Basic rules of poker

When you’re learning how to play online poker and about the basic rules of poker keep in mind that there are countless variations to poker but all the games do follow the same basic pattern.

Play will always start to the left of the dealer and proceeds in a clockwise direction. Every hand is marked by the rotation in a clockwise direction of the “dealer”, puck or buck.

The dealer is a fixture in both casino poker and online poker. Where the dealer button is placed determines where the blinds are and the order of the betting.

When each hand begins, one or more of the players make compulsory bets, otherwise known as “blinds” or the “ante”. These bets are compulsory because they create the starting “pot” for which the players will contest. Then the appropriate number of cards has been dealt to each player, face-up or face-down, according to the type of game being played.

Players can then have a look at their cards and then the first of what will become several betting rounds starts with all bets being added to the pot. The game and the players’ hands develop with the dealing of the communal cards or by replacing the cards that were dealt previously.

Types of poker available at PokerTime

Texas Hold’em: This is the 7-card version of the game that ups the pace and has grown to become the most popular form of poker currently being played. If you’ve been watching poker on TV it’s likely that it’s been Texas Hold’em. It is also the official game played in the final of the World Series of Poker.

Omaha Hi-Lo: This game is similar to Texas Hold’em except 9 cards are used so that an even wider range of combinations exist. The increase of options mean that the game becomes more intricate, with less emphasis on luck.

7-Card Stud: This is an easy game to learn and is a popular household game as well as professional poker game. Being a sharp observer and having a good memory are key in this version. With so many cards exposed on the table, the game becomes one of calculated odds and choices about the likelihood of your winning hand being dealt.

5-Card Stud: This is the original stud poker game and its popularity was only surpassed when 7-Card Stud started being played in the Twentieth Century. It is very close to 7-Card Stud except each player gets 5 cards and only one of them is dealt face down. This game is still a popular game amongst the purists.