How to Play

The rules of texas hold’em (today’s more popular type of poker) are not hard to master especially once you have played a few hands. Once you learn these basic rules you should be ready to start playing your first hand. Firstly before a hand is dealt you have what is called a dealer button which moves from player to player with each hand. To the left of the dealer button you have the small blind which is equivilant to half the minimum bet. To the left of the small blind is the big blind which is equal to the minimum bet. These blinds ensure that no one is sitting on their hands and everyone is contributing to the pot. On top of the blinds you have what is called an ante which is a smaller amount that must be thrown into the pot but each player at the start of each hand.

Playing a hand/preflop

When playing the game each player will receive 2 cards face down, from there they can either put down the minumum bet, fold or raise their hand depending on how good they feel it is.


Once all bets are made the dealer will lay down the first 3 or 5 community cards face up known as the flop. This is followed by a second round of betting.


The fourth card layed down is called the “turn card”. This again is followed by another round of betting. As long as 2 players remain the game will continue on to the next card.


The final card flipped over is known as the “river”. This is where the game is won or lost and betting can continue.

Poker Hands-Strongest to Weakest

Straight flush

A poker hand that has a sequence of numbers in the same suit (see below). The highest straight flush is the royal flush which is a hand that has a 10-J-Q-K-A with the same suit.(very rare)

4 of a kind

Contains four cards of the same rank also known as quads and is the 2nd highest hand.

Full House

Is a hand with 3 cards of one rank(ex.3 x 9’s)and 2 cards with another rank(ex. 2 x 2’s). Like having F at once


This is a hand that can be any face value as long as all cards are the same suit, such as diamonds, clubs etc.


A poker hand with 5 cards of any suit in sequence such as 4-5-6-7-8

3 of a kind

As the name implies a 3 of a kind or trips can be 3 x 9’s, 3 x 2’s or any other card just as long as you have 3 of them.

2 pair

Is a hand that contains 2 cards of one rank and 2 other cards or another rank. Basically two sets of pairs.

One pair

A hand with two cards of the same rank.

High Card

A hand with an Ace for example would win for the highest high card.


One strategy in poker is to focus primarily on playing the best hands and folding the rest. Of course this does not always work out, this is known as playing safe.

A well experienced poker player can play almost any hand dealt and win. Poker does not necessarily depend on the hand you have but how you play it. An aggressive player with a poor hand may be able to use it to his/her advantage by pretending or bluffing the other weaker players into thinking he has the best cards.

Another strategy is knowing the right cards to play for example, if you have a 2 of hearts and a 7 of clubs its unlikely you would attempt to continue with this hand and fold. On the other side if you were dealt a pair of jacks you would probably raise the pot to try and squeeze out as many players as possible.

There are many styles of play but it takes time before a player will learn and feel comfortable with their own.