How to play Poker

How to play poker- all you need to become a poker ace

Looking to up the ante and raise your poker game? Read our comprehensive guide on how to play, bet, and win with one of the most popular table casino games in the world! We will give you everything you need to know about poker and all the top details that mean you can raise with confidence.

What is poker?

Poker is a table casino card game played traditionally against other players. The goal of the game is to have the best hand value amongst all players at the end of the round or be the last player who’s hand is still in play. Poker is one of the most popular casino card games available today with over 120 million players worldwide; and roughly 60 million players in the US alone! Online poker further expands on the popularity of the game by adding exciting video and live poker games that capture the thrill of the casino from the comfort and convenience of your own home. Who said you can’t become a poker pro in your dressing gown?

Step by step guide on how to play poker

Step 1: Place your bets

2 cards will be dished out to each player face down. Make your initial buy-in bet and have a peek at your hand cards. If you do not place an initial buy-in bet then you have folded for the round and the game continues as normal. Player moves generally go left of the dealer clockwise.

Step 2: The cards on the table

The dealer will place 5 cards face down on the table in a line. Once all player buy-ins have been received then the first 3 cards will be flipped over. The game will then go to each player clockwise as they decide to either raise, stick, or fold. On each return to the dealer another card is flipped over until all 5 cards on the table are visible.

Step 3: Stick Move

Players have the choice of 3 moves on each round: stick, raise, or fold.

Stick is when a player decides to stay with the hand they have and not make any additional wagers. If all players choose to stick, then the next card on the table is revealed and the round is started again. If all players stick when all 5 cards are visible on the board, then the hands are shown and the results are counted to see who wins.

Step 4: Raise Move

The raise move can be done during any of your moves adds an extra bet to the pot that, when made, must be matched by all other non-folded players. If a player cannot match the raise, or chooses not to, then they must fold and are out of the round. The raise amount has to be a minimum of the buy-in amount for the round and can be as much as you currently have in winnings. Putting all of your money in triggers an all-in move that, if matched, means players have to put their entire pot into the running.

Step 5: Fold Move

A player eliminates themselves from the round. Folding will give up any money that is put in by the folded player for that round. Can happen either due to having a weak hand or choosing not to match another player’s raise. A fold can be done at any point during the game including before making your initial bet. Study the cards on the table and the betting behaviour of your opponents to gauge when is a good idea to fold.

Step 6: Winning

After all cards have been turned over, then all remaining players show their hand and the winner is decided based on who has the strongest hand. Final raises can be made before the reveal and the player who has the best hand wins the pot. If all but one player has folded before all cards are revealed, then the last player standing wins automatically. Winnings are taken and the game restarts.

Step 7: Learn the combos

Want to learn everything you need to become a pro at poker hand values and combinations? Expand your knowledge and raise confidently with our poker card & hand values guide available here:

Top 5 tips for poker

  1. High cards are good- if you start with a face card (J, Q, K, A) then you have the potential for a strong game
  2. Have a plan for each hand- if you see the potential to achieve higher pair values then stick to that as a goal
  3. Don’t bank on a high card win- even a pair of 2s can beat a high card Ace
  4. Pace yourself when raising- if you raise too soon it might alert the other players of a good hand
  5. Pay attention to other player actions- if someone is a little too eager to raise big then it might be more beneficial to fold than try to match it

Biggest differences between online and land casino poker?

Betting amounts- Land casino poker tables can be full of high-roller veteran players with large sums of money being won and lost in a single hand. This can cause hefty buy-in amounts and intimidate new players. Online poker lowers the buy-in amount per game so you can play and learn on your budget; not the budget of the top players.

Convenience- Land casinos poker is played at a real casino with all of the stuffy rules that come with it. Online casinos put the best games at your fingertips from the comfort of your own home. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the fun!

Speed- Land casino poker, much like a lot of land casino games, is fast-paced and dictated by the speed of the dealer. Online poker puts the speed of the game into the player’s hands meaning that you have more time to learn the ropes and get comfortable at your own pace.

Top 10 Poker Variations

Variant NameDescription
Texas Hold’emOne of the most popular poker variations in both land casinos and online. Texas Hold’em features 5 table cards and two hand cards for a total of 7 cards in play. Cards on the table are flipped after each round until all 5 are visible and final results are made.
Video PokerVideo poker streamlines the poker experience by using only 5 cards total. The only cards in play are the 5 on the table and they are face down at the beginning of each game. When bets are made, the cards are flipped and any pairs will stick for the next flip. The rest of the cards that aren’t paired will be flipped over and back again and winnings are paid for any successful pairings.
OmahaA popular variant on the standard Texas Holdem rule set but with a total of 9 cards in play. The number of cards on the table remains at 5 but the player hand is increased to 4 cards in each game. The extra cards create extra excitement as more cards mean more potential pairings and a higher likelihood of achieving the higher pairings such as Flush and Royal Flush.
7 Card StudA Poker variation where there are no table cards and all playable cards are in the hands of the players. 7 Card Stud features a total of 7 cards per hand with each round adding one additional card starting with 3. At the end of the round, all players show their cards and the best 5-card combination wins.
RazzRazz has a similar ruleset to 7-Card Stud but with a very different goal; have the worst hand at the end of the game. In this Poker variant, low-value cards are the most valuable as the best hand possible is A,2,3,4,5. As with 7-Card Stud, you are given a total of 7 cards with the final results being based on a 5-card combination.
Omaha Hi-LowH-Low variants of Omaha split your 4 card hand into two two-card hands of both the highest value and lowest value cards. At the end of the round, the final result is based on the highest hand and the lowest hand of both the two hand cards and the 3 highest/lowest cards on the board. The pot is split and awarded to the highest and lowest hands at the end of the round. If you have both of those then you take home the full pot.
2-7 Triple Draw2-7 Triple Draw is similar to Razz and Omaha Hi-Low in that the goal of the game is to have the lowest value hand at the end of the round. 2-7 Triple Draw, however, contains 3 separate phases where you can swap up to 5 cards in your hand for new cards with the cards being revealed after the 3rd phase to decide the winner.
Five Card DrawAn old classic version of Poker that is very popular for casual play. It follows the rules of standard 5-card Poker but you can swap cards each round for new ones to help maximise your hand cards. At the end of the round, the highest value 5-card combination wins.
BadugiBadugi follows traditional Low Poker rules and hand values but the hand consists of 4 cards total. Each round up to 4 cards can be swapped and, on the final round, each hand is revealed with the lowest taking the pot.
HorseHorse is an extravaganza of 5 of the top Poker variations all at one table. Texas Hold’Em, Omaha, Razz, Seven-Card Stud, and Seven-Card Stud Hi-Low are played in a sequence with a plaque indicating which letter of HORSE is being played on the current round. Sit back and get the ultimate Poker Pick’n Mix experience.

Where can you play poker online?

You can play all of the best online poker games, including the top live poker games, now on MrQ. Sign up to MrQ today to receive 20 free spins and 24 hours of free online bingo!


Can I win real cash playing poker on MrQ?

Yes! All of our table casino games are real money games with up to £100,000 to be won.

Is poker a game of skill?

Poker is a game of skill as it involves strategising your hand and knowing when to raise or fold. Having a plan for what to do with your hand is where poker becomes a game of skill.

Can I play poker online?

You can play all of the best poker games now on MrQ. Sign up today for wager-free real money poker!

Can I play poker live on MrQ?

You can play all of the top poker games with a real casino dealer live 24 hours a day on MrQ. Play some of the top poker games including 2 hand, 3 card, and Caribbean Stud poker!

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