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How to Play Poker Online Like a Pro: Your Definitive Guide

How to Play Poker Online Like a Pro: Your Definitive Guide

Everyone’s familiar with Poker—it’s practically a global pastime. Even in India, they’ve got their own spin on it called Teen Patti. It’s a staple in every casino, whether you’re hitting the tables in person or online. Now, while the basics might seem straightforward, newcomers often stumble over common pitfalls. But fear not, rookies! With our guide on how to play Poker online, you’ll never have to second-guess your game again.

Our guide pretty much covers the 401 on all things Poker—from its multiple types of bets, hands, and even a few strategies brought especially to you by 12BET Casino!

With that, come hit the tables with us to learn how to play one of the most universal casino card games out there.

How to Play Poker: The Poker Rules

Poker is a gem of a card game and is one of the most popular casino games online. But whether you’re playing HORSE, Omaha, or good ol’ Texas Hold’em, each flavor of Poker comes with its own set of rules and unique twists. But don’t sweat it! Getting the hang of how to play Poker is a breeze.

No matter the variation, the goal remains crystal clear: assemble a killer hand that outshines your opponents’. Simple as that!

With that, here’s an example of how Texas Hold‘Em poker, one of the classics and easiest to pick up, goes. Here’s a quick step-by-step on how to play Poker:

  1. Everyone gets their cards, and we kick off with some initial bets.
  2. Community cards hit the table, and we start the betting rounds.
  3. Another card comes out, sparking another round of betting.
  4. The last card joins the party, followed by one final betting round.
  5. It’s showdown time! Players still hanging in there reveal their hands to see who takes the win.

Now, here are a few more Poker rules to keep in mind throughout your gameplay:

How to Play Poker: The Poker Rules

Blinds and Ante Bets

When you’re getting the gist on how to play Poker, games like Hold’em and Omaha got these things called blinds. You’ve got your small blind and big blind, and they’re called “blind” bets because you’re tossing them in before you even lay eyes on your cards. 

Now, in stud games, it’s a bit different—they go for “antes.” Same deal though, everyone’s chucking some chips into the pot before the action starts.

Need to learn how much those colorful chips cost? Consider learning about it in our guide on Poker Chip Values: Mastering Chip Colors and Denominations.

The Action

Alright, now let’s pop into the action at the table. When it’s your turn, you’ve got some options to consider:

  • Check: Basically saying, “I’m good for now, no bet from me.”
  • Fold: If things aren’t looking promising, you can gracefully bow out of the hand.
  • Bet: Feeling confident? Throw some chips in and make a wager.
  • Raise: Wanna up the ante? Match your opponent’s bet and then some.
  • Call: Stick around by matching your opponent’s bet to keep playing.

Knowing these moves when you’re just getting started on how to play Poker is crucial no matter what kind of Poker game you’re playing—they’re like your toolkit for the game.

The Betting Rounds

Finally, let’s talk about how the betting goes down. In games with community cards like Hold’em and Omaha, here are some key phrases to keep in mind:

  • Preflop: Before anyone sees those community cards, it’s time to place your bets.
  • Flop: After the first three community cards hit the table, things start to heat up.
  • Turn: When the fourth community card shows up, the action gets even more intense.
  • River: The last community card hits the table, and it’s time to make your final moves.

Understanding the Poker Hands

There’s a reason why Poker has one of the best casino game odds. It’s often because the game truly does favor the players on more than one occasion. So, if you want to take advantage of that little secret, it’s key in learning how to play Poker to understand every Poker hand. These will be your base guide to Poker victory, so be sure to pay attention!

With that, here are the ten hand rankings in Poker, from highest to lowest:

Royal Flush

How to Play Poker with Poker Hand Rankings: Royal Flush

First up, we’ve got the Royal Flush. This is the crème de la crème, the ultimate hand. Picture an ace, king, queen, jack, and ten, all in the same suit. It’s super rare and pretty much unbeatable. You’ll hardly ever see one, especially if you’re playing Texas Hold’em.

Straight Flush

How to Play Poker with Poker Hand Rankings: Straight Flush

It’s like the Royal Flush’s little sibling—not as fancy, but still impressive. This hand is five cards in a sequential row, all in the same suit. It’s not as rare as a Royal Flush, but it’s still a big deal. The only thing that beats it is, you guessed it, a Royal Flush.

Four of a Kind

How to Play Poker with Poker Hand Rankings: Four of a Kind

This is when you’ve got four cards of the same value, like four aces. When you’re understanding how to play Poker, know that the Four of a Kind is a seriously strong hand. However, it can still be beaten by a Royal or Straight Flush.

Full House

How to Play Poker with Poker Hand Rankings: Full House

Now, when it comes to getting the gist on how to play poker, the Full House is a mix of three-of-a-kind and a pair. It doesn’t matter which way round it is, as long as you’ve got three of one card and a pair of another. So, if two players both have a Full House, the one with the higher three-of-a-kind wins.

Flush

How to Play Poker with Poker Hand Rankings: Flush

A Flush when you’ve got five cards all in the same suit, regardless of the order. So whether it’s all hearts, diamonds, clubs, or spades, if they match, you’ve got yourself a Flush.

Now, here’s the deal for one of the most common casino card games: the strength of your Flush still depends on the highest card you’ve got. When learning how to play Poker, know that when two players both have a Flush, the one with the highest card takes the pot. If those cards are the same, then it’s all about the second-highest card, and so on down the line. So, having that top card can really make or break your Flush.

Straight

How to Play Poker with Poker Hand Rankings: Straight

A hand ranking that’s nearly similar to a Flush, the Straight in Poker is when you’ve got five cards lined up in a row, like 2♣ 3♠ 4♥ 5♠ 6♦. When learning how to play Poker, it’s important to understand that in a Straight, the suits don’t really matter, except if all five cards are the same suit, then you’ve hit the jackpot—that’s called a Straight Flush.

Now, if two players happen to have a Straight in hand, the one with the highest card at the top of the line takes the win. Easy as that!

Three of a Kind

How to Play Poker with Poker Hand Rankings: Three of a Kind

When you’ve got three-of-a-kind in poker, it means you’ve scored three cards of the same value along with two random ones, like three kings, plus a two and a five. Not too shabby, right? Now, if two players both hit the three-of-a-kind, the one with the highest ranked trio takes home the prize. Simple as that!

Two Pair

How to Play Poker with Poker Hand Rankings: Two Pair

This is one of the common winning hands to know when you’re learning how to play Poker; but only if your opponent doesn’t have that fancy Royal Flush. Two Pair is, well, two pairs of cards with matching ranks, plus one extra highest-ranked card. If two players have a Two Pair, the winner is the one with the highest pairs.

One Pair

How to Play Poker with Poker Hand Rankings: One Pair

Here’s another hand ranking that’s easy to learn when you’re understanding how to play Poker. One Pair or Pair is just what it sounds like—two cards of the same value in different suits, plus three other highest-ranked cards.

High Card

How to Play Poker with Poker Hand Rankings: High Card

And finally, we’ve got the High Card. This is when you don’t have any of the other hands we’ve talked about. It’s just your highest card, with Aces being the best and 2s being the worst. It’s the most common hand you’ll get, but it’s usually not enough to win a big pot.

Types of Poker Bets

Now that you’ve got the basic rundown of how to play Poker by understanding the rank hands, let’s get you started on some of the important bets. Keep in mind that there are nine Poker bets, with some even becoming key winning moments for the best Poker players of all time.

Value Bet

This move is all about getting your opponents to toss more chips into the pot. You want them to feel comfy enough to cough up their chips without realizing they’re in trouble. So, you make a bet that’s around half the size of the pot or as close to the max as you can.

Say you’re doing a free demo Poker game whilst learning, and you get some decent cards like Q♠J♦. But the flop shows 5♣Q♣K♦. This means you’ve got a pretty good pair of queens there, especially with that Jack.

Now, if the turn and river don’t bring any more jacks, you’re in a solid position to beat most other players with just a queen. Players holding a measly 5 or pocket pairs below 10 might even be tempted to stick around if your bet isn’t too crazy.

Continuation Bet

This is a bet you make after raising before the flop and during the flop.

You make this bet when you think you’ve got a shot at winning based on the cards you’ve got. Say you’ve got a decent hand like an ace or king and a higher card, like a ten or higher. You can raise before the flop and then bet again when the flop comes out if it looks promising. If your opponents buy into your bet, they might be overestimating their own hand.

Did you know that the results of a poker game is influenced by a thing called variance? Learn all about it through our quick guide on Mastering Poker Variance: Ways to Get Steady Gains.

Probe Bet

Alright, let’s get into how to play Poker with the Probe bet.

This type of Poker bet is a sneaky move that can really throw your opponents off. So, imagine you’ve got an aggressive player who’s been betting up a storm before the flop, but then they suddenly go quiet after the flop. They’re probably feeling a bit lost with their hand. That’s where probing comes in.

You make a bet that’s about the same size as the pot, making it look like you’ve got a strong hand. But really, you’re just waiting for a good draw on the next couple of cards. In this case, you use blockers—cards that stop your opponents from getting the best hand.

For example, if the flop comes out as 5♦8♥6♥ and you’ve got an 8♣ and a 4♠, that’s a good blocker set. It stops others from getting a better hand. Respond by calling with a decent hand or a good draw, or play it safe and just check.

Slow Play

Poker Bet Types: Slow Play

When you’re learning how to play Poker, it’s important to remember to take things slow. 

Sometimes, you’ve got a killer hand, but you don’t want to scare off your opponents too soon. That’s where slow play comes in. You play it cool, checking or calling until the very end, and then you hit them with a big bet on the river.

Consider getting a pair of eights on the flop. You’re feeling pretty good, but you don’t want to tip your hand too early. So, you keep it cool until the river, and then you go all-in.

Overbet

If you’re looking for ways to turn up the heat while learning the gist of how to play Poker, consider an Overbet. An overbet is when you go big or go home.

You throw down a bet that’s way bigger than the pot, making your opponents second-guess themselves. This move can either force them to fold or make them pay big to see your hand. If you’ve got a strong hand and you want to make a statement, an overbet is the way to go.

Three-Bet

Poker Bet Types: Three Bet

So, your opponent raises the bet, and you’re not backing down. You come back with an even higher bet, and that’s called a three-bet. If you’re trying to learn how to play Poker, know that this move is done when you’ve got a strong hand or when you’re feeling confident enough to bluff. It’s all about showing your opponents who’s boss.

So, when you’re thinking about pulling off a three-bet play, you’re basically mixing it up with some value bets for your strong hands and throwing in some semi-bluffs for those decent ranges when you hit the flop. You know, like when you’ve got pocket pairs or those high cards like A♣K♦ or Q♠ A♦, they’re prime for a three-bet value move.

But here’s the thing: if you keep hitting them with value bets every time, savvy players at the table might catch on that you’re the big threat. That’s where the beauty of mixing it up comes in. Tossing in some semi-bluff hands alongside your value bets can really throw them off.

This is especially true if you’re sitting in a mid-range position and you’re eyeing a potential flush or straight draw, those semi-bluffs can be a lifesaver, helping you navigate those strong connecting flops.

Pot Bet

Another key bet to remember when understanding how to play Poker is that if you want to pump up the pot, you go for a pot bet. You raise the bet to match the current size of the pot, and suddenly, everyone’s paying attention. It’s a bold move that can shake up the game and put some serious chips on the line.

All-In Bet

Poker Bet Types: All In

This goes without saying, and probably one of the most common Poker phrases you’ll hear at a game or in a movie. Basically, when you’re ready to go all-in, you’re putting everything you’ve got on the line.

You push all your chips into the pot and dare your opponents to match it. It’s a high-stakes move that can either make you a hero or send you packing.

Donk Bet

One of the sneakier bets to remember is the Donk bet. It’s when you raise the bet after the flop, even though you’re not in the best position. Basically, it’s a move that can catch your opponents off guard and give you the upper hand. Just be careful not to overuse it, or you might give away your strategy.

So there you have it—some key betting moves to add to your Poker playbook. Whether you’re looking to win big or bluff your way to victory, these moves will help you keep your opponents guessing and rake in those chips.

How to Play Poker Online: Step-by-Step Guide

We know, it was certainly a lot to get through before you finally came down to the actual hands-on. But trust us when we say you’ll be thanking us for all that detailed info, guaranteed to help you out on your next online poker venture!

Ready to get started? Great, so—here’s how to play Poker online:

1. Place Your Bets

Alright, so right before the cards are dealt, all players have to place their bets. This is where the ante bets or blinds come into play.

Always remember: Ante bets are where everyone tosses in the same amount, while blinds involve the players next to the dealer tossing in different amounts.

Then, each player gets two cards facedown. Now, it’s decision time. Are you gonna check and see how things play out, match someone else’s bet, or fold if you’re not feeling it? Remember, once someone throws in that first bet, everyone else has to match it to stay in the game.

2. Check the Community Cards

Once all the betting’s sorted, it’s the part of how to play Poker where you flop! Three cards hit the table face up, giving everyone a better sense of what they’re working with. Another round of betting kicks off here.

3. Turn Up the Heat!

Now comes the turn. This fourth card might just be what you need to beef up your hand. Keep in mind, though, you’re still aiming for the best five-card combo. Another betting round follows suit.

4. Final Hands on Deck

The river flows in with the fifth face-up card. This is where you see your hand’s true colors. But hold up, one more betting round before the big reveal.

5. Showdown Time: Win or Lose?

Finally, in the overall scale of how to play Poker, all players get to lay out those cards on the table and see who’s got the winning hand. If there’s a tie, the kicker—the highest card—breaks it.But if there isn’t, the winner takes the pot!

What’s the Best Poker Strategy?: 12BET Casino Tip!

What’s the Best Poker Strategy?: 12BET Casino Tip!

Poker has a ton of strategies for beginners and advanced players. Here’s a little something in-between of those two, brought to you by our 12BET Casino team. With that, here are the best poker strategies you should add on to your gaming arsenal:

  1. Keep It Tight, Play It Bold. Save your chips by sticking to a select few hands, and when you do, go all-in with confidence!
  2. No Limping, Be the Boss. When starting out on how to play Poker, make sure to never start weak; always come in strong. Limping is a no-go, but sometimes over-limping can slide, just be careful!
  3. Semi-Bluff with Style, Use Those Draws. Spice up your bluffs with draws like straights or flushes. It adds a little extra oomph to your game.
  4. Don’t Hold Back on Good Hands. When you’ve got a killer hand, don’t be shy! Build up the pot and protect what’s yours, unless there’s a good reason not to.
  5. Big Blind Defense 101. Make the most out of your big blind advantage. Consider everything from your position to your opponent’s moves.
  6. When in Doubt, Fold It Out. Pros know when to fold ’em. If you’re unsure, don’t sweat it. Just fold and live to play another hand.
  7. Spot Weakness, Go for the Win. This is a crucial tip when you’re learning how to play Poker. Keep an eye out for any signs of weakness from your opponents. Then, pounce on those opportunities with aggressive betting.
  8. Start Strong in Tournaments. Don’t just sit back and wait; go after those chips early on in tournaments. It’s all about building momentum from the get-go.
  9. Play Happy, Win Happy. Poker’s all about enjoying yourself. If you’re not feeling it, take a break. It’ll save you some cash and keep the game fun.
  10. Find Your Winning Table. Seek out those tables where you’ve got the edge. Look for weaker players and tables with conditions that suit your style. That’s where the real fun and profit are!

Final Words on How to Play Online Poker

So, to sum it all up, Poker is a casino card game that’s played everywhere, from casinos to online platforms. Our guide on how to play Poker is the best piece for both newbies and seasoned pros, and we hope you’ve learned much from everything that’s been covered. We’ve dished out all the info you need, from hand rankings to betting tips, so you can strut your stuff at the tables like a champ.

So, what are you waiting for? Try getting started on playing Poker online by visiting 12BET’s online casino today!

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