How to Play Online Poker


Regardless of the poker variation you play, the game will usually feature at least one round of betting. Depending on the amount of money in the pot, you may decide to call, raise, or fold. You can also bluff, which is when you attempt to convince other players that your hand is better than theirs. If no other players call, you win the entire pot.

The basic rules of all poker games are the same. Each player is given a face-down card and a chance to check, raise, or fold. The first player to act is called the first bettor. If no other players call the bet, the player who made it is said to “fold.” The player who does not fold, on the other hand, is called the “drop.” If the drop is successful, all of the remaining players are seated in the “second to act” position. This is usually the player who sits directly to the left of the button.

The turn passes from player to player, and the next round of betting starts. The last player to act is called the dealer. The dealer has the final right to shuffle and pass out the cards. He or she may pass out all the cards at once or pass out one or more sets of cards.

A standard hand is five cards in sequence. The hand can be an open-ended straight (two cards from outside), a gutshot (two cards from inside), or an open-ended flush (five cards of the same suit). A pair of aces is the lowest pair. The highest possible hand is trip sevens.

An ante is a small bet that all players make at the start of the hand. It is usually a single dollar or five dollars. It gives the pot a value immediately. The pot is then divided into a side pot, which is separate from the main pot. The side pot is used for subsequent betting. If no other players call the bet, a showdown occurs. During a showdown, the best poker hand wins the pot.

A “backdoor flush” is achieved by hitting needed cards on the turn and river. If you have pocket cards 5 and 6 in any order, you must have 7 on the turn or river to be considered a backdoor flush. A straight is five cards in sequential order. The highest possible straight is 8-9. A “gutshot” is a straight that is completed from the inside. The odds of a gutshot are half as likely to hit as an open-ended straight.

The first bettor is the player with the highest ranking poker combination. The second bettor is the player who is the next higher rank, and so on. If there are no other players calling the bet, the first bettor is said to “raise.” The player who is the first bettor may choose to check in later betting intervals.

A pot is the aggregate of all the bets that all the players in the game have made during the deal. The pot can be won by making the best possible poker hand, by bluffing, or by other players deciding to call the bet.