Basic Poker Rules

Gambling is not a new invention – in fact, the activity has been around for centuries with varying degrees of popularity. But did you know that many of the most popular casino games have been around for much of that time? These games are truly timeless and have been fan favorites for hundreds of years. Learning poker basics is the first step in exploring one of the world’s oldest casino games.. Some historians believe that the game dates all the way back to 10th-century China! 

Given the game’s rich history, you might expect poker to be a difficult game to play. This couldn’t be further from the truth! While advanced poker strategy can be complex, the more basic poker rules are easy to understand. To find out more, keep reading our ‘how to play poker guide’ for beginners and learn about poker basics!

How to win at poker

Sometimes, luck is on your side and it seems like you just can’t lose. Those moments are few and far between though, especially when it comes to gambling. Even the most experienced players have bad days. Luckily, some casino games are more skill-based than others, and mastering one of them can help you to minimize losses. 

Poker is a great example of a casino game where skill makes a big difference in the odds. Unlike in slots, where luck has the last say in wins and there is little that players can actually do to influence when they win, poker can be influenced by skill. The best way to win at poker, in other words, is to learn how to play the game. Get the ‘poker basics’ strategy down and learn about the different elements behind a poker game. Once you have this basic understanding of the game, winning will seem a lot more possible. 

This article will teach you poker basics, all information you need to get started on your poker journey. 

Poker hands

The first thing you should learn is the different poker hands. Poker ‘hands’ refer to different combinations of cards. If your hand consists of one through five, for example, you have a ‘straight’. The best poker hand is a ‘royal flush’, which is when all five of your cards are from the same suit and rank from ace to 10. A ‘straight flush’ is the next best hand. A straight flush occurs when all five of your cards are the same suit and are consecutively numbered. 

Other common hands include:

  • Full house
  • Four of a kind
  • Flush
  • Straight
  • Three of a kind
  • Two pairs
  • One pair

How to play

Basic poker rules are easy to pick up. The game is played with a deck of playing cards usually containing 52 cards. The deck might increase by one or two if jokers are included. Players are dealt five or seven cards (known collectively as a poker ‘hand’) and bet on their hands (more on this later). The player with the best hand wins all of the money on the table (symbolized by poker ‘chips’). 

Does that sound a bit too simple? We broke down the process into the basics, but don’t worry – we’ll go into more information in the following sections!

Poker chip values

Before you can start your wager, you need to understand poker chip values. Common poker chip colors and values include:

  • White chips: $1
  • Red chips: $5
  • Orange chips: $10
  • Yellow chips: $20
  • Green chips: $25
  • Black chips: $100
  • Purple chips: $500
  • Maroon chips: $1,000

Note that while these are the most common color and value combinations, they can vary. Tournament chips, for example, might be different. It’s always important to look into how the tournament in question breaks down its chips before you begin to bet. 

Blinds and antes

The terms ‘blind’ and ‘antes’ refer to when players can bet while playing. Some poker game variants such as Omaha or Texas Hold’em use ‘blind’ bets. This means that players bet ‘blind’ – before any cards are dealt. Other games use ‘antes’ bets. This means that players can bet after (antes) cards have been dealt and their hands progress. 

Limits vs no limits

Some poker games feature ‘no-limit’ bets. As the name suggests, this means that players bet as much as they would like. This includes betting all of their funds (going ‘all in’). Other games feature limits. This means that there are limits on how much money players can bet. There is a hard stopping point, no matter how much money players have at their disposal. 

Actions in poker

An important part of the basic rules of poker is actions. There are five main actions that players take during a basic poker game:

  • Checking (not betting on your turn)
  • Folding (withdrawing from the hand)
  • Betting (placing a wager)
  • Raising (matching opponent’s bet and adding even more chips)
  • Calling (matching opponent’s bet but not adding more chips)

If you learn only one thing from this article, make it the above actions. 

Positions in poker

There are four sections at the poker table. Each of them has pros and cons. They include:

  • The blinds
  • Early positions
  • Middle positions
  • Late positions

The ‘blinds’ refer to two separate positions at the table: the small blind (players clockwise from the dealer) and the big blind (players two positions clockwise from the dealer). Early position refers to players immediately left of players in the big blind. Middle position refers to several players who act after the early position in the preflop betting round. Late position is considered the best position at the table as it offers a steal opportunity. The dealer is the last late position. 

And that’s that – poker positions explained. Are you ready to start playing? If so, make sure that you set yourself up for success by registering with a reputable online casino! The best operators will be licensed and offer live poker games from well-known and trustworthy providers. At Resorts Casino, for example, we pride ourselves on working with top names in the industry. Our players have access to the best dealers and best odds in the industry.

Author: Darcie

Title: Resorts Live Project Manager Length with RC: 4 months Favorite Casino Game: Jersey Devil Background in iGaming: Primary background is in live streaming. Introduced to iGaming through ResortsLIVE. Location: Based in New Jersey at the Resorts Casino HQ