Learn the Rules of Poker and Play like a Pro
Poker is not just one of the most famous card games in history, but it’s also a popular form of gambling. If you ever want to win money while playing Poker, you need to understand the basics, including the bets, variants, odds, and rules.
On this comprehensive Poker page, we’ll discuss all you need to get started.
Master the Rules of Poker
Poker is a game of skills. You need to understand the rules properly to improve your winning chances. While the basics of Poker are easy to understand, the rules can be confusing and challenging, especially for beginners.
The best way to learn without having to risk your money is by playing free Poker games.
Like other card games, the objective in Poker is to win money. Paying attention to the pot that contains wagers set by other players may help you with your decision on how much to wager and how much you could potentially win, or lose.
As a new Poker player, you should prioritise giving your opponents the impression that you hold a strong hand, even when you don’t, as it may compel them to fold.
In most Poker games, the highest combination of five cards is the best hand.
Poker Hands Ranking
Before you start playing Poker, you will need to understand how “hand ranking” works. By understanding this, you’ll know whether you have a winning hand or not. The table below displays typical hand ranking.
|Straight flush||A hand is considered a straight flush if the cards are in numerical order and of identical suits – for example, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 of spades.|
|Royal flush||A royal flush consists of a K, Q, J, 10, and Ace in the same suit.|
|Four of a kind||Four of a kind encompasses 4 cards of the same rank (for example, A, A, A, A).|
|Full house||A Full house consists of 3 cards of the same rank with two cards of matching ranks.|
|Straight||A Straight Poker hand means a hand containing 5 cards in a sequence of different suits.|
|Flush||A Flush consists of five cards of any value with identical suits (5, 6, 4, Q, 10 of clubs).|
|Two pair||A Two pair consist of 2 cards of matching rank, another two cards of matching rank, then one unrelated card.|
|Three of a kind||Three of a kind involves 3 cards of the same rank plus 2 unpaired cards|
|High card||The High card consists of all 5 cards in no particular order and without sharing the same suit or rank|
|A pair||A pair is a hand that contains only 2 cards belonging to the same rank.|
Pre-flop, Flop, Turn, River, Showdown
To commence the game, you will be dealt two opening cards. After that, the Turn, Flop, and River round comes, where you’ll come across 5 or 7 cards – depending on the game you’re playing. This section talks briefly about these three Poker terms.
The pre-flop round is known as the very first round before the three community cards are dealt. During this round, the participating players are dealt two cards (whole cards) each.
The Turn refers to the card taken from the deck after the Flop betting round, and when the 4th community card is revealed. It’s also known as Fourth Street.
During this round, all players still in the game now have 6 cards to select from to create their best 5-card Poker hands. There is another game round and one more community card to reveal.
The Flop is simply the first 3 community cards dealt face up after the first game round is complete.
After the wagering round for the hole cards, the dealer will burn off a card (meaning the card will be removed without the dealer looking at it) from the top-most point of the deck.
This is done if the top card has been marked or exposed. After that, 3 cards are dealt face-up on the table. It’s called the Flop, and it’s the beginning of the community cards – the cards players can include in their hands.
This is the last card dealt in a game of Poker, and it’s also called Fifth Street. The dealer burns another card from the top of the deck, and this card is dealt. Here, the remaining players can select their best 5-card Poker hand (their 5 community cards plus the two hole cards) from 7 cards.
After several rounds of betting, the best 5-card Poker hand is the winner. To decide your 5-card poker hand, you can use both hole cards, one or no card together with three, four, or five community cards.
During this round, also known as the final round, the player with the highest hand wins all the amount in the pot (bets made during the game).
Whether you’re a new or professional UK Poker player, the “Dealer Button” is something that you need to pay attention to. The dealer button is used in all Poker variants. It’s a button that often comes in white, yellow, or black with the text ‘Dealer’ written on it.
The dealer button is used to determine which player is the official dealer. Being a dealer comes with benefits, one of which makes the dealer the last to act in each betting round.
Big and Small Blinds
Each seat in Poker comes with a name, depending on its location to the button. For example, the player located at the left of the button is the “Small Blind”, while the player located two left to the button is called the “Big Blind”. The small and big blind is what players in these positions are expected to place in the pot before the cards can be dealt.
In most popular Poker variants, the big blind is twice the size of the small blind. However, new UK poker players should not confuse the Antes for blinds – they are different. Antes are placed by every player on the table, while blinds are only paid by players occupying these positions.
No limit, pot limit, and limit – explained
UK players can place several betting variations in Poker. This section will walk you through the various betting limits.
As the name suggests, there is no limit, except the size of the blinds. No Limit bet variation allows players to wager or raise their bet by any amount. In no-limit games, a player can “call” a bet even if the size of the past wager is bigger than the total amount of their chips.
In the pot limit, the highest wager is always equal to the size of all the chips in the pot. So the amount a player can wager is determined by the size of the pot. However, as the size of the pot increases, the maximum bet also increases.
In a limit Poker game, the sizes of the bets are fixed. So a player can choose to bet, call, or raise, but only by a fixed amount. The fixed bet size for any game round is determined in advance, and it differs depending on the game type.
Poker has many variants, so UK players should expect variations in the rules. Before we get to the rules, it’ll make sense if you understand popular Poker variants. The most popular poker variants are divided into three broad categories:
- Draw Poker – This is a game in which a player is dealt a complete Poker hand hidden, and it can be improved by a player substituting cards.
- Community Card Poker – It’s a game in which the player’s incomplete hidden poker hand merges with face-up cards. The most famous examples are Omaha Hold’em and Texas Hold’em.
- Stud Poker – It’s a game where the player receives a mix of face-down and face-up cards in several betting rounds. The most common examples include seven-card stud and five-card stud.
Some of the rules variations include:
- High-low split: Here, the lowest and highest poker hand split the pot.
- Lowball: The rule states that the lower hand wins the pot.
- Kill game: When a limit poker game is played, some conditions cause the bet to double.
- Twist: This rule allows players to buy a new card from the deck. If you don’t like the new card, you can purchase another one by placing money in the pot.
Types of bets in Poker
Like other card games, Poker offers various bet types, so, UK players need to understand the various betting options available before they start wagering for real money. Once you master the bet, you can improve your Poker strategies.
Poker Bets and options
To stay in hand (if you want to play in further game rounds and possibly win the pot) after a player has bet or raised, you must bet with the same amount they placed in the pot. However, if a player decides to fold rather than call, the player who raised or bet will win the pot, and the round is over.
The game is moved to the next round if at least one player is called.
Betting and raising both mean adding more money to the pot, but there is a slight difference. When no other players have added money to the pot, it’s called a “bet”. On the other hand, it’s considered a “raise” if players have already added money to the pot.
If one player has “raised” or “bet”, but you don’t feel like your hand is strong enough to “raise” or “call”, you can fold your hand, which means you won’t take part in any more rounds of that game.
To go all-in while playing Poker simply means to place all your remaining chips in the pot. The maximum amount a poker player can go all-in with is the amount they started their hand with.
Poker Odds and Payouts
Before you start playing Poker games for real money, you need to understand the odds and payouts. The table below displays the odds and payout.
|Outs||Flop to Turn||Turn to River||Turn and River|
|20||1.35 to 1||1.30 to 1||0.48 to 1|
|19||1.47 to 1||1.42 to 1||0.54 to 1|
|18||1.61 to 1||1.56 to 1||0.60 to 1|
|17||1.77 to 1||1.71 to 1||0.67 to 1|
|16||1.94 to 1||1.88 to 1||0.75 to 1|
|15||2.13 to 1||2.07 to 1||0.85 to 1|
|14||2.36 to 1||2.29 to 1||0.95 to 1|
|13||2.62 to 1||2.54 to 1||1.08 to 1|
|12||2,92 to 1||2.83 to 1||1.22 to 1|
|11||3.27 to 1||3.18 to 1||1.40 to 1|
|10||3.70 to 1||3.60 to 1||1.60 to 1|
|9||4.22 to 1||4.11 to 1||1.86 to 1|
|8||4.88 to 1||4.75 to 1||2.17 to 1|
|7||5.71 to 1||5.57 to 1||2.60 to 1|
|6||6.83 to 1||6.67 to 1||3.15 to 1|
|5||8.40 to 1||8.20 to 1||3.93 to 1|
|4||10.75 to 1||10.50 to 1||5.06 to 1|
|3||14.67 to 1||14.33 to 1||7.00 to 1|
|2||22.50 to 1||22.00 to 1||10.90 to 1|
|1||46.00 to 1||45.00 to 1||22.26 to 1|
In simple terms, the casino’s advantage over the players is the House Edge. The good news is that most Casino Poker games offer some of the lowest House Edges you’ll come across and some even have wonderful casino bonuses you can spend on them. However, it depends on the Poker variant you’re playing. Here are some Poker variants and their possible House Edge.
How to Play Poker – Breakdown of a Round
Now that you have understood the basics of the game, let’s discuss how you can play Poker. This section will give you a breakdown of a typical Poker game round.
- Each player on the Poker table is dealt two cards face up.
- Players will then use the 2 cards they were dealt together with 5 community cards to create their best 5-card Poker hand.
- The player with the best Poker hand wins.
- There are four game rounds, so UK players can bet as much as they want if they are feeling confident.
Strengthen your Poker-playing abilities by making a few changes to your approach. Learn the ins and outs of Poker and become an expert with our breakdown of the different bets, odds, and payouts that exist within various games of Poker.
Our guide should make it easier for you to find just the right Poker variants for you.