Basic Poker Rules

Poker is a game played with a normal deck of cards where players are dealt totally or partially concealed cards and then make wagers into a central pot which is then awarded to the remaining player (or players) who have the best combination of cards. For more information on that see poker hands.

Poker can be played in an endless number of variations but the most popular one is Texas Holdem which you might’ve caught on TV. Before learning individual poker games you however first need to learn the basic poker rules.

In order to make sure that the players actually play and not just sit and fold (throw away their cards) waiting for the best possible hand, one or more players usually have to make a so called forced bet where they place a pre-determined amount of money into the pot before the cards are dealt. The amount and which player(s) have to do so depends on the poker game.

The dealer then shuffles and cuts the deck of cards, and then deals the correct number of cards face-down to each player. After that a first of what may be several betting rounds follow. After each round the players’ hands change in some way either by replacing cards they’ve already been dealt or by being dealt additional cards.

If during any betting round a player chooses to bet and all other players fold then that hand ends immediately and the remaining player is awarded the pot without having to show his hand. If at the end of the last betting round more than one player remains they have to show their concealed cards and compare their hands to see who has the best hand.

These are the basic poker rules, for more detailed information visit our sections about Texas HoldemOmaha PokerStud Poker and Draw Poker.