For all that, the game may seem daunting for some beginners. It uses its own language and might appear to have many complicated rules. But poker is actually remarkably easy to play and the way into the game need not be intimidating. Most people play for small amounts among friends, or even for "play" money as they learn the ropes.
PokerSchoolOnline, where you find yourself now, is the perfect gateway. You too can be playing poker in no time.
We will show you the core mechanics of the game, and guide you through your first visits to the PokerStars tables. You will be given the chance to test your knowledge with a series of small quizzes and can interact with our live trainers, who have a wealth of experience to share.
You can also visit our forums to ask questions of top pros and fellow beginners alike.
You can revisit previous lessons to refresh your knowledge, or press on through numerous courses as your understanding grows. PokerStars School is carefully designed to be fun, informative and interactive and open up the wide world of poker to everyone.
THE POKER BASICS COURSEThe Poker Basics course should be the first step for new players. It guides you through everything you need to know as a beginner, starting with some simple poker definitions, then the rules of the game. It takes you through some key concepts of play, then gradually examines some examples of how to apply the knowledge in real poker situations.
It might seem like a lot of theory - at least at the beginning - but there are plenty of opportunities to get involved and give you confidence for when you first take a seat at the table. You will find our unique hand replayers embedded in some articles, which freeze the action at key stages in poker hands and allow you to make a decision, giving guidance towards the correct play.
The course is divided into chapters, comprising several linked lessons. Although most of the course is designed to be read and understood in chronological order, there are some times you may want to skip back to refresh your memory of previous lessons.
All of what you learn in the Poker Basics course is crucial, regardless of what order you read it. If things don't seem to be going so well, you should go back and review.
The Poker Basics course is the foundation on which your poker game will be built, so make sure those foundations are rock solid.
Exercises and QuizzesAt the end of each lesson in the course, you will find a short exercise, usually comprising four or five questions. You should attempt to answer these before you move on to the next article. The questions directly relate to what you have learned in the lesson, so read carefully to make sure you answer correctly.
There is a significantly longer quiz at the very end of the course. That will test your knowledge of everything you have learned to that point. It can be tricky, but all the answers are in the material you will have read.
Live TrainingsAt several points throughout the course, you will be invited to join a "live training" session, hosted by one of PokerStars School's expert poker trainers. Look out for the buttons inviting you to a training session, click through and sign up.
The live trainers are on hand at regular times throughout the week. During a training session, you can watch as they demonstrate some key lessons, and ask questions to make sure you understand precisely what is going on. Remember, PokerStars School is interactive, so you should take advantage of the expertise on offer.
Visit the ForumsAs the course progresses, and your poker education grows, you will most likely find yourself coming up with countless questions about the game that don't seem to be answered in the articles themselves.
Perhaps you will be wondering whether you played a specific hand correctly, or what someone else would have done in the circumstances you faced. Perhaps you want to show off a huge pot you won, or to vent about some ill fortune that lost you some chips.
The best place to share all this is in the PokerStars School Poker Forum, where you can join the discussions on all poker matters. You can post the hand histories of that tricky pot, or you can see the hands that other players are posting, and decide what you would have done in their situation.
Our team of expert tutors will reply to your queries on the forums and take your game to the next level. Look for the invitations to post in the forum that are scattered throughout the course. Save the details of any noteworthy encounters at the tables and ask for feedback. To start your own thread in the forum just click on this link and select 'New Topic'.