How to Play Poker

Edward Norton's quote, “Life, like poker, has an element of risk. It shouldn’t be avoided. It should be faced,” perfectly showcases the similarity between life and a poker game. Truth be told, Poker becomes more fun with a combination of success and failure just like life.

While a guide to life would make things dull, a step-by-step guide on how to play poker certainly makes it more fun and interesting. Therefore, we bring you an A-Z brief on the poker card game and its most popular variations, so you can learn poker and get gaming once you're done reading.

Learn How to Play Poker Online

Poker is a skill-based card game based on mathematics, psychology and strategy. Hence, it is one of the key life skills that almost every person needs to learn. The game is best played between three to six players and comprises a dealer, a small blind and the big blind.

The objective of a poker game is to make the best possible five-card hand combination using the hole cards and community cards. Each game of poker follows a series of betting rounds during which more cards are revealed. In the end, the player to make the best five-card hand as per the universal poker hand ranking wins the game.

Now that we have covered the game’s objective, let’s start with common terms that can help you learn how to play poker online.

Terms Associated with Poker


Ante is a mandatory bet made by each player. It is usually 5 to 10 percent of the minimum bet in the game. You must deposit the ante into the pot before you play a new hand.


A dealer is a person who distributes the hole cards to each player and deals community cards on the table. The position of the dealer changes clockwise after each hand played.

Hole Cards

The two cards that the dealer distributes to each player face-down before the first round of betting begins are called the hole cards.

Community Cards

The dealer deals five cards face up on the poker table in three rounds: Flop, Turn and River. These five cards are collectively called community cards.


You may raise or call any amount equal to the total size of the pot.


You may raise or call any amount you desire, including all your chips/stakes.

Fixed Limit

You can bet or raise the poker stakes only up to a pre-determined amount.


A showdown occurs when all the betting rounds have taken place and two or more players are active in the game. During the showdown, each player’s cards are compared and the player with the best five-card combination wins the hand.

Hand Rankings

There are 10 universal poker hand rankings based on which the winner is determined. The hand rankings from their highest to lowest order are as follows:

  • Royal Flush : It occurs when you’ve ace, king, queen, jack, and ten of the same suit. There are only four royal flushes in the game.
  • Straight Flush : Five consecutive cards of the same suit make up the straight flush.
  • Four of a Kind : Four cards of the same value and one odd card make the four of a kind hand combination.
  • Full House : Full house occurs when you’ve got a three-of-a-kind and a pair in your five-card combination.
  • Flush : Flush is when you’ve all five cards from the same suit.
  • Straight : When you’ve five cards in consecutive order but they are of different suits.
  • Three of a kind : When your five-card hand consists of three cards of the same value and two odd cards.
  • Two Pairs : A pair is when you’ve two cards of the same hand. Two pairs occur when your five-card hand consists of two pairs.
  • One Pair : When your five-card hand consists of two same-value cards and three cards of different values.
  • High Card : It occurs when your five-card hand combination does not make any aforementioned hand combinations.

Betting Actions

Now that we have covered the poker hand rankings, let’s start with betting actions in the poker game.


Raise is when you increase the stakes by wagering an additional amount to the current bet made by the player before you.


A Call is when you match the bet made by the previous player and continue the game.


Check is when you do not want to wager additional bets in the game and decide to pass the action to the next player.


When you chip in or wager all of your stakes in the pot, it's called going All-in. It also occurs if you do not have a sufficient amount to make a raise or call the wager and bet your remaining stakes.


Fold is when you forfeit the current hand when you don’t have strong cards and do not wish to bet any further. After you fold, your hole cards along with the money wagered are forfeited.

Betting Gameplay


The wagering amount placed by the two players sitting on the dealer’s left during pre-flop are called poker blinds. It is of two types: Small Blind and Big Blind. The Big blind is double the amount of the small blind, while the small blind is the minimum wagering amount in a hand.

Hole Cards

The dealer distributes two hole cards to each player face-down. You cannot show your hole cards to anyone, and you’d have to decide your action or play, meaning if you want to raise, call, check or fold, as per your hole cards.


After the hole cards are dealt, there is a betting round where the blinds are placed before the first three community cards are dealt. This betting round is called pre-flop.


After pre-flop, the dealer places three community cards face-up on the table. These three cards are called the flop. Another betting round takes place after the flop.


Once the second betting round is completed, the dealer deals the 4th community card face-up on the table. This fourth card is called the Turn and is followed by another round of wagering.


After the 3rd betting round is completed, the dealer deals the 5th community card face-up on the table. It is known as the River and is then followed by the 4rth and last round of wagering.


After the fourth round of wagering, all the active players on the table reveal their hole cards l and compare their hand strength. The player with the best five-card poker hand wins the round.

Key Poker Variations & Their Rules

The game of poker has travelled far and wide and spawned into several variations. The ones that rank high in popularity include the following:

  • Texas Hold’em
  • Pot Limit Omaha
  • Open Face Chinese poker
  • Five Card Stud
  • Seven Card Stud
  • Draw Poker
  • Stud Poker
  • Razz
  • H.O.R.S.E
  • Lowball

Out of these above-mentioned poker variants, we are explaining the most played and famed variations in the world of poker.

How to Play Texas Hold'em - Step by Step

Here are the basic rules you should know to play Texas Hold’em.

  • The dealer distributes two hole cards face down to each player seated on the table.
  • Following this, the blinds are placed and betting action begins clockwise around the table.
  • Betting begins pre-flop and the dealer deals the community cards in three rounds known as the flop, turn and river respectively.
  • Each round is followed by a series of betting actions by the active players.
  • Players can choose to call, raise, check or fold as per the strength of their hand.
  • The goal is to make the best five-card hand combination using your two-hole cards and three community cards.
  • The player with the highest hand ranking wins the pot and the hand.

How to Play Pot Limit Omaha Poker- Step by Step

  • The number of hole cards you get from the dealer depends on the Omaha poker variation you play. For example, a dealer deals four, five and six hole cards in 4-Card, 5-Card and 6-Card PLO respectively.
  • Once the blinds are placed, klke Hold’em, Omaha games follow the four betting rounds namely Pre-flop, Flop, Turn and River.
  • Betting takes place each community card is revealed by the Dealer on the table.
  • No matter the number of hole cards, players must use two hole cards and three community cards to make the best five-card hand combination.

How to play Open Face Chinese Poker- Step by Step

  • OFC Poker is played generally between two to four players.
  • Each player receives 14 cards. They must discard one and use 13 cards to arrange them across three rows- top, middle and bottom. You need to place 3, 5 and 5 cards in the top, middle and bottom hands, respectively.
  • Instead of wagering and collecting more poker chips, players try to score the most points in this variation.
  • While the first hand has to be the weakest, the second hand must be better than the first and the bottom hand must have the best hand combination.
  • If you score the best hand combination as compared to your opponent in all three rows, you get six points and you make a ‘Scoop’. However, you get a score of +1, -1 and 0 if your hands rank lower in one, two and three rows as compared to your opponent.
  • The game also offers Royalties points for different poker hands and on different numbers of cards of the same value (pair and triples).
  • The player with the most points at the end wins the game.

With that, we have covered all the basic aspects of the poker game that can help you learn the game from scratch and play confidently. So, download the PokerBaazi app and start applying your knowledge of how to play poker games and make some money.

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 , 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 online game 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 on PokerBaazi for free.

Please watch the 4 minute tutorial provided above 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 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 combination according to the standard poker hand rankings to win the hand.

Learning poker is as easy as pie on PokerBaazi. Simply watch the 4 minute tutorial provided above to learn how to play 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 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 poker players, you shouldn’t invest more than a couple of hours in a day. However, 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 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.

Yes, you can play poker with two to eight players. A poker game between two players is called a Heads-up game. However, the best poker experience is when you play the game among six players.

Playing poker becomes easy once you get familiar with the rules and gameplay. That said, you can follow the below steps to learn how to play poker successfully and stay on the winning side.

  • Memorise the hand rankings by heart.
  • Know different positions (dealer, small blind, big blind, under the gun) and direction of play.
  • Understand the importance of position to make informed decisions.
  • Learn to fold when your hand is not good enough.
  • Thoroughly understand and experiment different betting actions and when to do them.
  • Observe and identify your poker opponents keenly to target them wisely and raise more money.