If you want to learn how to play any game you have to know the rules first, and the poker rules are no exception. Since there are so many different versions out there we will have to focus on just one, and it makes sense to go with the one that is the most popular across the world – as well as being the overall Winner Poker favourite – Texas Hold ‘em. This is in many ways one of the simplest versions of the game too, as it all plays out in a predictable manner which you can always rely on to be the same every time – even if the contents of the rounds themselves may change.
The first step of the poker rules that go into Texas Hold ‘em is the set up, the first round in which each player receives two cards face down to form the foundation of their eventual hand. These are often referred to as the hole or pocket cards, and you only need to reveal them if you make it through to the showdown – otherwise, when you fold, you should always pass them to the dealer face down. If you are playing online poker this will not matter, as the computer will never show your cards to the others at the table until the final round. Then there is the first betting round, in which the big blind and the small blind must place their designated bets and everyone else must at least match them in order to be included in the game.
Next, three community cards are dealt into the centre of the table face up, so that you can start to build up a picture of what kind of hands you might be able to get, followed by another round of betting in which everyone can call, raise, or just stick with the bets that they have already made – but everyone must have put in the same amount before anyone can move on. The next flop is known as the turn, when one more card is dealt face up followed by another round of betting, and the final flop follows close on its heels with one more card, commonly referred to as the river. After this, a final round of betting takes place before everyone is satisfied with the bets that they have laid down and any remaining players face each other for the showdown.
If everyone has flopped before this point, then the poker rules dictate that the last player standing wins the pot, but when it comes to the showdown it is all down to the hand rankings to decide the winner. Whoever has the highest ranking hand made from their two cards plus three of those in the community pile will be the winner of the pot, and this is where you need to be careful as it has often been known for a confident player to be knocked down a peg or two by someone with a royal flush!