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How to Play Poker

Learn How to Play Poker Online

Poker is one of the most popular card games played at home, the casinos and online. Although there are over a dozen mainstream versions of poker played today, Texas Holdem is by far the first game of poker a player will learn first. Anyone can learn to play poker, and anyone can learn to play well if they put the time, patience and effort into learning the game properly. Learning how to play poker well means you will ultimately be able to play poker for real money and profit from it. There are hundreds of thousands of players who don’t pay attention to the game and have no intention to learn how to play it. These players provide ample amounts of money to a strong poker player at the tables.

This article discusses how to play poker and offers a summary of the more common forms of poker you’ll find online. Most of these games can be played at the casino but depending on where you live your local casino may not support one of the variations listed. If your trying to learn how to play poker, your best option is to learn online for the simple reason that online poker is free. There isn’t a casino in the world that will let you sit at their tables without playing for real money. Our poker games page will provide you with the best poker sites online that allow new players who are just learning how to play poker the opportunity to play these games for free. This is perfect for someone who wants to practise and not have to use their own money. Once you've got a few hands under your belt, you can check our beginner poker strategy guide which offers advice and strategy to help you become a winning player.

Best Poker Sites Online to Learn How to Play Poker for Free

Rank help Poker Room help USA help Mac  help Bonus help Match help Code help Player Trafic help Room Review help
1Pokerstars PokerStars   This Site Accepts USA Players   mac-icon $600 100% OPN50 240,000+ PokerStars
2Bodog Poker Bovada Poker   This Site Accepts USA Players   Linux Poker Sites Online $550 110% N/A 20,000+ Bovada Poker
3Absolute Poker Party Poker      Linux Poker Sites Online $500 100% NET500 60,000+ Party Poker
4Absolute Poker Absolute Poker   This Site Accepts USA Players   Linux Poker Sites Online $550 100% OPEXTRA 40,000+ Absolute Poker
5Pacific Poker Pacific Poker      Linux Poker Sites Online €/$400 100% N/A 20,000+ Pacific Poker
6Lucky Ace Poker Lucky Ace Poker      Linux Poker Sites Online €/$400 100% N/A 20,000+ Lucky Ace Poker
7Full Tilt Poker Full Tilt Poker   This Site Accepts USA Players   Linux Poker Sites Online $600 100% OPNET 100,000+ Full Tilt Poker
OnlinePoker.net Reviews the Best USA Poker Sites and European Poker Sites Online.

Learning How to Play Poker - Poker Hand Rankings – Strongest to Weakest


The first step in learning how to play poker is to understand the hand rankings. Below we've listed a chart with the winning hands ranked from strongest to weakest. This chart only applies to Texas Holdem, Omaha poker games, Stud Poker, and Draw poker. Games like Razz or Badugi Poker use a different hand ranking system as do games that are played in Hi Lo. If you'd like to learn how to play any of the other poker games that rank their hands differently, our game pages will explain it for you.

Royal Flush – A royal flush is any suited A-K-Q-J-T. Example – Ahearts Khearts Qhearts Jhearts 10hearts
Straight Flush – Any five suited cards in sequence(except Royal Flush). Example – 10hearts 9hearts 8hearts 7hearts 6hearts
Four of a Kind – Four cards of the same index. Example – 9hearts 9diamonds 9clubs 9spades
Full House – Three cards of the same index and two cards of the same index. Example – 9hearts 9diamonds 9spades Qclubs Qdiamonds
Flush – Five cards of the same suit. Example – Khearts Jhearts 7hearts 5hearts Ahearts
Straight – Five cards in sequence. Example -  2hearts 3diamonds 4diamonds 5clubs 6spades
Three of a Kind – Three cards of the same index. Example – Khearts Kdiamonds Kclubs
Two Pair -Two pairs of same index. Example – Khearts Kdiamonds Q clubsQ hearts
Two of a Kind (Pair) – Two cards of the same index. Example – Aspades Ahearts
High Card – Highest in rank of the five cards. Example – Khearts 4diamonds 10spades Jdiamonds 8clubs

Learn How to Play Poker - Hold'em, Omaha, Razz, Stud, HORSE, Draw, Badugi

Learn How to Play Texas Hold'em - Texas Hold’em is the most popular form of poker played, live and online. In our "Learn How to Play Texas Hold’em" article, you’ll learn the different versions of the game, hand rankings, and betting structure. Since Texas Hold’em is played in Pot Limit, No Limit and Fixed Limit we’ll discuss how each of the betting rounds are structured in addition to what’s considered a small and large bet. If your learning how to play poker and looking for a Texas Holdem poker site, we’ve provided a list of the top five poker sites that support Texas Hold’em poker.

Learn How to Play Omaha Poker - Omaha Poker is just as popular as Texas Hold’em but slightly more complicated. This game uses four hole cards and five community cards, with the object of the game being to be able to make the best five card poker hand using only two of your four hole cards and three of the five community cards. In our “Learn How to Play Omaha Poker” article we’ll discuss the difference between Omaha and Omaha Hi Lo, betting structure for each round and provide examples of Hi Lo and Hi hands.

Learn How to Play Seven Card Stud - Seven Card Stud is one of the easiest poker games to learn how to play. This game is more about observations at your table than anything else. In our “Learn How to Play Seven Card Stud” article we’ll discuss the rules for playing Stud Poker, along with betting structures, what a bring-in is, and hand rankings. Although Stud Poker isn’t as commonly played as some of the other variations, there are multiple games that stem from the original stud poker game. These are commonly played in home games.

Learn How to Play Draw Poker - One of the oldest forms of poker, Draw Poker is one of the easier games to play. In our "How to Play Draw Poker" article we discuss the different variations of this game, the basic rules, hand rankings and betting structure. If you’re just learning how to play poker, this version might be a good starting point. It’s nowhere near as fast paced as Hold’em but will definitely give you the basic understanding of hand rankings.

Learn How to Play Razz Poker- Razz is an entirely unique from the other variations of poker. In this poker game players need to learn how to win with the worst possible hand. That’s right, you don’t want the best hand, only the worst. In our "Learn How to Play Razz Poker" article we’ll explain what qualifies as the “winning bad poker hand” along with betting format, game structure, hand rankings and more.

Learn How to Play Badugi Poker – Badugi Poker has recently increased in popularity in the online poker sites. This poker game is very different from any of the other poker games you see listed on this page and we strongly suggest you read our “How to Play Badugi Poker” article first before diving right in. Our article focuses on the general rules for playing Badugi Poker along with hand rankings and betting structure for Pot Limit, No Limit and Half-Pot Limit.

Learn How to Play HORSE Poker – HORSE Poker is considered to be the ultimate poker game simply because it combines all of the games you see listed above into one. This means you’ll be playing Hold’em (H), Omaha (O), Razz (R), Seven Card Stud (S), and Seven Card Stud Hi Lo (E). Our “How to Play HORSE Poker” article teaches you each of the variations used in a HORSE Poker game along with betting structure and how the rounds rotate. If you’re not familiar with all of the five poker games used in HORSE Poker we suggest you learn those first by playing at one of the free poker sites before attempting to play HORSE. Once you’ve got the basics down, you can then move onto one of the poker sites that allow you to play HORSE online.