The Basic Rules of Poker
While several versions of poker have emerged over its long history (which we’ll discuss later), the general goal is to be the player with the highest-valued hand at the end of the game. For a brief example, we will illustrate this with a game of Texas Hold’Em.
At the start of the game, the dealer hands out 2 cards each to all of the other players before placing down 5 “community cards”. The first three cards (called the “flop”) are then turned face-up, then the betting round begins. When each player has completed their actions during the betting round, the fourth community card (the “turn”) is turned face-up before another betting round begins. This repeats for the fifth community card (the “river”), after which the “showdown” happens in which all players show their cards on the table.
Whichever player remains in play or has the highest valued cards from both their hand and the community cards wins the game.
From here, there are two major mechanics of the game that you have to be aware of: card rankings and actions.
Knowing the rankings and values of poker hands are crucial to preparing the strategies you need to win. To summarise, here are the poker hands used in all variants of poker, ranked from highest to lowest:
- Royal Flush: a straight flush with an ace, king, queen, jack, and 10
- Straight Flush: five cards in sequential value with the same suit
- Four of a Kind: Four cards of the same value
- Full House: a pair and a three of a kind
- Flush: five cards of the same suit
- Straight: five cards in sequential value
- Three of a Kind: three cards of the same value
- Two Pair: two separate pairs of cards
- One Pair: two cards with the same value
- High Card: value is based on the highest card.
During the betting round, each player has the chance to make one of several actions during their turn. These actions are:
- Bet: Places a bet.
- Check: Passes your turn without placing a bet.
- Raise: Places a bet with a higher value than the previous bet.
- Call: Matches the previous bet amount.
- Fold: Forfeits the game (and any bet you’ve made).
Where do I play poker online?
Poker games are widely available in the UK’s online casinos, although some variants will be less common than others. When looking around for an online casino to play at, it’s easy to become perplexed by all of the constantly changing welcome incentives and offers, so take your time to discover the one that best suits your needs. Consider the casino’s reputation, site security, customer service, 24-hour assistance, and any reward programs available. Also, take a look at their payment processing abilities—do they accept the payment programs you use?
The key here is balance, so make sure that the casino has both the quality and quantity of services that you are looking for.
Reading reviews from other people is another terrific way to get fast and trustworthy information on an online casino’s performance, which is what we at Inside Casino have dedicated our lives toward. Check out our dedicated pages on online poker games, where you’ll discover more information on the UK’s online poker scene.