How to Play Poker

Poker is a skill based game of cards that has been around for a long time in the gaming world. It first hit the airwaves during the 70s when American TV channel CBS hosted an hour long highlights show of the World Series of Poker. As the internet took off in the late 90s, the game just coasted along with it and soon began to capture the attention of the international audience.

However, it was really in 2003 that online poker tournaments hit the audience and suddenly became the next big thing overnight. Folks around the world were now googling how to play poker online! Why the sudden interest? Let’s find out. It was the fateful event of the World Series of Poker 2003 where Chris MoneyMaker, a working accountant at that time won the Main Event by qualifying through an online poker satellite and went home with a whopping prize money of $2.5 million! Suddenly, that single event turned the tide for poker as a sport and made it a people’s online game in the true sense of the term. Soon, everybody wanted to learn how to play poker and become the next Moneymaker!

Learn How to Play Poker Online

Learn How to Play Poker at PokerBaazi

Poker is a card game that will only take 5-7 minutes to learn, the poker rules are simple and no matter what they say, everyone can learn how to play poker online. Here, we shall get you started from the basics.

Beginner’s Guide to Play Poker Online

There are many variants of poker, the most popular being Texas Hold’em poker which is easily available on online poker sites. So, when someone asks how to play poker for beginners, they usually refer to this poker variant. This is the easiest variant of all that you can learn within minutes with simple poker rules. Every other variant can be said to be an extension of No Limit Hold’em. So, most beginners typically prefer to learn how to play Texas Hold’em than other complex variants. More on that later.

The Leap of Poker

It is said that Poker cash game originated from a German game of bluffing called “Pochen'' that later gave birth to a French version of the game called “Poque” and eventually refined and took the shape of poker where the key poker rules of drawing cards to improve one’s poker hand ranking was added to the poker game. The popularity of Indian Poker reached newer heights and soon, countless versions of the poker game literally sprung out of nowhere and casinos and club rooms alike became the hub for this highly thrilling sport of the century.

The Indian poker circuit and other online games such as 3 Patti is growing steadily and online poker sites are enjoying a curious audience at present that includes the likes of working professionals, entrepreneurs, college goers and even teenagers. If you are one keen mind that identifies with the poker community and are interested in learning how to play poker online, we will take you on this right away without waiting another moment.

Basic Rules of the Poker Game

Poker Game Variants At PokerBaazi, you can learn how to play poker online of all poker tournament variants and get to know popular poker variants of the games such as Texas Hold’em poker, Pot Limit Omaha Poker and OFC Poker as per the unique poker rules. You may learn and explore them all or choose to master any of them and get started immediately. We shall begin with the simplest poker variant, Texas Hold’em poker, or No limit Hold’em poker. We will also discuss poker strategy specific to all variants of the game.

How to Play Texas Hold’em Poker?

The most popular poker variant, Texas Hold’em poker, is played with a standard deck of 52 cards between 2-8 players on a single table, especially when you play poker online. A skill based poker game of mathematical odds, strategic analysis and informed and calculative decisions, mastering any poker variant requires acute focus and dedication. If you follow the basic rules of Texas Holdem poker or any other poker game rules, learning how to play poker online becomes child’s play.

Basic Poker Rules: Texas Hold’em Poker

When you learn how to play poker online, understand that the basic poker game rules of all variants remain the same with slight differences here and there. The end objective is to make the best combination of poker hands rankings to win the pot every time a fresh hand is dealt to the players.

  • Each player is dealt 2 hole cards (face down) by the Dealer. The Dealer position rotates clockwise after each hand.
  • A poker game online consists of 4 rounds- pre flop, the flop, the turn and the river.
  • All players have unique positions that are strategic to the game and players form their poker strategy for wagering their bets accordingly.
  • The two players on the immediate left of the dealer are called the Small Blind (SB) and the Big Blind (BB).
  • One of the constant poker rules in all poker variants is that both SB and BB need to play a fixed amount of ante to begin the betting process in each hand.
  • The Big Blind is always double the amount of the Small Blind.
  • Once the blinds are placed in Texas Hold’em poker or any poker variant, the remaining players can proceed with their actions.
  • The blinds are paid in the form of poker chips that a player buys by paying a certain entry fee.

Buy-in Fee Players must note that in order to play real money poker tournaments or cash poker games, they must pay a buy-in fee to participate in the game. The buy-in shall vary from game to game and depends on various factors such as the prize pool, stakes and any other relative factor that might determine the entry to different poker tournaments.

Actions in Texas Hold’em Poker

  • All players in Texas Hold’em poker have four options- Call (match the big blind amount), Raise (the blinds), Check the bet (pass the action to the next player) or Fold (quit the hand). All the betting actions are done with poker chips. Players pay the buy-in amount to the online poker site to play any real money game of poker with a fixed number of poker chips.
  • A player calls when he thinks his cards are good enough to match the last wager or with the hope to hit the flop.
  • A raise occurs when a player increases the amount of the last wager placed by the player who acted before him either believing his cards would make a stronger combination than the others or if he wishes to try poker bluffing strategy to make opponents believe he has the strongest holding.
  • To fold is to quit playing the current hand and thus, any amount of poker chips one may have placed in the course of the round when learning how to play poker as per the poker rules.

The Flop

Once the blinds have been placed and the players have made their bets, the flop is revealed on the center table. The Flop is the first three community cards in Texas Hold’em poker or any poker variant that are randomly picked and placed by the Dealer from the closed deck face up on the poker table. The moot point of learning how to play poker online comes here. All players need to match their two hole cards with three community cards to form the best possible five card hand combination according to the poker hands rankings and the player who manages to form the highest poker hands combination wins the hand.

The Turn, River and Showdown

Coming back to the game, after the flop is revealed, players continue to wager their poker chips and two more cards are revealed called the Turn and the River. Once players engaged in the hand, manage to see the last card, river, it’s time for showdown. The remaining players in the hand reveal their cards and the one with the highest poker hand ranking wins the pot that is the sum of all the bets placed in the current hand.

The Scenario of an All-In

All-in is a special scenario that every player must understand when they learn how to play poker online. It occurs when a player puts all his chips into the pot at once before the hand is completed. Those players who do not have enough chips to continue in the hand are automatically considered All-in. The remaining players have to match the bet by putting in the exact amount of poker chips of the player who went All-in to stay in the hand as per the poker game rules.

Poker Hand Rankings

The poker hands rankings are exact for Texas Hold’em poker hands rankings and all other poker variants in existence and the winner is determined based on these permanent rankings as per the basic poker game rules. We are listing from the highest to the lowest poker hands rankings below. Learning them by heart is crucial to learning how to play poker online and making logical decisions.

Poker Hand Rankings Explained

  1. Royal Flush — five cards of the same suit, ranked ace through ten; A♥K♥Q♥J♥10♥
  2. Straight Flush — five cards of the same suit and consecutively ranked; 9♣8♣7♣6♣5♣
  3. Four of a Kind — four cards of the same rank; Q♣Q♥Q♦Q♠4♦
  4. Full House — three cards of the same rank and two more cards of the same rank; J♣J♥J♠8♦8♥
  5. Flush — any five cards of the same suit; A♠J♠8♠5♠2♠
  6. Straight — any five cards consecutively ranked; Q♣J♦10♥9♠8♦
  7. Three of a Kind — three cards of the same rank; 8♣8♠8♦K♣4♥
  8. Two Pair — two cards of the same rank and two more cards of the same rank; A♠A♣J♦J♣7♠
  9. One Pair — two cards of the same rank; 10♥10♣9♥4♦2♦
  10. High Card — five unmatched cards; A♣J♦10♠5♣2♥ would be called "ace-high"

These rankings are arranged from the highest to the lowest poker rank in any game of poker. So, when you learn how to play poker games of Texas Hold’em and other variants, you need to memorize these poker hands rankings in order to assess and play the right moves in every hand. Next, we shall move on to the second most popular poker variant, Pot Limit Omaha that’s similar to Texas Hold’em in poker rules but varies significantly in relation to poker action and poker strategy.

How to Play Pot Limit Omaha Poker?

Pot Limit Omaha poker is the sister variant of Texas Hold’em that is very similar in its poker rules but different in action and poker strategy. All actions are taken based on the poker hand rankings that we have shown above and the end goal of this variant is the same. Players need to make the best five card hand combining their hole cards with three community cards on the center table. Like Texas Hold’em poker, Pot Limit Omaha poker is played between 2-9 players on a single table. The rounds are similar to the former poker variant, so all players must go through the four essential rounds, the Pre-flop, the Flop, the Turn and the River ultimately leading to showdown.

The Scenarios of Four Hole Cards

However, Omaha poker games and tournaments come with a slight twist. Instead of two hole cards, in Omaha poker, poker players are dealt four hole cards (face down) but in actuality, they can only choose to use two of them to form their best five card combinations. So, if you truly wish to master this variant, you will have to learn how to play Omaha poker with four hole cards.

The Starting Hand Dilemma

The presence of four hole cards means you have to be extremely careful when learning how to play poker of this variation. You need to be strategic while choosing your starting hands in the poker game. Due to the presence of four hole cards in Pot Limit Omaha, there arises remarkable change in the strength of your cards. Medium flushes and straights become a common occurrence in Omaha poker tournaments and cash games, so do not make the mistake of overestimating them. While learning how to play Omaha poker, you got to pay attention to the hole cards that you shall choose to play the rounds with and bet systematically. Also, it is called Pot Limit because the maximum you can wager in this poker variant is the pot. In Texas Hold’em poker, you can go All-in with all your chips, which is why the name, No-limit.

How is the Winner Determined in Omaha Poker?

Deciding the winner in Omaha poker games is a unique yet fun situation. The poker hand rankings remain exact but things become tricky when figuring out the winner.

  • The players can only use only two out of four hole cards to make their five card combination.
  • In case of a straight board on the poker table for all players, the player with the highest hole card will win the pot.
  • The relevancy of the hole cards is irrelevant in respect to the strength of the hand in poker.

Poker Strategy: Texas Hold’em vs Omaha Poker

While the basic poker tips and poker game rules of both variants are the same, you need to study and practically experiment with different strategies on how to play poker variants like these on the best poker sites and gain positive results. In this section, we shall discuss the same so that as a new player, you can achieve some quick understanding of how to play poker variants of different kinds strategically to nail them individually.

  • Variance
  • Variance is a crucial element that players must acknowledge when learning how to play poker online and win. If you compare Texas Hold’em poker and Omaha poker, variance is much higher in the latter due to the presence of two extra hole cards. Variance is essentially the upswings and downswings that players experience from time to time in poker tournaments. It is dominated by an element of luck that might change your expectations in the current hand and affect the results in the short term.
    To handle this variance in Omaha poker, players need to have a decent poker bankroll that can cover at least 100 buy-ins to manage the downswings and start with softer games when you play poker online in best poker sites and poker apps to minimize the risk of loss. If things go on the wayside, consider going down a couple of poker stakesto avoid going broke.

  • Bluff
  • Poker bluffing is a common poker strategy in Texas Hold’em poker that players employ with even decent hands with the hope to hit the flop, isolate weak opponents and intimidate others to fold. However, if someone raises in Omaha poker games, it is usually a sign of strength and as such, not to be taken lightly unless you have an equally strong hand to compete with. So, it is often advised to avoid this poker strategy and keep it to the bare minimum especially in Omaha poker.

  • Starting Hands
  • Pocket Aces and Pockets Kings are almost indomitable hands in Texas Hold’em poker and if you are dealt Pocket Aces, you have approximately 81% chance of winning that hand. However, when you play Omaha poker, these golden hands of No Limit Hold’em quickly become average hands. They need to improve on the flop, unless they do, you are pretty much beat in Omaha poker tournaments. These are a few poker scenarios and strategies that you must adopt if you wish to learn how to play poker online the correct way and boost your win rate in the long term. The same poker tournament rules apply when you play poker online in online poker sites, and we follow suit on PokerBaazi.

    You can simply download the PokerBaazi app on your smartphone and start playing anytime anywhere on the go. Moving ahead, we shall discuss a third poker variant that is gaining traction and popularity across the globe as well as the Indian subcontinent. Introducing to the PokerBaazi community, the most exciting poker variant you could probably enjoy in the 21st century, Open Face Chinese poker, commonly known as OFC poker.

How to Play Open Face Chinese Poker?

Open Face Chinese poker is a relatively new poker variant that’s quite the toast of the town in the rapidly booming online poker world. Online poker sites are catching up to this thrilling variant because it's new, fun and very different from the likes of Texas Hold’em and Omaha poker, offering poker aficionados a new realm to explore and enjoy thoroughly. Its country of origin is Finland where it gained sight some ten years ago, eventually spreading to Russia and thereon, the rest of the world.

Learn How to Play OFC Poker on PokerBaazi

Unlike Texas Hold’em poker or Pot Limit Omaha, learning how to play OFC poker doesn’t include poker chips of any kind. You heard it right, OFC poker is the only poker variant that is played without poker chips, rather, it is a points based game that is played between 2-3 players and follows the same hand rankings of Texas Hold’em poker and Omaha poker rules. However, intriguing gameplay and the quirky poker game rules demands quick thinking to master this thrilling poker variant.

Like the regular poker variants, players must pay a certain buy-in fee to sit on the tables of a poker cash game or poker tournament . A game of OFC poker is played for a fixed number of rounds and the main objective is to collect more points than your opponents to win the round. Scores reset themselves after each round post which you can choose to quit or play a new round again.

OFC Poker Rules

Learning how to play OFC poker by avoiding mistakes is as much fun as playing the game itself! All players receive 14 cards at the beginning of each round out of which players need to discard one and use 13 remaining cards to form best poker hands in different rows.
A game of OFC poker features three rows- top, middle and bottom. You are required to arrange your cards into distinct poker hands in each row for which you will receive points. All points for three rows are calculated and compared with your opponents according to the strength of the hands in each row.
As per the OFC poker rules, the total score of all the rows are compared with that of your opponents and the player with the maximum points becomes the winner. These are the basic OFC poker tips & tricks to play or OFC poker rules that dominate the overall gameplay.

Row Specific OFC Poker Rules

All rows in Open Face Chinese poker have their own specific poker rules and design. The top row needs to be filled with three cards and the middle and the bottom row needs to be arranged with 5 cards each. This adds up to a total of 5+5+3 equalling to 13 cards. As mentioned above, players need to follow the same poker hand rankings to arrange their cards in OFC poker tournaments and cash games.
Now, down to the more specific poker game rules. • The bottom row hand must be the strongest of all three rows. • The middle row hand must be stronger than the top row. • The top row needs to have the least strong hand.

OFC Poker Tutorial

Let’s have a look at a poker tutorial . In the first round, 5 cards are dealt to all players (face up), thus, an open face, which they must use to form their hands. Once it's done, players are dealt another 3 cards (face down) from which they must discard one and use two to continue forming hands. The rounds continue up to 5 rounds in totality after which the final points are tallied.

Like all regular poker variants, there is a dealer with the dealer button who deals the cards and the action commences clockwise for each player. Players also have to pay the blinds to initiate the process as per the constant poker game rules. Following these poker tournament rules and structure of the game when you learn how to play poker is a must or you will be charged with foul play and end up with a dead hand and zero points.

Scoring System The scoring system of OFC poker is unique and something you must pay attention to. Each row in OFC poker is compared to that of your opponents and points are given. Each row hand is worth one point but there are more twists in the game. Here’s how.
• If player A beats player B in 2 out of 3 rows, player A gets plus 1 point.
• If player A loses to player B in 2 out of 3 rows, player A gets minus 1 point.
• If player A loses to player B in all 3 rows, player A scores minus 6 points.
• If player A beats player B in all 3 rows, player A scores plus 6 points, also known as a Scoop Bonus.

Poker Royalty Bonus

When you learn how to play poker online, things get really exciting hereon because OFC poker lets you win poker royalty points for achieving big poker hand rankings such as Flush or a Straight. These hands carry different points based on the row you set them. Players are eligible to earn these bonus points regardless whether they win or lose the particular rows.
Royalty reward bonus points are added to the overall score and the player with the maximum score wins the game. In the case where more than one player hits a similar hand in a row, the Royalty Points get nullified. So, for instance if two players hit a Fullhouse in the bottom row, the player with the higher full house wins the row but doesn’t get any royalty points. Check the royalty points in OFC poker for each row.

Poker Fantasy Land

Fantasy land is the privileged land for Open Face Chinese poker players. When you learn how to play poker online, you must understand the importance of fantasy land and OFC poker . The criteria for entering this fun land in OFC poker is simple. Simply hit Queens or better in the top row without foul and voila, you are in FantasyLand!

Once you are in FantasyLand, you get the opportunity to see all your 14 cards together and you have one exclusive shot to form your 13 card best hand at once! On the contrary, your poker opponents must stick to the regular poker rules and form his/her cards in the standard way, losing speed and edge over you!

Poker Recurring Fantasy Land

OFC poker might not have poker chips of poker sets to fiddle with but the fun is intense because you get to stay in the Fantasy Land for the next round as well if you manage to hit trips in the top row or quads in the bottom row but this poker rule is only applicable if you already are in Fantasy Land. Thankfully, Open Face Chinese poker variant doesn’t set any limits to the number of Fantasy Lands of OFC poker you can enter.

Play Three Different Variants of OFC Poker on PokerBaazi

PokerBaazi lets you explore three exciting variants of OFC poker so that you can have maximum fun. The basic poker rules are the same but changes occur when you enter FantasyLand in OFC Poker different variants. To know about them all, please refer to the OFC Tutorial .

How To Play Poker FAQ

Here’s how to play poker online like a pro.

  • Play tight and be selective with your starting hands.
  • Be aggressive and value-bet with your strong hands.
  • Defend your big blinds in online poker tournaments no matter what.

To learn how to play poker as a beginner, follow these cardinal rules of a poker game online.

  • You need to learn the basics of a poker game.
  • Be familiar with the poker rules that are standard for all poker variants.
  • Learn about the blinds, and the various rounds in a poker game- the pre-flop, the flop, the turn and the river.
  • Memorize the poker hand rankings to know the strength of your hands and play them accordingly.

Play free entry tournaments of poker on PokerBaazi and learn how to play poker game online without risking any money at all. Free entry poker tournaments offer the perfect platform to learn and play poker among players of similar rank and comprehend the basic poker rules at zero cost in a risk free zone. Free entry poker tournaments also allow players to earn real chip bonuses (RCB) and use them to play money cash games on PokerBaazi for free.

Please watch this 4 minute tutorial to learn how to play poker online in a simple and easy manner. After watching the video, you will be fully equipped to play poker as a beginner. From basic poker rules to hand rankings to complete gameplay, this tutorial covers the basics of poker in easy to understand English. Thus, you will be able to play poker on online poker sites in no time!

The best way to learn how to play poker games online is to play practice games and freerolls on online poker sites. On PokerBaazi, players can find both practice games of cash format and poker free entry tournaments that allow them to learn and master the two most popular game formats without spending any real money. Simply download the PokerBaazi app, register with a free account and hit the lobby to start playing poker online for free also find all poker terms in poker dictionary of PokerBaazi.

The easiest variant for beginners to learn is Texas Hold’em poker. It has the simplest poker game rules and gameplay that takes not more than 5 minutes to learn. It takes only two hole cards for players to combine with three community cards to form the best five poker card combination according to the standard poker hand rankings to win the hand.

Learning poker is as easy as pie on PokerBaazi. Simply watch this 4 minute tutorial to learn Texas Hold’em poker in 5 minutes and the basic poker rules and start playing right away. Like every other game, it takes practice, study of game theory and practical experience to master any poker variant over time. Play free entry tournaments on PokerBaazi of Texas Hold’em and Omaha poker games every day to learn poker among players of similar experience without spending real money today.

It depends on what level of the game you are currently playing poker at. If you are a beginner, you shouldn’t invest more than a couple of hours in a day. However, professional poker players plan their games according to their commitment to the game and plan their hours and days accordingly. Having said that, the duration of their poker games may vary from 4 to 7 hours a day with frequent short breaks during each session.

Learning how to play poker online doesn’t take more than 10 minutes. However, it is your individual commitment and dedication to the game that really determines your level of success in any poker game.

There is no suit that is highest or lowest in a poker game. All suits are equal when you know how to play poker online, however, Ace of any suit is the highest valued single card in a poker game that may determine the winner in poker games as per the poker game rules in case any two players fail to score a valid hand.

Yes, you can win real money by playing poker online. There are several cash games and online poker tournaments of different formats available in online poker sites in India, leading names include the likes of PokerBaazi.

  • Start your run with freerolls.
  • Practice games to avoid the risk of losing money.
  • Be confident with your skills and start to play poker online for real money.

Absolutely. Poker is a skill based game that is a combination of unique abilities of reverse psychology, mathematics, logical decision making and statistical analysis.

Poker games come with an element of unpredictability that makes them super fun and exciting. If you know how to play poker online, study game theory, use poker tools effectively and analyze your sessions regularly, it is possible to improve your win rate in the game and win remarkable real money in poker tournaments in the long run.