Poker Rules

PokerPoker is one of the best-known and most popular card games, played at home, in casinos, and on the Internet. While the game certainly has an element of chance involved in the gameplay, poker is predominately a game of skill, where the better player will, over time, consistently outplay his inferior opponents.

The Basics of Poker

Although there are a number of poker variations, the basic rules are pretty simple – just make the best possible hand among the cards you're dealt.

After the initial deal, each player in turn either places a bid, folds, calls (matches the bid), or raises the bid. After bidding is complete, the players reveal then hands, and the strongest hand wins the pot.

The following are some examples of poker hands, ranked from the strongest (Royal Flush) to weakest (one pair):

Hand Example Hand
Royal Flush ♠10 ♠J ♠Q ♠K ♠A
Straight Flush ♠9 ♠10 ♠J ♠Q ♠K
Four of a Kind ♠5 5 ♣5 5 ♠9
Full House ♠Q Q ♣Q Q ♠A
Flush ♣3 ♣4 ♣8 ♣J ♣A
Straight ♠9 10 ♣J Q ♠K
Three of a Kind ♠9 9 ♣9 Q ♠K
Two Pair ♠J J ♣8 8 ♠K
One Pair ♠J J ♣8 9 ♠K

Details of dealing and gameplay vary by the poker variation being played. Some of the most popular poker variants include:

  • Caribbean Stud Poker
  • Five-Card Draw
  • Four Card Poker
  • Let It Ride
  • Texas Hold'em
  • Omaha
  • Pai Gow Poker
  • Seven-Card Stud
  • Three Card Poker

Follow the links below for detailed poker rules and strategy guides.

Poker Rule Links

    Learn how to play many kinds of poker games, including popular games like Texas Holdem and 7 Card Stud.
  • Pagat Poker Rules
    A general introduction to the rules of poker: the ranking of hands, the betting, the showdown and the main features of the most popular variants.
  • teaches you the rules of poker, but more than that, it helps you learn the advanced concepts of poker that will ultimately make you a successful and consistent winner. You'll not only learn to play good poker, but how to force others into playing poor poker.
  • PokerNews Rules
    Learn Poker rules and how to play Texas Holdem, Stud, Omaha and other variants step by step. Understand the differences between online and casino poker rules, learn to rank poker hands, and more.
    Learn how to play poker! This site explains the rules for dozens of poker games, including all of your favorites like Texas Hold'em and Omaha, as well as some rarities like Anaconda and Trees.
  • PokerSyte Strategies
    Rules and winning strategies for Holdem, Omaha, and Seven Stud games.
    Your online source for poker strategy, poker rules, and online poker reviews.

Note: While Poker is often played in casinos, and is considered by some to be a "gambling game", it it is actually a game that requires considerable skill and experience, and many players appreciate it for the intellectual challenge of pitting their strategies against formidable opponents. Read more: Responsible Gaming

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Last Update: September 11th, 2011