits, Hearts (red), Diamonds(red), Spades(black), Clubs(black).
Another setup is the four color deck where each suite has it’s
own unique colour (Diamonds are blue and Clubs green) we recommend
that you use this option wherever available when playing online
poker. The lowest rank in a card deck is 2 and the highest is Ace.
The Ace can also count as a low card in a straight for instance
making it an even more valuable card. A hand in Poker consists of
Five Cards, as you will see in the rules some games allows you to
make your hand from a selection bigger than five.. The rank of the
cards in a card deck are: 2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 (T), Jack (J), Queen
(Q), King (K), Ace (A). The ranking of hands are as follows (from
highest to lowest):
Royal Straight Flush
T,J,Q,K,A in the same suit. If you have this hand congratulations
you've got the best possible hand.
Five cards in sequence of the same suit where the highest card (called
Royal Straight Flush if the highest card is an Ace)
Four of a Kind
Four cards of the same rank. The hand with the highest four cards
with the same value wins. This was in the early days of poker the
best hand more specifically four aces.
Three cards of the same rank combined with two cards of another.
Example: Three Aces and Two Kings.
All cards are of the same suit. The Flush with the highest suited
cards wins the hand:
Example: 2,4,9,T,A all diamonds.
Five cards with rank in a sequence
Example: 3,4,5,6,7. If more than one hand qualifies for a straight
the highest hand wins.
Three of a kind
Three cards of the same rank
Example: three Kings
Two separate pairs (If the two pairs are of the same rank then you
got four of a kind J ).
Example: K,K, A,A
Two cards of the same rank.
If at showdown no hand qualifes for a least a pair the highest cards is determining the winner of the pot.
example: 3,5,7,T,A is an Ace high hand that would win over a King high hand.
Actions possible during a Poker round
In each round of action in poker you can either:
Bet – put money into the pot
Fold – if the cards aren’t good enough to
continue. By doing this you forfeit all you interest in the pot.
Call – Adding an amount equal to previously made
Raise - Add a larger amount to the pot forcing other player
to add the same amount to the pot.
Antes and Blinds
In order to have a pot to compete about some kind of enforcement
is used to create an initial pot in poker. The two most common strategies
used to achieve this is blind posting and antes. An ante are posted
before the cards are dealt by all players who wants cards dealt
whilst the blinds are posted by two players (most common structure).
The responsibility to post the blinds rotates round the table at
the two positions left to the dealers. The small blind posted by
the player directly to the left of the dealer button (usually half
the value of a small bet) and the big blind (the value of the big
bet). In $1-$2 Texas Hold’em the small blind is $50 and the
big blind $1. It may seem unfair compared to playing with an ante
posted by all players but since the blinds rotate around the table
all players contribute approximately the same amount over a couple
You may have heard of poker games where homes, cattle and even wives
and large amounts of money have been wagered during poker games.
Luckily you don’t have to have a wife at hand when playing
poker today. Instead there are very clear rules stating how and
what bets that can be made. How and what you may stake depends on
what structure is used in the game. Before in no Limit an opponent
had to match the amount that was put at stake. This is partly unfair
since some players may not be able to call large bets (Rumours tell
one farmer lost his farm when his opponent put the state of Texas
into the pot since he couldn’t call that bet). Today table
stakes are used in most poker games and particularly online. This
means that you can bet or call with the maximum chips you have at
the table when it’s your turn to act.
No Limit (NL)
In no limit you can put all your chips into the pot at any point
that you are to act in a poker game. There is usually a minimum
bet set that most of the time differs between the first and last
Similar to no limit but here you can bet or raise the current Pot
Size. An example: if there is $100 in the pot you can raise a maximum
of $100 making it $200 for the next player in turn to call. This
player can in turn raise and make it $400 for the next player and
Fixed Limit (Limit)
The most popular betting structure today. The bets are made at fixed
numbers e.g. $5. If somebody raises he can do it by adding another
$5 thus he has to put $10 into the pot. The next player can reraise
by putting $15 into the pot. The next player in turn then has to
pay $15 to call. Most limit games have a small and big bet where
the small bet is 50% of a big bet. The smaller bet is used in the
earlier betting rounds (The two first in Omaha and Texas Hold’em)
and the bigger in the rest of the betting rounds. In $5-$10 Hold’em
the small bet is $5 and the big bet $10.
Spread Limit (SL)
In spread limit players can choose to bet within an interval e.g.
$1-5 meaning that at each stage a player can bet or raise with any
amount between one and five dollars. So if a player is to act he
can bet $4 the next can then call or raise with any amount between
$1 and an $5. If the player chooses to raise with $5 the next player
to act has to put $9 into the pot in order to call.