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How to Play Poker Online

Poker is a thrilling card comparison game where players bet on which hand, in terms of the rules, is the greatest.

The main goal of the game is to win money and this can be achieved by understanding the rules of the game, playing smart, and having a bit of luck.

The game of poker dates as far back as the 1800s and is believed to have originated in the United States of America. Since then it has become so popular around the world. The popularity of the game is attributed to the fact that it is fun, profitable, and can be played both in person and online.

Playing Poker

Although fascinating, the game has subtle complexities which make the game seem difficult for some. However, it is an easy game to pick up and play if you understand the rules. Whether you play live poker or online against other players, the rules of the game are the same.

Poker is often played with a standard deck of 52 cards. This deck of cards comprises four suits( hearts, spades, diamonds, and clubs) and each of these suits has an Ace(A), King(K), Queen (Q), Jack(J), 10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2.

Simply put, each suit has 13 cards, hence 4 suits make a deck of 52 cards. Five cards are used to make a poker hand.

What is Considered a Winning Hand in Poker?

A player is said to have a winning hand if he has any of the following poker hand rankings. In order from highest to lowest, they include:

Royal flush

This is a straight flush containing a 10, J, Q, K, A. A Royal Flush is the most valuable hand in poker and the most difficult hand to get. The odds of getting a royal flush are very rare, so don't expect to get a royal flush every time you play, or you'll be very disappointed.

A royal flush consists of five cards, all of them the same suit, like diamonds, for instance, a ten of diamonds, jack of Diamonds, queen of diamonds, king of diamonds, and ace of diamonds.

This applies equally to hearts, spades, and clubs too. Of course, this is a scarce hand to achieve and if you manage to get this very regal five in a row, make the most of it because the chances of it happening again are remote, to say the least.

Straight flush

Having five cards in sequential order of the same suit e.g. a player might have 5,6,7,8,9 clubs. A straight flush consists of five cards of the same suit, which flow in numerical order, but can't be allowed to wrap around from the end back to the beginning or vice versa.

A king ace two, three, and four are not permitted.

They have to be something like five of hearts, six of hearts, seven of hearts, eight of hearts, and nine of heart. In the unlikely event of two players ending up with a straight flush, the player with the highest card value wins.

For instance, player one may have the aforementioned straight flush of hearts, but if player two has an 8 of spades, nine of Spades, ten of spades, a jack of spades, and a queen of spades, then player two is the winner. The odds of just one player getting a straight flush are also very rare.

Four of a kind

A player who has four cards of equal rank e.g. a player who has four A's is said to have four of a kind. Four of a kind is the third-highest hand you can acquire, but again the odds are quite highly stacked against it.

For example a nine of Hearts, nine of diamonds, nine of spades and nine of clubs make up Four of a kind. It doesn't matter what the fifth card in your hand is again, if two or more players end up with four of a kind, it's the player with the highest ranking set of cards that wins.

For example, if player one has four nines, player one would lose to player two's hand of four kings.

Full House

A player wins a full house with a pair and three of a kind e.g. two 8's and three K's. For example, the queen of hearts, the queen of clubs and the queen of spades, and the two remaining cards of the same numerical rank, perhaps a pair of threes.

So this full house is made up of a queen of hearts, a queen of clubs and a queen of spades coupled with the three of diamonds and three of clubs.

Once again, if there is more than one player with a full house, then ties are broken first by the three of a kind and then by the pair. E.g. three kings and two sixes beats three queens and two aces which beats three queens and two sevens.


A flush occurs when a player has five cards of the same suit in any order. For instance, the player might have 2,7,10, J, and Q of spades. A flush is just five cards of the same suit, like having a hand consisting entirely of diamonds.

You can have any cards you like in the same suit, they don't have to be in numerical order. So a three of spades, five of spades, jack of spades, queen of spades, and ace of spades is a flush.


A straight occurs when a player has five cards in sequential order. For example, a player may have 2,3,4,5,6 of any suit.

Three of a kind.

Having three cards of equal rank e.g. three 4's. Three of a kind is the next hand down from a straight, and basically, the answer to what this entails is found in the title of the hand.

If you have three cards of the same numerical rank, say three kings, then you have three of a kind. Obviously, the two cards left over have to be random cards and not a pair otherwise, you've got a full house.

Two pairs of cards

Having two different pairs of cards e.g. two 5's and two 9's. Two pairs is a hand with two sets of pairs and an extra random card. For example, a pair of jacks and a pair of aces with the seven of clubs delivers you two pair.

A Pair of cards

A player has a pair of cards when he or she possesses two cards of the same rank e.g.two 2's.

High Card

When there are no cards of matching ranks, the winning hand is determined by a High Card. For example, if Jamie has A-Q-9-5-3, Rick has K-7-5-4-2 and Cross has 9-8-7-6-4, Jamie has the winning hand because A is the best high card.

Before you get started playing any type of 5-card poker, you need to understand these rankings explained above because they are the 10 basic ways to win.

What are the Rules to Play Poker Online?

The rules to playing poker online varies, depending on the type of game, however the objective remains the same, which is to win the pot.

Texas hold 'em poker, a game that involves 2 or more players, is the most popular form of poker for both live and online poker games. It usually involves a game of 6 players.

There are four betting rounds in this game. In each round, one player posts the small blind, and another player posts the big blind, these are compulsory bets for these two players.

The other four players can play for free. To make it fair, in the next round, a different player has to post the small blind, and a different player has to post the big blind.

Betting Rounds

1. Preflop Round

This is the first round. In this round, the player acting next to the Big Blind position begins. There are three different options this player can take. He can decide to:

  • Call- which means putting in the big blind

  • Raise-putting in more money than the big blind

  • Fold-which means to throw your cards away.

    The next player will have similar options (to call, fold or raise). Once every player has contributed the same amount of money, the chips are moved to the center of the table and the second round begins.

2. Flop Round

The second round is called the flop round. In this second round, three community cards are dealt face-up on the table. Every player can use his two private cards and the three community cards to form a five-card poker hand.

The small blind player is the first to act. He can either:

  • Check (which means not betting anything)

  • Bet by putting some money in the middle, which other players have to match if they want to stay in the game

  • Fold (throw his cards away).

Just like in the Preflop Round, once someone has finished acting, the player to his left will act. For instance, let us assume the 1st player bets 10 chips, the next player can either fold or call (which means matching the bet of 10 chips) or he can even raise (i.e. putting in more than 10 chips, e.g.30 chips). Once everyone has contributed the same amount of money, the third round begins.

3. Turn Round

One more community card will be dealt on the table, which means there are now six cards available to you ( two in your hand and four on the table). You can use any five out of the six cards to form a five-card poker hand.

How you play in this round is the same as how you played in the second betting round. Once everyone has contributed the same amount of money in the Turn round, the last betting round commences.

4. River Round

One more community card would be dealt face-up on the poker table, so there are now seven cards available to you (two in your hand and one on the table). You can use any five out of the seven cards to form a five-card poker hand. This round is played the same way as the 2nd and 3rd rounds.

After the four rounds of betting, any player remaining has to show his cards in the show-down. Whoever has the best five-card poker hand wins the pot, the rest lose. It is a "Winner takes all" game.

You should be careful with your betting decisions because there is a lot of money involved. Your decision to bet, fold, call, raise or even check should depend on how strong your poker hand is.

What are the Rules for Playing Poker in Person?

Playing poker in person and playing online have the same set of rules. The key difference is the fact that to play in person, you have to go to a casino/a card room. To keep the games fair and running well, live poker has created its own set of behavior guidelines. What is permitted and prohibited at the table, however, may vary depending on the poker room and casino.

Avoid "Slow-Rolling"

Slow-rolling occures when players take their time before revealing the winning cards in a showdown. Rather than waiting for other players to reveal their losing hands first, you should put your cards out on the table for your opponents to view if you think you have the better hand.

Leading a player to believe they have the best hand and have won the pot up to the very last moment when you reveal your winning hand is bad poker etiquette.

Do Not Discuss Your Cards During a Hand

You can affect the outcome of a hand by mentioning the cards you have in your hand. Even though you are no longer involved in the hand and your cards are in the muck, you should avoid discussing your hand while it is still being played.

Additionally, when cards that may have helped you make a strong hand come down, you must remain emotionless.

The reason for this rule is that the cards you mention may influence how the hand develops because some players may be drawing to the cards you are holding or have mucked.

Do Not Be Impolite or Offensive

If the game is not going your way or you have been dealt several bad beats, you must remain calm and polite.

Making disrespectful or harsh comments ruins the fun of the game and fosters an uneasy atmosphere.

Keep in mind that since each player is using their funds, the decision as to how to use them is entirely up to them.

Avoid String Betting

One of the biggest errors that new live game players make is string betting.

When you engage in string betting, you raise your stake and repeatedly add chips to the pot from your chip stack.

This creates issues because a player who acts later may think that the first stack of chips you put into the pot represents your whole raise and continue to act on the hand.

Avoid Acting Out of Turn

Regardless of your level of interest in the hand, you should always wait until your turn before dipping your hand into the muck. You can change how other players in the hand behave by acting out of turn, which will interrupt the flow of the hand.

Do Not Splash the Pot

When you make a wager or raise and carelessly toss the chips into the middle of the table, you are said to be "splashing" the pot. This is bad poker manners since it makes it difficult to determine the pot size and often causes problems for the dealer and winning player.

Do Not Lose Focus

Follow along with the action when you are playing a hand. If other players have to keep reminding you when it is your turn to act, it can get annoying for everyone.

What are the Advantages of Playing Poker Online?

  • Convenience

    You do not need to walk or drive down to a casino to play poker. You can play the game from the comfort of your home using your phone or laptop. All you need is a good internet connection.

  • Multi-Tabling

    Virtual reality has given poker players access to a feature that was previously unattainable-the ability to play at many tables simultaneously.

    This is the major benefit of playing poker online. There is no limit to the number of bets you can place at once, and if you lose at one table, you can win at another and make up your losses.

  • Non-Stop Poker Action

    You can find a table whenever you want to play poker online, no matter what time of day it is. Numerous online poker rooms offer poker play twenty-four hours a day, every day of the week, and every day of the year. You can play poker indefinitely at your convenience wherever you are.

  • Provides an Improved Strategy for Learning the Game

    It can be scary to sit down at a table and play poker in front of many players for the very first time, which is one of the main obstacles for many people wishing to start doing so.

    But playing online allows you the opportunity to begin with some anonymity, and for many new players, this makes it easier for them to relax and learn the game without feeling under pressure.

  • Online Poker is Faster

    If you are unlucky enough to sit next to a handful of players who take their time with every choice, even preflop, you will get annoyed. It could be enjoyable when you are just learning poker, but it is frustrating. when you are just looking to play.

    This is incredibly slow and uninteresting when compared to internet poker. With internet poker, you get to play several times more hands than you would in live games, even if you elect to only play at one table, and you won't have to waste time waiting around for your turn.

  • Additional Formats are Available.

    Although Texas Hold'em continues to be the most popular variation at both offline and online casinos, playing poker online offers a wider selection of games.

    While there may be a few tables of Omaha in a physical casino, you probably won't be able to sit down and play games like 5-Card Stud, 3-Card Brag, or Razz as easily as you can online.

    As a result, playing online allows you to access a wider selection of betting games and expand your skill set by playing variations of the game that you might not otherwise come across.

Poker is a really interesting game, one that affords you the luxury of having fun and making money. Who wouldn't want to have some fun and make money at the same time?