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How to play online poker

Playing poker online is very similar to playing it in a brick-and-mortar casino. If you’ve never played online poker before or need a refresher, here’s our guide how to play online poker. Since there are lots of poker variants out there, we’ll cover the most popular one in detail. You only need to master one variant before you can access online poker. In our guide, we’ll cover:

Each variant of poker has its own quirks and rules, but the basic gameplay is quite straightforward. In almost every game type, the objective is the same: get a stronger combination in your hand than other people’s.

One of the most popular and common poker variants is Texas Hold’em. It’s also one of the most straightforward games. For those who have previously played and need a refresher, here are the basic steps to playing Hold’em poker:

Two cards are dealt to each player. These are dealt face down and called the ‘hole cards’. Bets are made. The community cards (five more) are dealt face up in the center of the table after a few rounds of betting.

Players can use these community cards and combine them with their own two to make a combination.

We’ll now take a look at each of these steps in more detail for beginners. Although these steps are based on Texas Hold’em, they can usually be applied to other types of poker too but it’s worth checking for specific rules before playing.

STEP ONE – Placing bets Before there are any cards dealt, players place bets. You can place different types of bets including an ante bet or a blind bet. The former is when all players bet the same amount, while the latter involves the player to the dealer’s left placing a small bet and the player to their left placing a bigger one. After bets have been placed, players receive two cards face down. These are called ‘hole cards’. Once everyone has received their cards, players have three options@ Check – this means they decide not to start off the betting Bet – matching someone else’s bet Fold – give in if their hand is weak Every time a player chooses to check, the next person clockwise chooses to check or bet. As soon as a player decided to place a bet, everyone else must bet that amount.

STEP TWO – The Community Cards When the round of betting has concluded, the dealer deals the Flop. This is comprised of three cards placed face up in the center of the table. After seeing the flop, players will know if their hand is stronger or not. After the flop is dealt, there is another betting round.

STEP THREE – The Turn After the previous betting round has concluded, the dealer lays a fourth card face up in the center. This is called the Turn. Players can use the Turn to make their hand better. Remember, you only use five cards for a hand combination. After the turn is dealt, there is another betting round.

STEP FOUR – The River After the last betting round, a fifth card is dealt face up. This is called the River. Any player who is still in the game will be able to see how strong their hand combination is. There is one final found of betting before the showdown.

STEP FIVE – The Showdown When all of the betting has concluded, it’s showdown time. This means all players will reveal their combinations to see who the winner is. If there is a tie, the highest card (the kicker) is the decider.

Poker combinations

Now you know how to play, you’ll need to know that constitutes a winning hand or a good hand. Let’s explore the different combinations that you might get to win the game.

The Royal Flush

A Royal Flush is comprised of an A K Q J 10 all of the same suit. As you’d expect, it’s quite rare to have this and so it is the most powerful combination of all. You might never see this.

The Straight Flush

After the Royal Flush, a Straight Flush is the next strongest hand. For a Straight Flush, you need five same-suit cards in a numerical sequence. There are different values of Straight Flush and the value is given by the highest card. For example, with a “Nine High Straight Flush”, the highest card would be a 9. If there are two players with a Straight Flush, the highest value one will win. For example, a Nine High Straight Flush will beat an Eight High Straight


An ace can be high or low.

Four of a Kind

As the name suggests, you need four cards of equal value – so four jacks, for example. The fifth card isn’t counted in the hand.

Full House

To have a Full House combination, you need three cards of equal value (e.g., three 10s), then two other cards that are of equal value (e.g., two 9s). If two players both have a Full House, the winner is the player whose three of a kind ranks higher.


If you have any five cards that belong to the same suit, you’ve got a Flush. If two players both have a Flush, the one with the highest card in their combination wins. If they have the same highest card, the next highest cards are taken into account, and so on until the winner is found.


A Straight is comprised of five cards in numerical order. They are not of the same suit. An ace can be high or low.

Three of a Kind

As the name suggests, you need three cards of equal value – so three jacks, for example, to make a Three of a Kind combination. The fourth and fifth cards are unmatched and are not counted in the hand. These combinations are often called Trip combinations. For example, if the Three of a Kind was three 8s, you would call this Trip Eights.

Two Pair

When you have two pairs (i.e., two pairs of equal-value cards) and an unmatched card, you have a Two Pair hand. If you have 8 8 4 4 3, this would be called “Eights over Fours”, while 9 9 2 2 A would be “Nines over Twos”.

One Pair

When you have two cards of equal value then three unmatched cars, you have a Pair. This combination is ranked aces to deuces. When there are two players who have the same pair, it is the highest card in their unmatched cards that decides the winner. This can go right to the last card if needed.

High Card

When your hand has five unmatched cards and doesn’t have any of the combinations above, it will be determined by the highest card. If two players have the same highest card, the hand who has the next highest wins. This can go right to the last card if needed.

Poker Game and Variations

There are four main Texas Hold’em variations, and they’re distinguished by how you bet.