Poker Rules: Learn How to Play Poker, Strategy & Tips

When it comes to skill games, poker is one of the most sought-after options. Unlike other table games, it has several rules that add a challenging element to it. To play the game well, you’ll need to master these poker rules. Each variation comes with its own additional instructions, so be sure to brush up before paying the buy-in!

Like other table games, online poker has some basic rules that apply to all variants. For instance, things like the value of the card hands remain similar. In our guide, we’ll teach you how to play poker, where to play on the web, expert strategy to help your chances & more!

Top Poker Rooms Online in Australia

Once you master how to play poker, you’ll want to try out your strategy at the safest casinos available. Here’s a list of some of the top gambling sites for poker fans. These offer several variants and wager limits, making them great for newbies and pro players alike.

Poker Rules: The Basics

As we mentioned, you will find basic poker rules that apply to every game variant whether you choose a virtual release or to play at a live dealer casino. In most cases, that’s where the similarity in the gameplay ends.

Let’s take a look at those shared poker elements and get down to basics.

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No Limit vs Limit

The first thing you need to master when learning how to play is the betting structures offered. You can find out what applies to your chosen game from the poker variant’s info section.

Here’s a breakdown of the differences between these two options:

No Limit Poker – Playing this version allows you to bet any amount and raise whenever you like. No limit poker mainly applies to Hold’em variants.
Limit Poker – Playing this version means you can only bet in fixed predetermined instalments. There’s also a cap on how frequently you raise while playing. Limit poker applies mainly to Omaha, Stud, and Hi/Lo variants.

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Poker Betting Rounds

Betting rounds in poker rules refer to when you can make your bet during a game. Different poker variants have a varying number of rounds. In general, betting rounds is another name for the bet, raise, call and fold phases of a poker game. For example, in Hold’em, you have the preflop, flop, turn, and river options to make your wagers. The rules for how much you’ll have to bet can vary from game-to-game

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Table Stakes and Blinds

Blinds are two mandatory betting options that players must make before the preflop. You have the small blind (SB), which applies to the first position left of the dealer. Then, you have the big blind (BB). The BB is for the player in the first position to the left of the SB.

Learn How to Play Poker in Australia

Learning how to play poker in Australia can be an easy process. That’s so long as you know the subtleties of each variant. Here’s a description of three popular variants to get you started:

Texas Hold’em Poker

Out of all the available poker variations, Texas Hold’em poker is considered the easiest to learn. Virtually all poker rooms offer it. It has three variations; Pot Texas Hold’em, No Limit Texas Hold’em and Limit Texas Hold’em. These are the poker rules you need to memorise to play:

  1. The player to the left of the dealer makes the small blind bet. The player to their left then makes the big blind which is double the small blind.
  2. Every player receives two hole cards.
  3. The dealer adds five community cards to the table, face up. They start by placing three cards, then the last two after two betting rounds.
  4. Players use any combination of the community cards plus one or both of their hole cards to create a five-card hand.
    The player with the best hand wins.

Omaha Poker

After Texas Hold’em, Omaha poker is the next best thing. The poker rules are very similar to Texas Hold’em instructions, so they’re easy to remember if you can already play Hold’em. This option has Pot Limit, No Limit and Limit variations for players to enjoy. To get started:

  1. Every player receives four face-down cards.
  2. Five community cards get dealt at once.
  3. Players must use two of their cards plus three of the community cards to create a five-card hand.
  4. The player holding the best hand wins the round.

Stud Poker

This is another variant that’s easy to learn. Stud poker stands out by having players dealt hole and face-up cards. Also, the number of cards dealt by the end of the game depends on the variation played. These are Seven-Card Stud, Caribbean Stud, Razz, Five-Card Stud, and Mississippi Stud.

Regardless of the variant, these are the basics of a Stud game:

  1. Make your first bet.
  2. Receive your hole and face-up card/cards (depending on the variant).
  3. Players will get dealt more cards after each round of betting.
  4. Once the last card for the variant gets dealt, players can make a final bet.
  5. Each player’s cards are revealed to determine the winner based on the best hand.

Poker Rules For Other Poker Variants

These three aren’t the only poker options available. There are numerous variations available. But they mainly come from three main categories; Community Card Poker, Draw Poker, and Stud Poker. Whatever doesn’t fall into those categories, could be a Lowball or Hi/Lo Split variant.

Here are poker rules for other popular versions you can consider:

Deuce to Seven Triple Draw

Create the lowest ranking hand to win.

Badugi

A Lowball variation that deals players with only four cards.

Seven Card Stud

A variant of Stud poker which deals seven cards to each player.

Razz

A lowball variant where straights and flushes don't count.

Poker Rules: Hand Rankings

While you play, there are ten main hand rankings to keep in mind. The table below describes them so you know what you have during your session. Take your time checking your cards for potential strengths – it’s easy to overlook poker hands as a beginner.

Hand Ranking How To Win
Royal flush This is the best hand. Have five same suit sequential cards, from 10-A.
Straight flush Have five sequential cards with the same suit, like 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 of diamonds. You can beat this hand with a straight flush with higher ranking cards or a royal flush.
Four of a kind Have four same rank but different suit cards like Q, Q, Q, Q, 9.
Full house Have three same rank cards with different suits (three of a kind) and two same rank but different suit cards like Q, Q, Q, 7, 7.
Flush Have five different ranking cards with the same suit, like 2, 8, 10, K, 3. when two opponents have a Flush, the hand with the highest rank wins.
Straight Have five sequential cards with different suits like 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. The A can rank below 2 or above a K.
Three of a kind Have two cards with the same rank but different suits like K, K, K, 5, 8.
Two pairs Have two sets of cards with the same rank but different suits like 3, 9, 9, 5, 5.
Pair or One pair Have two cards with the same rank but different suits like 9, 10, 6, 6, 2.
High card This is the weakest hand. You need to have a card with a higher value than your opponent. The card values from lowest to highest are 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, J, Q, K, and A.

How to Win at Poker

For most players, learning how to play poker goes beyond having fun. That’s because they are looking for a way to earn winnings from their gameplay. To do that, they need to win or reduce their losses during each round.

Here are a few top tips to help up your poker game:

  • Always have a strategy in play during your rounds to manage your expenditure, whether you win or lose.
  • Monitor your win rate using a poker tracker. If the result is higher than zero, then you’re winning.
  • Be patient since the more games you play and learn from, the more likely you’ll start to see wins.
  • Be ready to make bigger bets, especially when you’re dealt a good hand.
  • Watch how other players play so you can continue to hone your skills.

How much you can win by using these tips relies on which games you choose, your strategy, and of course your luck!

Poker Rules FAQs

Are poker games available on mobile?

Yes, they are. Most casino software developers create mobile-friendly versions of their online poker games. When you visit your favourite mobile casino in Australia, you’re sure to find several titles worth playing. These often include virtual and live dealer versions.

Do Texas Holdem and Omaha Poker have the same rules?

Yes and no. Though the two games may seem similar, there are subtle differences in the gameplay. For instance, with Texas Hold’em, you get two hole cards at the beginning whereas with Omaha Poker, you begin with four hole cards.

How much do I have to bet in poker?

While learning how to play poker, note that the amount you bet depends on the amount already in the pot. If you don’t want to risk too much, bet half the amount in the pot or less. That is considered a small bet. Betting anything between half and three-quarters of the pot amount counts as a medium bet. Any wager above three-quarters of the pot amount counts as a big bet for the round.

What’s the best way to learn how to play poker?

The best way to master poker rules while you learn them is by playing games for free. There are many free versions of poker on the web. Some poker rooms also offer releases that you can play for free. These options help you familiarise yourself with the different instructions. Through free play games, you can apply the rules you learn without risking your money. That’s because the site will offer virtual credits for you to wager. Keep in mind, you won’t be able to win any cash with those virtual credits.

Besides that, online platforms also have casino bonus promotions which can add a serious boost to your bankroll. Always check that the bonus can be used on poker variations – many sites limit these to online pokies.

Maddison Dwyer

Senior Writer

Maddison studied journalism at the University of Queensland. However, she decided against going into mainstream media in her final year when she saw her first live poker tournament. From that moment on, she wanted to find out more about casinos, card games and the world of gambling.
As a result, Maddison is our resident table game expert. From blackjack to roulette, craps to baccarat, Maddison knows all the rules and strategies to be successful at the table. When she’s not researching and writing, Maddison can be found kitesurfing or snorkelling along the gorgeous coast of Queensland.

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