Poker Loco is here to get your poker game up to speed with a quick run-through of the basic rules of poker. You’ll learn all about poker betting rules, card deck basics, the value of various poker hands and more.
Poker is a timeless casino table game with unparalleled international popularity. Once you know how to play, poker becomes a challenging and rewarding game that combines elements of chance, skill and strategy. If you are looking to learn more about the basics of poker and pick up some basic poker rules, you have come to the right place. Start your poker journey now and learn the rules of poker with Poker Loco!
Learn more about the basics of poker and how to play at the poker table
Struggling to get to grips with the rules of poker? Are you just learning how to play poker?
The rules of poker are simple, but there is no denying that the game can take some getting used to. Poker is a gambling game, after all. Because so much of the game is based on bluffing, interaction and betting, it is essential that you fully understand the basic rules of poker before playing, especially for real money.
There are all kinds of variations of poker, but you’re going to learn about the most popular form of poker: Texas Hold’Em.
Card Deck Basics
All you need to know about the humble 52-card deck. Poker is played using a standard card deck containing 52 cards. Occasionally, variations of the game will use extra cards or even more than one deck.
A 52-card deck contains four suits, which all share the same value. That is, no one suit is more valuable than another. The four suits are Spades, Hearts, Clubs and Diamonds.
A standard 52-card deck is ranked (in ascending order) in this way: Ace, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, Jack, Queen, King, Ace. As seen here, the Ace card can be either high or low, but in poker, it is the most valuable card in the deck.
Basic Poker Rules
The basic rules of the game include how to deal and standard buy-ins. If a poker game is being player-dealt, the cards must be thoroughly shuffled and cut before dealing. Usually, three players will share dealer duties to maintain transparency.
The pack must be shuffled at least four times, and the bottom card of the deck must be obscured with a ‘cut card’ (usually a joker). If any players have complaints about the way the cards are being dealt, they must voice their complaint before they have seen their cards or before any hands have been shown.
To take a seat at a table or enter a game of poker, you must first make a full ‘buy-in.’ In limit poker, this buy-in amount is a minimum of ten times the maximum betting limit of the game. In no-limit poker, the buy-in can be as much as 40 times the minimum bring-in for the match.
Poker Betting Rules
Some of the basics of how a poker game progresses and the rules regarding betting. Once all the players have bought in and the table is ready for play, it is time to start betting.
The first round of betting begins after the ‘opening deal,’ in which players are dealt two cards face down (hole cards). Players can choose to either call, raise or fold in reaction to the ‘big blind.’
The second round of betting occurs after ‘the flop,’ in which the dealer burns an existing card and deals three ‘community cards’ face up. Again, players can choose to call, raise or fold.
The third betting round takes place after ‘the turn,’ in which the dealer adds a fourth visible community card to the table. This betting round is the same as the previous; however, stakes will have risen considerably by this point.
The final round of betting occurs after ‘the river’ in which the dealer adds a fifth and final visible community card. While the betting format follows the previous rounds, this final round is the time when players must assess the strength of their hands and get ready to show their cards.
The Beginner’s Guide to Poker Hands
The Poker Loco guide to poker hands, ranked from best to worst!
Now that you know a little more about how the game works and how to play, it’s time to lay your cards on the table and show your hand.
So much poker strategy lies in assessing the strength of your hand and trying to pit it against those of your competitors. This is why it is so important to understand the odds and the values of different hands in poker.
Take a look at the Poker Loco beginner’s guide to poker hands, ranked in descending value:
Royal Flush – A Royal Flush is made up of a 10, a Jack, a Queen, a King and an Ace, all belonging to the same suit. A Royal Flush is the highest possible hand that can be played in poker. If you find yourself sitting on a Royal Flush in a poker game, you will win.
Straight Flush – A Straight Flush is the second most valuable hand. This hand consists of any five cards of the same suit which run in sequential order. For example, a 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9, all of Spades.
Four of a Kind – A Four of a Kind poker hand is exactly what it sounds like. It consists of any four numerically matching cards. If you were to hold four Kings and a 7, you would have a Four of a Kind hand as well as a spare 7 card. Four of a Kind is the third most valuable hand that you can find yourself sitting on at the poker table.
Full House – Full House is a hand that consists of a combination of one Pair plus Three of a Kind. For example, a hand of 3 Jacks and 2 Kings would give you a Full House, regardless of the suit of the cards. A Full House is perhaps the best-known poker hand, having crept into everyday speech as a common phrase.
Flush – A Flush consists of five cards of the same suit, regardless of their numerical value or sequence. A Flush is a relatively common poker hand that can serve you well at the table.
Straight – A Straight consists of any five cards which run in numerical order (3,4,5,6,7). The Straight is an inverted version of the Flush in that all the emphasis is placed on value and sequential order rather than the suit.
Three of a Kind – A Three of a Kind poker hand is made up of any three numerically matching cards. The suit is not important here, as a Three of a Kind poker hand only requires the numbers to be the same.
Two Pair – Two Pair is a poker hand consisting of a combination of two different pairs within the same hand plus one spare card. So, for instance, if you were to hold two 4s, two 6s and a 3, you would be sitting on a Two Pair hand.
One Pair – One Pair is a simple and common poker hand that consists of any two numerically matching cards. So, for example, if you were to find yourself sitting on two Queens, 5, 6 and 7, you would have One Pair.
High Card – A High Card hand is the least valuable hand at the poker table. However, it can still be really useful in a poker game depending on how you decide to play it. By analyzing your five cards, you can quickly determine which card is of the highest value. For example, if you were to find yourself sitting on 4,5,6,7, Ace, your highest card would obviously be the Ace.