Poker Rules

Below find step-by-step beginners guides to all the most popular variations of poker including Texas Hold'em, Omaha, Seven-Card Stud, Razz and 2-7 Triple Draw.

Included are definitions for common poker terms (blinds, button, position, etc.), detailed explanations for how to make bets and the progression of betting rounds, how to determine the winning hand at showdown and more.

If you're looking for strategy tips for each game, check out our comprehensive poker strategy section with plenty of helpful articles for poker beginners.

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How to Make a Hand

Players combine their hole cards with the community cards to make the best possible 5-card poker hand. Both hole cards, one hole card or no hole cards (play the board) can be used to comprise a hand.

Example: Hold'em

Hold Cards A
Hold Cards B
The Flop
The Turn
The River
Final Hand A
Two pair (Q's and 3's with a K)
Final Hand B
Two pair (K's and 3's with an A)

The Basics of Texas Hold'em Poker

Texas Hold'em Poker is a community card game that can be played with anywhere from 2-10 players.

  1. One player acts as dealer. This position is called the button and it rotates clockwise after every hand.
  2. The two players to the left of the dealer are called the small blind and the big blind, respectively.
  3. These two positions require forced bets of a pre-determined amount and are the only players to put money in the pot before the cards are dealt (if no ante in place).
  4. Every player then receives two cards face down. These are called "hole cards".
  5. Once all hole cards have been dealt, the first betting round begins with the player sitting immediately to the left of the big blind. This player can fold, call (match the amount of the big blind) or raise.
  6. Betting then continues clockwise, with each player having the option to fold, call the amount of the highest bet before them, bet or raise.
  7. When the first betting round is completed, three community cards are flipped face up on the table. This is called the flop.
  8. The second round of betting begins with the first remaining player seated to the left of the button. The betting resumes, clockwise, with each player having the option to check (if no bet in front of them), bet (or raise if a bet before them), call or fold.
  9. When the second round of betting is finished, a fourth community card is flipped face up on the table. This is called the turn.
  10. The third round of betting commences with the first remaining player sitting to the left of the button.
  11. When the third round of betting is over, a fifth community card is flipped face up on the table. This is called the river.
  12. The fourth round of betting starts with the first remaining player seated to the left of the button. The betting continues to move clockwise.

Complete Texas Holdem Rules