Playing Poker is a dynamic journey, where intellect meets intuition, offering you a riveting experience at every turn of the cards. If this is the game you always wanted to try your hands at, get ready to shuffle up those cards and immerse yourself in the strategic excitement of poker. Today, we’ll discuss how to play poker for beginners and the basic skills you need to win.

To begin with, a game of poker belongs to the family of card games and is played with a French deck of 52 playing cards. Its gameplay involves knowing the various poker hands and their rankings, betting rounds and effectively utilizing poker strategies. Betting is crucial to understand how to play poker online because you apply your betting skills depending on the strength of your poker hands. 

Further variations of the Poker game vary in the number of cards dealt, the number of community cards and the betting procedures. Here’s a look at few poker FAQ,s  floating on every beginner’s mind that will help you grasp the basics.

How do you win a poker game?

The winner is the player that holds the highest ranked poker hand. The player achieves this goal by combining their hole cards with three community cards on the board and beats all other poker hands at showdown. In another scenario, if all other players fold their cards except one player whose bet goes uncalled, he wins the pot.

How to Play Poker: Understanding Poker Hands

Poker hands are essentially a combination of five cards that are ranked in order of their strength which is based on the rarity of their occurrence in the game. All in all, there are ten poker hands and they are the same across all poker variations. 

Players aim to form the best five card hand amongst these ten hand rankings shown below and the player with the highest poker hand wins the pot.

How To Play Poker For Beginners

 Hands represented in descending order of strength

As you can see in the picture above, the Royal Flush is the highest and the most invincible hand in any game of Poker and sits at the top of the hand rankings chart. It is followed by the second highest hand, the Straight Flush and goes down all the way below to the lowest possible hand, High Card. When you decide how to play poker as a beginner, you must memorize these ten hand rankings to estimate the strength of your hand and strategize and bet accordingly.

How to Play Poker: Actions and Rounds of Betting

A poker game typically begins with the dealer dealing a set of cards to each player. These cards are known as hole cards and they can’t be seen by your opponents. The community cards are revealed by the Dealer in a series of betting rounds during which players act on turns to bet and win the pot.

Blinds in Poker

How To Play Poker For Beginners

To learn how to play poker online, you need to understand the blinds. A poker game typically features a forced bet like the Big Blind and the Small Blind that comprise the starting pot in any given hand of poker.

This amount acts as an incentive for players to win the hand. Any action arising from the subsequent rounds of betting by players, further increases the size of the pot. These two blinds are paid by the immediate two players seated left to the Dealer respectively. In every new hand, the position of the Dealer shifts one seat to the left. Therefore, every player gets the turn to pay the blinds.

What are the actions in a poker game?

In order to learn how to play poker online & avoid making rookie mistakes, you need to memorize all the actions that take place during a hand. Once the cards have been dealt in a poker game and the blinds are paid, each player can take on of the following actions when it is their turn to act, moving clockwise around the table:

To Check – To check is to decline the opportunity to open the betting or further increase the bet (only when you are positioned next to the big blind)

When? Players can only check when there is no new bet during the current round

What happens next?  The action then passes clockwise to the next person in the hand without increasing the size of the pot.

To Bet – To bet is to place new chips in the pot.

When?  Players may bet if no other players have bet during the current round.

What happens next? Other players have to ‘call’ or match the bet amount to remain in the current poker hand.

To Fold – To fold is to forfeit your cards and drop out of the current hand.

When to fold? Players don’t have a strong hand and is met with big raises.

What happens next? A player who folds their cards cannot win the pot or act again in the current hand. Action therefore, continues to the next player.

To Call – To call is to match the amount bet during the current around

When? If an opponent has bet during the current round.

What happens next? The calling player must match the highest bet made

To Raise – To raise is to increase the bet size or amount in the current round

When? Players may raise if they feel they have the best possible hand or if they want their opponents to fold. 

What happens next? The raise now becomes the highest bet that the next players in turn must match in order stay in the hand. At this stage, the remaining players may either fold, call or re-raise depending on the strength of their hand.

How does a round of poker play out?

Learning how to play poker as a beginner involves understanding the different betting rounds of the game. There are typically four rounds of betting in the most popular variants of online poker games. These betting rounds are called pre-flop, the flop, the turn and the river.

  • Pre-flop – This round of betting begins as soon as all the players have received their hole cards before any community cards have been dealt.
  • The flop – Betting on the flop occurs after the first three community cards are dealt on the board.
  • The turn – Another round of betting occurs after the fourth community card, the Turn is dealt.
  • The river – The final round of betting occurs once the fifth and final community card is dealt.

In each round of a poker game, betting continues until every player has either matched the bets made or folded (if no bets are made, the round is complete when every player has checked). All four betting rounds including the river are played if two or more players remain active in the hand and the winner is decided at showdown.

Note: It is not necessary for all five community cards to be dealt in an online poker game. If a bet remains unmatched at the end of the current round, the remaining community cards need not be dealt. The player who made the last uncalled bet wins the pot without going to showdown.


Once the last bet or raise has been called at the River, the action that occurs is called showdown. At this stage, the remaining players show their hands and the player with the best poker hand ranking wins the pot. Once you are well acquainted with the betting rounds in a poker game, you shall know how to play poker.

Where to Play a Poker Game?

A game of poker can be played in both live and online settings. While the Indian laws have certainly limited the number of live games, online poker games are available in ‘ship’loads. Live games are held scarcely in India due to legality issues. State laws dictate the operations of real money games and therefore, you wouldn’t find as many live poker rooms in India except in Goa.

However, you needn’t worry much if you wish to lhoearn how play poker as a beginner as the action is in full swing in online poker rooms such as PokerBaazi. Want to give our games a shot? Try our latest tourneys and cash games on PokerBaazi. If you’re skeptical about putting in some real money right away, you can try our free entry tournaments to practice your basics and you can well on your way to be our next big winner!