A Beginner’s Guide to Playing Poker Online

Poker is a game that has been sweeping the planet off its feet. Thanks to the incredible promotional offers doing the rounds, poker has become a hot trend both online and offline. People are beginning to enjoy the game more and more. Several different variations of poker have become popular in different parts of the world. There are even programs being conducted on how to play poker for beginners.

However, if you are a beginner to the whole idea, then before you try your hand, you need to get the basics right and learn how to play poker. To help you with just that, we offer you this concise guide on how to play poker online.

Understanding Poker Parlance

How do you play poker if you do not know the poker language? Worry not, for here is what the most commonly used words in poker mean. This will begin the guide on how to play poker for beginners.

  • Ante – The first round of money put forth in a game of poker. It is usually a minimal amount.
  • Hand – A set of five cards, possible in several combinations.
  • Fold – To give up or discard the hand, after which no further bets need to be made by the folding player. This is indicated by folding the cards and placing them face down before the dealer.
  • Call – To bet and challenge a player to put up the same amount as the calling player.
  • Check – To pass on the action to the player next in line. This is indicated by tapping the table or the playing surface with the hand.
  • Raise – To up the opening bet when the raising player has a strong hand or is capable of pulling off a bluff.
  • Bluff – As is obvious from the name, this is a tactic where a play has a weak hand, but pretends to have a strong one by betting strongly.
  • Blind – Forced bets placed by players according to the rules of the game being played.

Various Hands in Poker

Understanding the values of the hands is essential to understand how to play poker. These are the various hands in order of increasing value.

  • No Pair – All the five cards are of different ranks and different suits.
  • One Pair – Only two out of five cards are of the same rank.
  • Two Pairs – Two out of five cards are of one similar rank, two other of another similar one, and the fifth one is completely different.
  • Three of a Kind – Only three out of five cards belong to the same rank.
  • Straight – The five cards are in sequence, but not of the same suit.
  • Flush – All five cards belong to the same suit, but are not in sequence.
  • Full House – Three cards are of one similar rank while the other two are of another.
  • Four of a Kind – Four out of five cards are of the same rank.
  • Straight Flush – A combination of a straight and a flush, this hand consists of five cards of the same suit in sequence.
  • Five of a Kind – Five cards of the same rank which is only possible to achieve with one or more wild cards.

Play Poker Online

Now that you have an idea about the basic terms used in the game of poker, it is time to learn how to play poker online. There are several versions of online poker available. The following will serve as a guide to the most popular versions of online poker, and on how to play poker for beginners.

Texas hold’em

A very popular version of online poker, this game rewards each player with a couple of blind cards each. These are handed out after the initial rounds of ante and blinds. The players can only see their blind cards at the showdown of the game. In the first round of betting which is called ‘flop,’ the three ordinary cards are exposed. Then, one after another, the fourth and the fifth are turned over. When the time for the showdown arrives, the players make use of their blind cards as well to get the best possible hand.

Five card stud

Each player is dealt a couple of cards – one face-down and the other face-up. Then, either the player with the lowest face-up card is forced to bet, or the player with the highest face-up card is given the choice to bet or to check. Each remaining player then gets dealt another face-up card. Here onwards, the player with the highest card showing gets to bet first. This goes on till after the fourth round when each player has to unveil their face-down card and add it to their hand. The one with the highest hand wins.

Seven card stud

Here, all the players need to pool in the ante. They are then dealt two face-down cards, called hole cards, and one face-up card. The player who has the lowest face-up card is forced to make a small bet. Then, the player to the first player’s left can continue the betting by calling, raising, or folding. After this round, another card called the ‘fourth street’ or ‘the turn’ is dealt out to each player. Here onwards, the player with the highest card places the bet. This continues with the fifth and the sixth cards also being dealt face up, and the last and seventh card being dealt face down. After that, the last round of betting takes place, followed by the players revealing their seventh card. The one with the highest hand wins.

This is the summary of the vast and wonderful game that poker is. We hope that your incessant wonder of ‘how do you play poker?’ has been clarified, to a certain extent.

One Final Tip

Before you participate in an online round of poker, be sure of how to play the game, and try to practise it with friends without any money being involved. This way, you can learn how to play poker and how to enjoy the game itself.