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Poker Rules

Learning the basic Poker rules is not difficult but mastering the game can take some time. If you are looking to learn the poker rules in India for beginners, we have jotted down the basic poker game rules of the most popular variations.

Here we shall look at the basic poker rules that are common to all poker games. This shall include rules regarding hand rankings, betting rules, showdown rules and other poker rules specific to different poker variations. Let’s begin.

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Basic Poker Rules in India for Beginners

While there are many variations of Indian poker, these are the rules of basic poker that deal with the core aspects of the game and are common to almost all poker game.

  • Hand Rankings: In all poker games, the objective is to make the best possible five-card hand based on the common poker hand ranking. These hand rankings are the same across all variants of poker.
  • Betting: Poker involves multiple rounds of betting, where players bet chips in the pot. The betting usually starts with the player to the left of the dealer and continues clockwise. Each player can either fold, call, or raise during their turn.
  • Blinds: In Poker basics, there are forced bets called blinds. The player to the left of the dealer posts a small blind, and the player to their left posts a big blind. The big blind is usually equal to the minimum bet for that game.
  • Rounds of Play: Poker is usually played over several rounds or hands, with players receiving new cards and betting between each round.
  • Showdown: If two or more players are still in the game after the final round of betting, a showdown occurs. Players reveal their cards, and the player with the best hand wins the pot.

Do remember that while these Indian poker rules are common to most poker games, there are many variation-specific rules, wherein the number of cards dealt, the order of play, and the betting rounds may differ. But more on that later.

For now, since you have a general idea of the basic poker game rules, let’s move ahead and learn about the poker hand ranking rules common to all poker games.

Poker Hand Ranking Rules

This is a list of the universal poker hand rankings that all poker games follow, and you must memorize by heart. They are listed in ascending order from the lowest to the highest.

High Card

If no player has any of the poker hands listed below, the player with the highest hole card wins. If two or more players have the same highest card, the next highest card will decide the winner.

Here are two high card hands of player A and player B:
Player A- A♣,J,2,7♥,10♣ and Player B- K,10,8♠,9♣,2♣. Player A wins the hand since Ace is bigger than King.

One Pair

One Pair consists of two cards of the same rank and three different cards. Example: K♠,K,7,3♣,Q♠

Two Pair

Two Pair consists of two cards of one rank, two cards of another rank and one card of a different rank. A two pair in a poker game would look like: J♠,J♣,8,8,K♣

Three of a Kind

Also called Trips, this poker hand consists of three cards of the same rank and two different cards. Example of Three of a kind: Q♣,Q,Q♠,10♣,2

Straight

Five cards of different suits arranged in a sequence makes a Straight as per poker rules. Example: K,Q♣,J,10♠,9

Flush

One of the strongest poker hands, any five cards of the same suit without a sequence make a Flush. Example: A,Q,6,3,J

Full House

Also known as Full Boat, a Full House is made of three cards of one rank and two cards of another rank. This poker hand sits on 4th highest position as per basic poker rules an example of a Full House is K,K♠,K,4♣,4

Four of a Kind

Also known as Quads, four cards of the same rank and one different card makes Four of a Kind.Third highest in strength, here’s an example of this hand: A,A♠,A♣,A,9

Straight Flush

Second highest in strength, a Straight Flush is made of five cards of the same suit arranged in a sequence. 10,9,8,7,6 is an example of a Straight Flush.

Royal Flush

Royal Flush is the unbeatable hand in all poker games. It is a Straight flush made of the top five cards of the same suit. A♠,K♠,Q♠,J♠,10♠ is an example of aRoyal Flush.

These are the ten poker hand rankings which are universal across all poker variations and determine the winner of a hand in a showdown.

Blinds and Antes Poker Rules

Blinds

According to the basics of Poker, when you play poker games with blinds, the immediate two players sitting to the left of the dealer button need to post a small blind and a big blind before the game begins.

The first player immediately to the dealer’s left posts the small blind and the player seated to the small blind’s left posts the big blind.

As per the basic rules of Poker, the big blind is typically twice the amount of the small blind. During the betting rounds, the dealer button moves one place to the left after each hand, as such, so do the blinds. This way, every player on the table will have to post the blinds when their turn comes. Blinds are typically placed in cash games and tournaments alike.

Antes

An ante is a forced bet that each player must place before the hand starts, in addition to the blinds. The ante is usually a small percentage of the minimum bet that is used to create a pot for players to compete for.

Antes are typically placed in poker tournaments only and are paid by all players at the table at the start of each hand. This is mostly done to create an urgency of action and finish the tournament within a specified time. Antes are introduced during the game as per the structure of the tournament.

Do understand that the specific amount of blinds and antes can vary depending on the game or tournament and the stakes being played. The main difference between blinds and antes is that blinds are only paid by two players per hand (the small blind and big blind), while antes are paid by each player on the table.

Poker Betting Rules

Betting in poker refers to the act of placing a certain amount of money in the form of chips into the pot. The purpose of betting in poker is to win the pot by putting in chips and increasing the pot value. You can then win the pot by either having the best hand, or by pressurizing other players to fold their hands.

In poker, each player is dealt a hand of cards, and they take turns placing bets in the form of chips or real money. The amount of bets placed can vary depending on the specific game or the players’ strategy.

As per the poker game rules, typically, the first player to bet is the one sitting to the left of the dealer, and subsequent players can either call, raise, or fold.

Basics of Poker Actions

In any poker game, after all bets have been placed, the remaining players reveal their cards in a showdown. A showdown is the final stage of a hand in poker where remaining players show their cards to determine the winner. As per Poker basics, the rules of a showdown may vary depending on the specific game being played. In general, here are the common poker rules for a showdown.

  • The last player to bet or raise chips is typically the first player to show their hand in a showdown. If there was no bet on the final round of betting, the player to the left of the dealer shows their hand first.
  • If two or more players have the same hand ranking, the pot is split equally among them.
  • If a player raises in the final round of betting and the remaining players fold, that player wins the pot without showing their cards.
  • If a player calls a bet on the final round of betting and loses, they must show their hand even if it is not required to win the pot.
  • Any player who was all-in at any point during a hand ,must show their cards if there is a showdown.
  • If a player mucks (discards) their hand, they give up any claim to the pot.

Limit vs No Limit Poker Rules

Limit and No Limit are two different types of betting structures in poker games that can impact the basic poker rules and strategies of the game. Let’s discuss them both quickly.

Limit Poker Rules

Limit Poker games have a fixed betting structure that limits the amount of chips that a player can bet in each betting round. This amount is predetermined before the game begins.

For example, in a ₹2/₹4 limit game, the maximum bet or raise is ₹4, and players must bet or raise in increments of ₹2. This means that the amount of money at stake in each hand is limited, which can make the game more strategic and less risky.

No Limit Poker Rules

In No limit poker games, there are no set limits on the amount of money or chips that players can bet or raise. This means that in No Limit games, players have the option to go All-in by betting all their chips at any point.

There is no limit on the betting amount or to the number of raises in No Limit games. As such, No Limit poker game rules make the game riskier and more unpredictable as players can win or lose large amounts of money in a single hand.

Conclusion

These are the key Indian poker rules that you must know to play poker without making any basic errors. The poker game rules that we discussed today are part of the foundation of all poker game variations. Once you learn them, you are ready to hit the tables.

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