How to Play Poker – Basics a New Player Needs to Know

Lately, poker is gaining popularity among the youth and the elderly alike. Poker is easy to learn but it takes a lifetime to master. Even though it’s a card game, it is also a game of strategy, and it requires reading the other players and deciding accordingly when to raise, bluff, fold, check, etc.

The rules of poker are not at all difficult. However, difficulties may arise when you start to play poker without knowing the general rules of this game. So, get ready to face the challenge. Below are some rules and methods for playing this game, which will guide you to take challenges and get rewarded in return.

Keep scrolling to get a complete guide to the poker game. Cheers!

How to Play Poker?

A Quick Intro About Cards:

There are variants of card game but we will be talking about Texas Hold’em card game. So, there are 13 ranks from high to low in a card game , they are ace, king, queen, jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2. In 4 suits, spades ♠, hearts ♥, diamonds ♦,clubs ♣, in a deck of 52 cards. And all suits are equal in value which means ace of clubs ♣ is equal to the ace of diamonds ♦.

Learn How to Play?

How To Play Poker

Each player playing poker at the table is dealt two cards face down. Then each player uses those two cards in combination with five community cards (which are shared randomly among players) so that they can make their five best poker hands. The player with the most supreme hand or you can say with the best hand gets the other players to fold and wins the pot.

What Is a Poker Hand Ranking?

Hand ranking helps you to play your game smoothly. It will help you to determine whether you’re having a good hand or worst hand.

Below is a list of important poker hand rankings in the best to worst order that a player must know before playing their game.

1. Royal Flush

Royal Flush Hand Ranking | Big Stack

The hand consists of five highest cards in a sequence of the same suit. For example- A♠ K♠ Q♠ J♠ 10♠

2. Straight Flush

Straight Flush Hand Ranking

A combination of five cards of the same suit in a sequence is a straight flush. For example- 9♣ 8♣ 7♣ 6♣ 5♣

3. Four of a Kind (Quads)

Four of a Kind Hand Ranking

It is a hand combination of four cards of equal rank of any suit and fifth one of any other value. For example- Q♥ Q♦ Q♣ Q♠ 5♣

4. Full house ( Full Boat)

Full House hand Ranking

This card combination consists of 3 cards of one rank and 2 cards of different rank regardless of their suits. For example- 10♦ 10♣ 10♥ 7♥ 7♦

5. Flush

Flush Hand Ranking

Here, all the cards are of the same suit. For example- 5♦ K♦ 8♦ 3♦ 10♦

6. Straight

Straight Hand Ranking

In this hand combination, all five cards can be of different suits but they should be in the sequence.  For example- 9♦ 8♣ 7♥ 6♥ 5♣

7. Three of a Kind (Triplets/Trips)

Three of a Kind Hand Ranking

Here, three cards are of the same rank while the other two are different. For Example- 7♦ 7♣ 7♥ Q♠ 10♣


Two Pair Hand Ranking

Two pairs of cards are of equal rank and one remains unpaired. For example- 9♣ 9♠ Q♥ Q♦ 3♦

9. Pair

Pair Hand Ranking

Two cards are of the same rank while the remaining three are of unequal rank. For example- 6♦ 10♥ A♥ A♦ 2♥

10.High Card

High Cards Hand Ranking

Any five unequal cards of a different suit. But, in the end, if you come across the same type of hands, then the hand with the highest value will win. For example- 5♦ J♣ 2♦ 3♠ 8♠

What Are the Different Variants of the Poker Game?

There are variants of poker, but above all, No-Limit Texas Hold’em is the most popular game. Let’s see what are the different variants of the poker game.

Texas Hold’em Poker

It’s the most popular variant of poker. In this game you need to form the best card combination out of the two-hole cards which are dealt face down to each player and five community cards are face up in three stages.

The stage consists of three cards, which are a flop, turn or the fourth street and final card the river or fifth street. The betting options which are kept in front of players are, check, call, raise or fold.

  • The rank of the cards- A K Q J 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2
  • Number of cards – 52
  • Other names- Hold ’em
  • The direction of playing the game- Clockwise

Pot-Limit Omaha

It’s a community card poker game which is similar to Texas hold’em. In this game, you have to form a winning five-hand combination using two of your hole cards with three community cards dealt on the board. Every player is dealt with four cards and they have to make the best hands using two.

  • The rank of the cards- A K Q J 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2
  • Number of cards – 52
  • Other names- Omaha Hold ’em or simply Omaha
  • The direction of playing the game – Clockwise

Omaha Hi-Lo

In simple terms, a player has to form the best high hand which forms winning hands. This game is commonly found in mortar card rooms and also at various online platforms. This game is quite similar to Texas Hold’em. The betting techniques are similar, flop, turn and river. The only difference is that each player is dealt four cards instead of two.

  • The rank of the cards- A K Q J 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2
  • Number of cards- 52
  • Other names- Omaha/8
  • The direction of playing the game – Clockwise

Crazy Pineapple

Crazy pineapple is quite similar to Texas Hold’em. In this game, the player is dealt with three hole cards instead of two and then he needs to get rid of 1 hole card after the flop and then play the next rounds with the other two cards.

Then, the player has to decide which cards to keep and which cards to throw to form the best hands without looking at the board.

  • The rank of the cards- A K Q J 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2
  • Number of cards- 52
  • Other variants-  pineapple, crazy pineapple, and crazy pineapple hi/lo 8 or better.
  • The direction of playing the game- Clockwise

“A key point to note- You can form 10♥ J♦ Q♣ K♠ A♥ or  A♠ 2♥ 3♦ 4♠ 5♦. But you cannot form K♠ A♣ 2♦ 3♠ 4♥” .

Chinese Poker

Chinese poker is a card game that is based on poker hand ranking. It’s a friendly game for beginners because a basic knowledge of poker hand ranking is enough to start the game. But the format allows unexpected outcomes, so this game is more of luck. So, a newbie can win a good amount in the short term, even if he is playing with a shark.

  • The rank of the cards- A K Q J 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2
  • Number of cards- 52
  • Other names- Big two, 13 card game
  • The direction of playing the game- Clockwise.

Five Card Draw

It’s a poker variant and one of the easiest variants of the poker game. You will often find newbies learning this game. But it’s not as popular as other poker game variants.

  1. Ante up, the house states the betting amount.
  2. The cards are dealt by the dealer in a clockwise direction one by one. (dealer deals 5 cards)
  3. Everybody present on the table bets, as usual.
  4. Now, the player decides which card to get rid of. Many times people play in such a way that you won’t be able to throw away more than 3 cards. In such a case, the cards aren’t dealt with one by one.
  5. Another round of betting takes place.
  6. In the end, the players are asked to show their cards and the best hand wins the pot.
  • Number of cards- 52
  • Other names- Cantrell draw
  • The direction of playing the game- Clockwise.

Five Card Stud

Five-card stud is just narrowly different from 5 card draw, but a bit tough then five-card draw. This poker variant is not as popular as other variants are. It was originated during the American Civil War. Let’s have a quick look at the methods of the play.

  1. Ante up, the house states the betting amount.
  2. The cards are dealt by the dealer in a clockwise direction one by one. (dealer deals 5 cards)
  3. You as a player have to check your card, so you either bet or fold.
  4. Everyone bets, in the same way as the cards are dealt.
  5. In the end, all have to show their cards and the best hand wins the game or pot.
  • Number of cards- 52
  • Other names- Soko, Canadian stud or Scandinavian stud
  • The direction of playing the game- Clockwise.

Lowball Poker

Lowball is a variant of poker where the normal ranking of hands is inverted. It’s a form of a five-card draw where the lowest hand wins the game. Rules of this game are similar to standard poker, with some variations.

Popular Forms – Ace to five or California lowball, deuce to seven, Kansas lowball.

Antes And Blind – This game is traditionally played with at least one blind, there can be many more. Ante can be added. The antes and blinds can be determined by the betting structure of the gameplay.

Best Hands

  • In California lowball- 5-4-3-2-A
  • In Kansas lowball- 7-5-4-3-2, not of the same suit.

Playing Style – When the game starts, each player is dealt five cards face down( the hole cards). Then a round occurs where players open with either fold or bet.

After betting, remaining players can choose to let go of some of the cards to try to form a good hand. It’s known as “draw“. If the cards are exposed they cannot be taken on a draw. The draw goes on and the exposed card is replaced.

A player can draw up to four cards consecutively. If the player wants to replace his entire hand, four cards are distributed immediately, and the fifth card is drawn after the other players receive their draw.

“Download 3 Advice for Beginners Player ”    Download Poker Cheat Sheet


Some Chief Terms Used in Poker:


Flop is one of the most important moments in any hand of poker game. Flop means the action of dealing with the first three face-up cards to the table or board.


Pre-flop means the action that occurs before the flop is dealt.


Muck is a general term that is used in poker. It means to fold a hand.

Community cards

Community cards are dealt in the center of the table and are shared by all the poker players.

General Information- These cards are also called as “shared cards” or “window cards”.


Once the flop betting round ends, the dealer puts a fourth card on the table that any player can use. This is known as a turn.


The river is the very last card which the dealer puts on the board.


Call means matching the highest bet made by a previous player.


Raise means to make a bigger bet than the highest bet made by your opponent in a betting round.


Checking means passing the action to the next player in a clockwise direction without putting money in the pot.


Bet means to put money on the table.


When a player decides not to play further or when they stop playing the hand is known as a fold. A player can wish to fold anytime when it’s their turn to act.

poker how to play

Some Interesting Terms of Poker Which You Should Know Before You Start Playing Your Game:-


Where players bet weakly with strong hands just to make their opponent bet for the large amount. This increases the size of the pot which they must be trying to win. Trapping is also known as “sandbagging” or “slow playing”.


When a player puts all their chips into the pot is known as all-in.

Pocket Card

The pocket card is also known as the hole card. This card belongs to the player and is hidden from the other players.


A pro-player is referred to as a shark in poker. They know all the tips and tricks of the game.


Fish is new to the game or someone who doesn’t know how to play the game.


Tell is the body language or a physical action which a player has noticed in their opponents.


It’s the state of mind or emotional confusion which a player adopts while playing the game.


Bankroll is the amount that a player keeps aside for poker. In simple terms, money is allocated only for playing poker.


A situation where two or more players have hands of equal value, then the chips present in the pot are split equally between them.


This is the final action in a round, where all the players have to display their cards to determine the winner of the game.


Rake is the fee charged by casinos and by different online gaming platforms.

Short Stack

The short stack is someone who holds fewer chips in a tournament.

Big Stack

Big Stack is someone who holds a large number of chips in a tournament.


What is a Cash Game?

In a poker cash game, all chips present on the table represent cash values. The blinds remain at the same level, and you can buy them again at any point. Cash game is also known as ring games or live games.

What is a Tournament Game?

A poker tournament is played with tournament chips that have no value outside the tournament game. In a tournament, you’re not allowed to buy chips. Usually, the winner is someone who can collect all the chips.

Difference between Tournaments and Cash Games


          Tournament Game S.No

Cash Game

1 The structure of the blind/ante increases periodically 1 Whereas, in cash games, it remains constant
2 Tournament game stick with only one style 2 Depending on the present house rules, the cash game has an option to try different types of card games
3 It can be played on one table but also has the option of playing at multiple tables. 3 It can be played on only one table
4 A game can only end when a winner is declared. 4 In a cash game, a player can quit anytime
5 If you lose your chips or money, it simply means you cannot play further. 5

If you lose your chips here, you can buy them and can continue your game again.

Re-buy Tournaments

Talking about tournaments if you lose all your chips, it means you’re out of the game. However, in re buy tournaments, you can re buy chips and can continue your game. Depending on the house rules, you can re buy as many times you feel like.


Blackjack is an easy card game. Which is also known as twenty-one. The main concept of this game is to get the total value of the card close to twenty-one without getting burst. Basically, in this game, the card is being compared between one or more players and between the dealer. This game can be played with one or more decks of 52 cards.

poker how to play

The motive of the game is to defeat the dealer in the following ways:-

  1. Firstly, you have to get 21 points on the opponent’s first two cards(blackjack), without a dealer.
  2. Secondly, you have to score more than the dealer without transcending 2.
  3. Thirdly, let the dealer add extra cards until they transcend 21.
  • Numbers of players can play- 2 to 7
  • Number of cards- 52 to 416
  • Other names- Twenty-one
  • The direction of playing the game- Clockwise.

How to Read Physical Tell?

To play poker it’s crucial to carry a poker face and at the same time, one should know how to read them.

  1. Fake Smile- If you find someone with a fake smile on the table, then it’s time for you to be alert. A player does it when they have bad hands. It’s a key indication for your next turn.
  2. Biting Lips- Nobody loves to bite their lips unnecessarily. It’s a clear cut sign of nervousness. It means the player is not sure about their hand position.
  3. Change in Tone- If a player starts stammering or suddenly starts acting differently. It’s a sign that there is something which can huddle your way.
  4. Biting Nail- This sign is quite common among people. On a general basis, if a person is biting nails it means he’s nervous.
  5. Acting Weak- If you find your opponent acting weak or differently then you should be a little cautious towards them. It a clear sign of hiding excitement. And generally, players do when they have strong hands.
  6. When They Don’t Blink- When a player doesn’t blink. It means they are waiting for a turn where they can use strong hands to win the turn.
  7. Thinking to Bet- If a player is thinking to bet it means they must be having strong hands, which they want to bet because nobody wants to bet with bad hands.

Shuffle the Cards Properly

Before you start your game make sure that you shuffle your cards properly and also cut the deck before they’re distributed among the players. Next, use your thumb to shuffle throughout the cards. After the cards are shuffled properly, ask someone ( who is not a dealer) to cut the card by dividing it into two stacks by placing the top stack on the bottom.

  1. Shuffle properly to make sure that the cards are mixed properly.
  2. You can cut the deck many times.
  3. Generally, the dealer shuffles the cards and bets at the end, which is known as button position.
  4. After each hand, you’ll pass the button position to the next player on your left.
  5. If the dealer remains constant always, in the gaming house, then the button position will pass in a clockwise direction around the table.

Learn by Looking at Pro Players

The best and easy way to learn poker is by looking at the pro players. Observe how they play their game. What are the tricks and techniques they apply while playing their games? Now, when you play your game consider their style in your game. If you win or lose your game, then, look for mistakes and try to work on them.

Debug the Poker Myth

As soon as you start playing the game there are many myths that you as a newbie can come across. You need to debug these myths before you start playing your game. These are some of the myths that you need to avoid.

Poker is a Game of Luck Or Chance?

Poker is a skill-based game. The game is all about skill and luck is just a part of it. The game depends upon the players’ skill. If a player has good knowledge about the game then he/she can easily win the game. This game is all about mathematical skills and calculations. Luck cannot decide your win rates. The game can only be won by correct strategies.

Online Poker is a Fraud

To be precise, online poker is 99.9% safe. Poker sites are governed by the government to ensure a safe playing platform. They are various sites where they use certain methods to ensure a random distribution. However, it’s always good to check the site before you start playing the game.

Bluffing Can Make You a Winner

This is the most common term which you can hear among newbies. They think bluffing can help them win the game. But bluffing is just a part of the poker, whereas a player you should know when to apply. Bluffing at the right time can make you a winner.

Online, It’s Difficult to Read Poker Face

Online, it’s true that you’re not able to see your opponent, but you can easily observe their betting techniques and hand movements. Just observe how your opponent bet, raise, fold, or raise. And in this way, you can easily sense your opponent’s movement.

Poker Can Help You Get Moolah

You might have heard about a money-making thing a lot in poker. Many people think it’s easy to earn money by playing poker. You can only earn well when you’re an advanced player. There are times, where a pro player loses money. So, one should be ready to face the cons and pros of the game.

Poker Strategy That Beginners and Intermediate Players Should Know!

poker game online

To become a winner at poker, it’s crucial to know the strategies of the game. If you’re planning to make a career out of your game then make yourself clear with the strategies of the game. To become a long-term real money winner in a poker game, you need to go through the terms and learn how to play poker. Mentioned below are some of the strategies which will help you to know your game in a better way.

Play With Fewer Hands

If you play with too many hands, you can lose your game soon. Don’t get impatient and play such hands that are worthless. If you have a good hand then play with those hands aggressively. But make sure that you keep the speculative ones aside. So, when you raise, your opponent shouldn’t come to know that you have a tough hand to play against them.

Don’t Limp First

Make sure that you don’t limp first. Why? Here is the answer:

  1. It can turn difficult for you to win the pot before the flop.
  2. You give other players tempting pot odds, which reduces your winning rate.
  3. So, limp when other players or your opponents have already limped. This term is known as over-limping, and now in this situation, you can hit on the flop with great pot odds

Bluff When It Is Needed

Bluffing is just a part of a poker game. Bluff only when you know how to do it! Because bluffing can make you lose your money ineffectively on the table.

The aptest way to bluff is to let the card decide whether you can bluff or not. This means bluff with hands that can help or improve your hand on a later street. Always keep a back-up plan whenever you think of bluffing.

Fold When You Have Weak Hands

What is the difference between a novice and a pro player? The ability to decide when to fold and when not to fold. It’s difficult to decide when to fold because when a player folds, it means they surrender their chance to win the pot.

So, whenever you’re running under a doubt say you’re not sure when to bluff, raise, call or fold, then do a favor to yourself and fold.

poker game online hand game

Tip: So, whenever you fold under such kind of situation, make sure to mark down the details of the hand so that later you can figure out your mistakes and improve your skills and increase your winning rates.”

Attack When Your Opponent Shows Weakness

Players usually don’t check hands that can call multiple bets. This means when they check, they relatively have a weak hand. So, in such kinds of situations, you can take advantage of an aggressive bluffing strategy.

Play When You Feel Like

Poker is a mind game, whether you’re playing as a hobby or professionally. You will perform best when you are happy, so play only when you’re happy and feel like playing.

If you feel frustrated or you’re angry, you should quit your game then and there. In this way, you’re saving your bundles. You can easily play poker the next day when you’re in a better mood.

Be Alert

Now, you would have understood that poker is a game of strategy. So you should always keep an eye on the table and look at how other players are doing on the table. It’s difficult to keep an eye but you can always try. Try to keep an eye on the player who is on your right and who is on your left, as these are the players with whom you will be getting involved.

Check whether they’re aggressive or passive players. Is the player on your right side is playing too many hands? He can’t have monsters all the time, so call, or raise, and see whether he can take the pressure or not?

Play With Novice Players

If you want to win at poker, you need to play against weak players. For example, if you’re the 9th best player in the world, then you will be the best player at almost any table. But if you join a board or table with 8 players who are better than you, than you will lose and become a sucker.

You should always think about putting yourself under such kind of situations. Doing so can increase your chances of winning and can help you get moolah. And yes, it’s always better to keep your ego aside when playing poker.

If you want to increase your win rate and want to get most of the profit out of your game. Then, always play against the worst players.

Here is a pointer that can help you find a good poker game.

☐  Player limping regularly.

☐  Many multiway pots.

☐  Re-raises frequently.

If you’re able to put a tick mark on any of the two or three boxes above, buddy you’re in a great position to earn well. If you’re not able to put any tick mark don’t be sad, look for a more profitable table. If you play online then you’re blessed to take full advantage of the table statistics that are provided by most of the poker sites. This is the key strategy of online game which a newbie usually miss.

Patience is the Key

Don’t be aggressive while you’re playing your game, don’t play with your bad hands. Thinking to catch a great card on the river can make you lose money. This can cut down the size of your chip stack.

Basic tip– Fold more hands than you play. I know this sounds boring because nobody wants to sit on the table while everyone else is in the game.

According to the law of averages, the more hands you dealt the more you’re going to lose.

If you don’t have a good hand, the best thing you can do is to fold. Use your time to watch the players at the table and study the way they play. When you don’t have a good hand you need not worry about your hand, you can have a look at everyone else’s hand.

Pro-tip – Wait for a situation where the odds are in your favor and then use your techniques.

Get a Good Coach

While you’re learning from both your wins and losses, poker cannot be mastered at the table. You can learn about the tips and tricks by reading blogs and books about poker strategy. There are many as such available on an online platform. But the best would be to get trained under a good poker coach they can help you understand your game in a better way.

Make sure that you get trained under a good coach, check the site before you start learning. Look for reviews, check their social handles. Once you’re sure about it you can easily start learning and at the same time earning in poker. Keep notes after each lesson this will help you turn into better and better!

Work on Your Tilt

Tilt can harm your poker career, dreams, and bankrolls. If you’re losing your streak and you’re getting disappointed and you start playing worse because you can’t focus anymore. It’s better to stop. It is important to control your emotions on the table. When you try to control your emotions and throw your strategy, the only person who’s getting affected is you. During such a situation you can listen to songs that can calm you down.

Mentioned above were the general rules, tips, strategies, the myth of poker which a player should know before starting to play. Was it helpful? Let us know in the comment section below.


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