In this article we will look at the very basic poker rules involved in playing a hand of poker. If you are new to the game we recommend you study our Poker Basics Course and when you feel confident enough attempt the Poker Basics Quiz at the end of the course. This will really help you improve your skill level when playing poker. There are many different poker game variants but for the example in this article we will focus on No-limit Texas Hold'em.
Every poker hand begins with the two players to the left of the dealer button making their 'forced' bets. These wagers are called the 'Small Blind' and the 'Big Blind'. The purpose of these forced bets is to make sure that there are always chips in the middle of the table worth playing for as if there was nothing in the pot nobody would attempt to play without really good cards.
Even with a really good starting hand players should always be observant at the table and watch closely what actions their opponents are making as their actions could be telling a story of how strong their hand is. Above all else though, knowing your poker rules is key to playing successfully.
When the action comes around to you then you will have different options of what to do next as follows:
Here's a short video explaining some of the more basic poker rules.
And don't forget that if you have any questions about poker rules you can ask them in our poker forum. There are many members that would be happy to answer your questions and help you become a better poker player. Finally, see below for a handy Odds Chart that shows at a glance what the chances are of you hitting your outs by the Turn or River card. Try to memorize these odds if you can!
|Outs||Odds flop to Turn||Odds flop to River||Example|
|1||45:1||22:1||Smaller set vs. Higher set|
|2||22:1||11:1||Smaller pair vs. Higher pair|
|4||10:1||5:1||Gutshot straight draw|
|5||8:1||4:1||Middle pair vs Higher pair|
|7||6:1||2,5:1||Gutshot straight draw plus overcard|
|8||5:1||2:1||Open-ended straight draw|
|10||4:1||1,6:1||Gutshot plus two overcards|
|12||3:1||1.2:1||Gutshot and flush draw|
|14||2.4:1||1:1||Straight draw plus two overcards|
|15||2:1||1:1||Flush draw plus two overcards|
Use one of our free desktop wallpapers to help you learn the Poker Odds and improve your understanding of hand rankings.
Learning poker can be fun, and playing poker will really increase your chances of improving your game. Download the PokerStars client now and get practising.