A little history
Poker, as you may well know, even if only through old movies, is a very old game to which it is very difficult to put a date and a place of birth to.
The game is believed to have started in Europe between the 18th and 19th centuries with a very simple version of it. A version that was later taken to North America where over time it underwent a very important evolution, until it became more or less what we know today as poker.
Poker spread rapidly throughout the United States and was re-exported to Europe through film and television. In fact, you probably remember the famous western cowboys playing and fighting for a game of poker or later, the gangsters gambling large sums of money in clubs and clandestine gatherings.
Today, thanks to the internet and online gambling, it is one of the games that has the most fans and is spread practically all over the world. Any online casino offers you poker in all its variants.
We can say that now-a-days the type of poker most played in online casinos around the world is Texas Hold’em poker.
We will explain what poker consists of, the general rules with the possible winning combinations and each variant of poker.
First of all let’s talk about the deck. It is played with the English deck consisting of 52 cards divided into four suits of hearts, diamonds, spades and clubs (i.e. 13 cards per suit). The cards are numbered from 2 to 10, and we also have the figures (K – king, Q – queen and J – jack) and the Ace, which is the highest value card. Joker cards are unused in most of the different versions of poker.
The objective of this game is to get the best winning combination of cards to win against all other players.
You must bear in mind that not only can you win with the best winning combination, but you can also make believe that you have the winning hand even if it is not true and make the other players withdraw thinking that they have lost. This is what is called doing a “bluff”. In this case, if the other players fold, you won’t even have to show the cards you bet with. No one will really know if you had a good hand or you were bluffing and have automatically won the hand.
Fundamentally to be able to play poker well is to know the possible winning hands or combinations and to know which of them is stronger and which hand wins over the others. Next we are going to make a classification of these combinations from highest to lowest value:
- Royal Flush Straight: it is the highest combination and consists of having the five consecutive cards of highest value plus of the same suit (i.e. A, K, Q, J, and 10 of hearts).
- Straight flush: five consecutive cards of the same suit, without being the highest value (e.g. 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 of spades).
- Poker: four cards of equal value (e.g. four 10s).
- Full House: hand composed of three cards of the same value and two other cards different from the first ones, but of equal value to each other (i.e. three of a kind and a pair) (e.g. three Aces + two Js).
- Flush: five non-consecutive cards of the same suit (e.g. 5-8-J-3-7 of clubs).
- Straight: five consecutive cards regardless of the suit but just the sequence (e.g. 6 of hearts, 5 of spades, 4 of clubs, 3 of spades and 2 of diamonds).
- Three of a kind: three cards of the same rank (e.g. three Ks).
- Double pairs: two pairs of cards of the same rank (e.g. two 6s + 2 4s).
- Pair: two cards of the same rank (e.g. two 5s).
- Highest Card: If there is no winning combination mentioned above, then the highest card wins.
Types of Poker
Nowadays, when we talk about poker without a doubt, we are talking about the variant of Poker Texas Hold’em. With the advent of online casinos, this type of poker overwhelmingly prevailed over any other modality reaching all corners of the world and making poker today playing Texas Hold’em Poker.
Therefore, we are going to expand a little more on this variant but we will also explain other versions that are also well known.
Texas Hold’em Poker
In each hand, one of the players will occupy the position of the dealer. This position is marked by a large disk (i.e. dealer button), which is passed after each hand from player to player, always in a clockwise manner.
To start a hand, the first thing to do is place the mandatory bets, which are the “small blind” that corresponds to the player sitting to the left of the dealer and the “big blind” to the player to the left of the “small blind”. Both players are required to place a minimum bet without having seen the cards.
Once the blinds are on the table each player receives two cards face down which only you can see.
The objective of this game is to achieve the best possible combination between the cards in hand and the five community cards that will be placed on the table.
The player sitting to the left of the “big blind” begins by choosing between calling the amount of the big blind, raising it or leaving the game by throwing the cards face down on the table “fold”. The rest of the players take their turn in doing so.
If there are at least two players left at the table then the dealer places the “flop” which are the first three community cards placed face up in the center of the table.
The game resumes from the first player to the left of the dealer who is in the game (i.e. who still has cards).
Each player can check (i.e. not bet or do anything, just wait) or bet. Once a player bets, they can no longer check but the rest of the players can call, raise or fold.
After this round of betting, the dealer draws a fourth community card “turn” and places it on the table next to the other three cards.
Then a new round of betting begins and finally the dealer shows the fifth and last card known as the “river” and a last round of betting takes place.
Once this last round is closed, the players will uncover their cards to see who has the best combination and the best one will be the winner. This final action of showing the cards is known as “showdown”.
Also known as five-card discard poker (Poker 5 Cards Draw). Until Texas Hold’em Poker came to take over, five card draw poker was the best known and most played poker in the world. That’s why middle-aged players talking about poker refer to this version.
And how do you play? Well, you start by placing the dealer’s chip and then the players to the left of the dealer will have to post the big blind and the small blind respectively. The dealer will then deal five cards facing down to each player.
Now the betting round begins. The player furthest to the left of the big blind will go first and after which each of the remaining players will take their turn.
Players can either fold or if they want to stay in the game they will have to at least call the big blind.
Once the first betting round is over, the discard round comes next. Each player who is still in the game, in turn, will have to decide if he will keep all the cards he has received. In this case, we say that he has been “served” or if he discards any card to replace them with others from the deck. You can discard the cards you want, from one to five.
Once the discard round is over and the new cards are in hand, the second and last betting round will begin. Each player will have to decide based on their cards whether to continue and bet, or fold and lose what they have already bet.
If there is only one player left at the table, he automatically wins and if there are at least two left, it is time for the showdown, meaning each of them will have to uncover the cards by putting them on the table. The player with the highest winning combination wins.
In this variant of poker, like Texas Hold’em, it is played with hole (i.e. face down) cards and with common cards.
Each player receives four cards face down that are their own and five cards are revealed face up in the center of the table that are common to all players.
Winning combinations must be made with two hole cards and three common cards, no other option is valid.
There are four rounds of betting and the following order is followed:
- Pre-flop: it is the initial round of betting where each player, based on their cards, decides whether to stay in the game by calling, or raising the big blind or folding.
- Flop: After the first round of betting is over, the dealer places three cards face up in the center of the table and the second round of betting begins.
- Turn: then the fourth community card is placed in the center of the table followed by the next session of betting.
- River: a fifth community card is placed in the center of the table and the final bets are made.
- Showdown: after all bets are made, the cards are turned face up and the player with the best winning combination with two hole cards and three common cards wins.
5-Card Stud Poker
Also known as Street Poker. It also has four betting rounds.
In this version, each player must place an “ante” at the beginning of each hand. The “ante” is the minimum bet required and is necessary to be able to participate in each hand.
Each opponent receives two cards, one face down for the player’s eyes only and another face up that will be visible to all. Whoever has the lowest visible card is the one who will begin and place their bet. The rest will do so in turns, being able to call the bet, raise it or fold.
Consequently, another uncovered card is dealt to each player and whoever has the best combination of cards, only the visible ones, will begin to place their bet, followed by the rest of the players.
The rest of the betting rounds are done in the same way so that by the end of the last round, each of the players will have four visible cards and one hidden card.
The hidden card will be then shown and the player with the best combination wins.
7-card stud poker
In this mode, each player will have at the end of the hand seven cards, three hidden and the other four face up and visible to all.
In this type of poker, the game is played with the “ante” mode, that is to say, the minimum bet required for all players that must be placed before starting to deal the cards.
In the first round three cards are dealt, two face down and one face up and are visible to all. The betting rounds are five in this mode. At the end of each betting round, a card will be dealt face up and visible to each player except in the last round where each one of the players will be dealt a card face down.
Thus, at the time of showing the cards, “showdown”, each player will have three cards face down and four which are facing up.
The player with the best 5-card combination out of his seven will be the winner.
A form of poker that in recent years has gained many followers. It is halfway between table poker and slot machines. It is a combination of both, where you play poker on a slot machine.
The game is chosen, bets are made and the button is clicked to start the game.
The player will see five cards on the screen and must choose which cards they want to keep. There will be a second round of cards to replace the discarded ones, and the winning combinations will be made. The objective of the game will be to achieve the best winning combination. If you want to know more details about this version of poker, click on our guide to playing video poker.
Our tips and tricks
Our first tip is you do not sit at a poker table where you play real money without knowing the rules of the game and its different winning combinations.
Know which version of poker you are going to play and familiarize yourself with its rules, so you will not get any unexpected surprises.
Of course, to gain confidence and gain a little practice, you can use the free platforms offered by online casinos and try different strategies and moves without risking real money.
Learn when not to play a hand when you see that the cards are not good. Many times we want to play at all costs and even when our cards are terrible, we continue and bet. It is a big mistake that will lead us to losing more money since the game and the fun are over very soon. It is better to give up a bad hand without losing anything and enjoy the excitement later with a good hand that allows you to win and have fun.
Knowing when to back out on time is very important. So establish a budget that you can spend and if you lose it, retire. You have to set limits and respect them.
Play responsibly and for fun, not to earn money.
Play only on legal platforms that are legally licensed and that offer you all the necessary guarantees.
For more information on responsible gambling, click on
And with all this you already know everything you need to play poker, find the casino that you like the most and start practicing your moves and your poker face!
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a “burn card”?
The first card of the deck is discarded or burned from the game before drawing the initial three “fold” cards, fourth “flop”and fifth card “river” for players not to use. This is mainly done to avoid cheating or in some cases a misdealt card.
What is “showdown” in poker?
It is the moment that occurs at the end of all rounds. When all the betting rounds have finished, you have to show the cards that each one has to see in order to determine who has the highest combination that will win.
What is a “dead hand”?
It is a hand declared invalid by the dealer which occurs for different reasons. For example, if the player throws the cards by mistake, they can no longer get them back since the hand has become disqualified. Or, if for any reason a player has more cards in his hand than allowed; or if the cards are thrown and mixed with those of another player, etc.
What does “draw” mean in poker?
Other terms are “drawing hand” and “come hand”. We use this term when we have a good hand and that has a chance of obtaining a winning combination only if the correct cards come out. In this case we say we have a “draw”.
Is poker a game of chance?
We would say both. It is true that luck often plays a very important trick but poker is a game that allows you to apply experience and knowledge in such a way that a good player should eventually win.
Can you play online poker in the free version?
Yes, today poker is a super popular casino game and that is why most casinos offer you free play so that you can practice without betting money.
Can I get bonuses to play poker?
Of course, as for the rest of the online casino games, also with poker you will find many offers and bonuses to play.