The Basics of Poker


This article will introduce you to some of the basics of poker. You will learn about Hand rankings, betting phases, and Blinds. The basic rules of poker are simple and straightforward. Read on to learn how to play poker like a pro. And remember to try your hand at the many poker variations. You’ll be glad you did. Hopefully, you’ll feel comfortable enough to take on more advanced challenges in the future. Until then, enjoy learning the basics of poker!

Basic rules of poker

The game of poker has some basic rules. Players are required to make the best five-card hand. Depending on the type of game they are playing, the rules vary. The first popular form was 5-card draw, in which players were dealt five cards face down, with only the right to use any five of them. The game’s next popular form was 7-card stud. This version allows players to choose three face-down cards and four face-up cards.

Hand rankings

Understanding the hand rankings when playing poker is vital to winning hands. In poker, a pair of twos beats any other pair of twos, and any hand with a pair of threes beats a pair of twos. However, two pairs are very rare, and a pair of twos will beat all poker hands, including a pair of fours. A pair of twos’ fifth card determines its winning or losing hand.

Betting phases

Poker has several betting phases. Depending on the hand ranking, the player may check, raise, or fold. When a player has a weak hand, he may “fold,” meaning to drop out of the hand. Conversely, a player with a strong hand may “call,” matching the highest bet and/or raising the previous high bet. A player may check, but only after seeing the highest card in his hand.


In poker, the blinds are the amount of money that players must put into the pot before the hand begins. In many situations, players have two or more choices to make depending on the size of their stacks. Usually, players who choose the blinds play very conservatively, not as tightly as those who decide to play from an early position or middle position. This creates a wide range of situations and can be tricky to play in for beginners.

Blinds in pot-limit games

Pot-limit games have designated blinds. The small blind is usually $1, while the big blind is $2. Sometimes, pot-limit games have a maximum buy-in, but this is rare. Besides, the inability to raise the pot eliminates the main reason for limiting the buy-in. Listed below are some other differences between blinds and pot-limit games. You should learn about them before you play.


If you’re in a hand that needs one specific card to improve, then you have what’s known as a gutshot. In online poker, for example, if you have a five-card hand and the flop is the K89, your gutshot hand is an inside straight draw. That means you need a seven on the turn or a three-card card on the river to complete your straight. Here’s how to make the most of this situation and improve your chances of winning.