Poker Rules For Beginners - Beginners Guide To Poker

Please note : the poker cheat sheet section also contains a handy reminder of the poker hand rankings for beginners, along with a list of helpful odds. The Texas Hold Em cheat sheet contains hand rankings and suggested starting hands to help you get to grip with the world's most popular form of poker. By far the easiest way for the beginner to learn is to print out the printer friendly cheat sheets and then practice poker for free at one of the trusted poker rooms listed. Once you have played a few hands the rules become much easier to understand, and all of the rooms allow you to practice your poker at "play money" tables for as long as you like - there is no obligation to play for real money. With a few hours of play under your belt you'll go from beginner to pro in no time. Some poker rooms even have special tables set aside especially for beginners, and whole sections of their sites dedicated to providing poker advice (for example, there is are special tables for beginners at bet365poker)


(what beats what at poker, in order of highest to lowest)

Royal Flush: T, J, Q, K, A all of the same suit.

Straight Flush: Five cards in a row all of the same suit, but not Ace high.

Four of a kind: Four cards of the same rank e.g. KKKK.

Full House: Three cards of the same rank plus a pair e.g. KKKAA.

Flush: Five cards of the same suit, but not in a row.

Straight: Five cards in a row e.g. 5,6,7,8,9.

Three of a kind: Three cards of the same rank e.g. KKK.

Two pair: Two pairs e.g. KKAA.

One pair: Any two cards of the same rank e.g. KK.

High card: If no-one has anything, the highest card wins � aces count high.

Note : beginners are sometimes confused as to whether an ace counts low (i.e. as a "1") or high (i.e. as "11"). An Ace can count either high or low for straights, but not both � e.g. A,2,3,4,5 and T, J, Q, K, A are both straights but Q,K,A,2,3 is not. Beginners also often over-estimate the strength of a single ace - having one ace in your starting hand is not all that unusual, so don't make the common beginner's mistake of playing every hand with an ace in it. See below for more information on poker starting hands for beginners.


Most forms of poker can be played with Limit betting, Pot Limit betting and No Limit betting. In a Limit betting game, the amount you can bet at any time is determined in advance, and you cannot bet more or less than this amount. The bet is usually doubled when a particular betting round is reached. For example, in a $1 / $2 Texas Hold Em Limit game, the amount you can bet when you first see your cards is $1. The amount you can bet after you see the next three cards (the "flop") is also $1. But the amount you can (and must) bet after the fourth card (the "turn") is $2, and the amount you can (and must) bet after the fifth card (the "river") is also $2. (For full details, and a glossary of poker terms, see the Official Poker Rules section.) In a Pot Limit game, the amount you may bet is equal to however much is already in the pot, and thus as the pot gets bigger so the amount you may bet gets bigger. For example if there is $1 in the pot then you can bet up to $1 maximum, if there is $20 in the pot you can bet up to $20 maximum and so on. In a No Limit game you may bet as many chips as you have at any time.


Fold: end participation in the hand and forfeit any money already put into the pot.

Check: make no bet, but reserve the right to stay in the hand. (You can only check if no-one else has already bet).

Bet: put money into the pot. (The amount you can bet varies depending on the betting rules of the game).

Call: match a bet made by another player (or players) in order to stay in the hand

Raise: put extra money into the pot beyond the amount needed to "call".


One player is dealer, and the two players to the dealer's left make forced bets of an agreed amount, called the "small blind" and the "big blind" (the small blind is usually half the amount of the big blind). Each player is dealt two cards face down (their "hole cards") and a round of betting ensues. Three cards are then dealt face up ("the flop") in the middle of the table, and all players can use these three "community" cards with their hole cards to make the best five card hand. Betting continues, with two more community cards being dealt face up ("the turn" and "the river") with a round of betting after each. The last player standing, or the player with the best five card hand, wins the pot. Players may use both, one, or neither of their hole cards to make their final hand, and if two hands tie the pot is split.

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Many beginners play too many hands at first. Get used to folding all but the best hands, and play those hands aggressively - the classic beginner's mistake is to call a bet rather than raise. Here is a list of decent hands in Texas Hold Em, the most popular version of poker for beginners:


TWO HIGH VALUE CARDS : AK (especially strong) AQ, AJ, AT (suited helps)

MEDIUM PAIRS : TT, 99, 88, 77, 66 - be prepared to ditch your hand if you don't make trips on the flop and there are overcards

SMALL PAIRS : pairs lower than sixes should be played if you can see a flop cheaply - if you don't make trips then fold them.

SUITED CONNECTORS : e.g. JT suited - play only from late position, and only if it is cheap to see a flop. Beginners often over-estimate the value of suited cards - it does help if your cards are suited, but not as much as many beginners think. Having a suited ace is preferable as if you do make a flush you will have the highest possible flush. Many beginners go broke having the second-best flush!


Omaha rules are very similar to those of Texas Hold Em, except in Omaha each player is dealt four hole cards (face down) instead of two. The betting then follows the same pattern as in Texas Hold Em. One crucial difference between the two is that in Omaha you must use two � and only two � of your four hole cards to make your hand.


Each player pays an agreed ante and is dealt two cards face down and one card face up (the latter being called the "doorcard"). There then follows a round of betting in which the player with the lowest doorcard is forced to open for a "bring-in bet" (an agreed amount that is less than the ante). Other players to the opener's left may then "complete" the bet to the full ante. After the first round is complete, there follows three more rounds, with all players still active being dealt a card face up, then a final card face down, and a fresh round of betting after each set of cards. After the first round, the highest hand showing begins the betting for each round.

Confused?? It'll all become clearer once you've played a few hands - practice poker for free at one of the trusted poker rooms. Play solid starting hands, and play them aggressively, and you'll go from beginner to pro in no time.


PartyPoker is an ideal choice for beginners, as they have dedicated beginners poker tables, at which only new (real money) players can play. You can use these tables for 45 days after making your first deposit at PartyPoker - after 45 days you are no longer considered a beginner and so will no longer be able to play at the beginners' tables (you have to join the big boys at the main tables). Betting levels at the beginners' tables range from $0.02 to $0.50. To play, just create a real money account at Party Poker then from the lobby select "Real money" tables, then "Beginners". All of the available beginners' tables will then display - just click on the table you want to sit down at and then click on an empty space at the table.

The other good choice is bet365poker. That might sound surprising as they are one of the few poker rooms with no "play money" tables. However the reason they are a good choice is simple - they have one of the most generous deposit bonuses around, which means that as you learn the ropes you can play with Bet365's money rather than your own. You can also deposit very small amounts to get started. Whilst the action at Bet 365 poker often seems fast and furious to the beginner, your opponents tend to play loose and sloppy poker, which means rich pickings for those prepared to be patient and only play quality starting hands. The discipline of only ever playing good hands is one that is key for a beginner to learn, and no poker site rewards patience quite as handsomely as Bet365 poker.

Golden Rule Of Poker

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