Basic Poker Rules for Beginners

Many beginners get easily confused when it comes to basic poker rules and poker hand rankings. The best advice is to learn as you go along and not try to understand everything at one seating as this will prove to be very difficult and easily give you a feeling of being completely overwhelmed.

However a few general rules across the board will be useful to most folks.

So what happens in the event of a draw? Most games declare the player with the highest ranking hand, the pot winner.

Poker Hand Rankings

These poker hand rankings are listed in order from the highest ranking hands down to the lowest ranking hands:

Royal Flush - An ace, king, queen, jack and a ten; all being the same suit. Here in the case of a tie the pot is divided equally amongst the players who have the royal flush.

Straight Flush - 5 cards of the same suit in sequential order. In the event that more than one person gets a straight flush, the one with the highest rank card at the top wins.

Four of a Kind - 4 of the same rank card and one other card. If there is a tie, the highest rank four of a kind wins. However in community games the highest 5th card referred to as the kicker determines the winner.

Full House - Three cards of the same rank and two different cards of a matching rank.

Flush – Any five cards of the same suit. They do not have to be in sequence. In the case of a tie, the highest card in the flush would win. If the cards are both the same rank, the next highest cards are compared and so on.

Straight – Any five cards in sequence with a mixture of suits. If the straights tie, the hand with the highest card wins. You cannot receive an around the corner straight, meaning….K, A, 2, 3, 4.

Three of a Kind – 3 cards of the same rank plus two cards of varying rank. The highest ranking three of a kind would win if the hands were tied.

Two Pair – A hand that contains two cards of the same rank, two cards of another rank, and one unrelated card. If two players each have two pair and their high pair is of the same rank, the winning hand is determined by the rank of the lower pair.

One Pair – A Poker hand that contains two cards of the same rank. The highest pair wins ties and the highest card wins if both pairs are of the same rank.

High Card – This is the weakest poker hand possible. The highest-ranking card wins the pot. In the case of a tie, the next highest card wins.

Betting Options in Poker

The other vital aspect of the game is learning what the cash and betting options are. It all depends on the style and limit of poker that you are playing. Key terms used here are antes and blinds. An ante is a small set amount which is contributed by all players before any cards are dealt. Blinds are like antes, the only difference being that not everyone has to contribute to it.

Posting is another term and this happens in a game with blinds. Posting means paying the amount of the big blind to be dealt your first hand.

Betting Action

All betting actions are either made by the appropriate hand gesture or by speaking them out. So as to avoid being misunderstood it is advisable when you are learning the game for you to vocalize your bets rather than try to use hand signals that could easily get misunderstood or get missed altogether. A bet is the first time that someone puts money down on a betting round. A “Call” is matching a bet already made and a “check” is when no bet has been made and you to choose to check rather to bet to stay in the hand. A “Raise” is when you increase the amount of the bet already made by somebody else.

A betting round ends when every player who has not folded has played and has had a chance to bet the same amount of chips. If you have not found all the poker information you require on this page or our site, we recommend an excellent poker school that provides poker video lessons, including: beginner tips, no limit strategy, poker psychology, pot odds and more. Or for more on poker rules visit our friends at online poker rules.