Poker Rules Tips Strategy Guide

Poker Guide

Poker is part of the Holy Trio of casino games together with roulette and blackjack. It is incredibly popular around the world with millions of fans. Apart from the fact that it’s played in online casinos, poker is also played as a social game between friends for fun and competitively too. Some of the biggest card game tournaments in the world are based on poker games such as Texas Holdem.

Poker’s popularity exploded in the middle of the 2000s when the game went online. New variants such as Texas Hold’em played a big part in it. Ever since the game went online, the rules of poker have been evolving, making the thrilling game even more exciting. If you never played online poker and you always wanted to learn how to do it, mougle.com’s guide is here to help.

We will tell you everything you need to know about poker rules and list all the important poker variants online. We’ll also give you the best poker strategies. Our experts have shared their knowledge and top poker tips and tricks for your convenience so you can turn from beginner to pro.

Continue reading our poker guide and you’ll be well on your way to entering major poker tournaments such as the WSOP.

Poker Rules

While many see poker as a complex game, it actually is very simple. The card game is played with several cards with the goal of forming the strongest hand at the table. Hands are formed according to the value of the cards. If you get two strong cards at the beginning of the round, you’ll be in a much better position to beat other players later.

A strong hand also neutralizes any chance of getting into trouble. This is why it’s important to learn the poker rules and strength of hands by heart so you don’t find yourself in a situation of playing with bad poker odds.

Like other skill-based games, poker takes a lot of practice. Beginners shouldn’t rely on luck. As a matter of fact, your bankroll will be depleted quickly in a poker game if you don’t know how to play poker. Playing with cards that have poor odds is not a great idea, so learning more about the strength of the hands is vital.

Poker Hand Rankings

Poker hands always contain five cards. The same hands are in play for all types of poker variants so you better go through them properly and memorize the sequences like a pro. Our poker guide will list all poker hands from strongest to weakest which should help you determine your chances the next time you find yourself playing against others.

All the Poker Hands Ranked

  • Royal Flush: five cards in sequence from the same suit indicate a flush. The royal flush is the strongest possible flush in poker, with an ace as the high card.
  • Five of a Kind: this is a poker hand that contains five cards of the same rank – for example, five 2s. This one ranks above a straight flush and can only be completed with a joker since there are only four cards of each rank in a deck.
  • Straight Flush: a straight flush is a poker hand that contains five cards of the same suit.
  • Four of a Kind: similar to the five of a kind hand, this one contains four cards of the same suit and one called a kicker. A four of a kind is ranked by the rank of its quadruplets and then the kicker. To put things into perspective, a K-K-K-K-4 hand ranks better than a 9-9-9-9-K hand.
  • Full House: a full house is a poker hand that contains three same cards of one rank and two of another rank.
  • Three of a Kind: this poker hand contains three cards of one rank and two cards of two other ranks (2 different kickers).
  • Two Pair: a two pair consists of two cards of one rank and two cards of another rank.
  • One Pair: contrary to the two pair hand, a one pair contains two cards of the same rank.
  • High Card: a high card or no pair indicates a poker hand that doesn’t fall into any category.

Memorize the Rules and Hand Rankings

Aside from knowing the hands by heart, the poker rules are very simple. After the initial two cards are dealt at the beginning of the game, you follow the rules of each variant to add cards to your hand and build a strong one.

The basic poker rules are not complicated at all. The rules online are slightly different from variant to variant. However, each cardroom follows the so-called Robert’s rules of poker which represent the official guidelines for playing poker arranged in an easy to understand format.

How to Play Poker

Even if this is your first time playing online poker, you won’t find it hard to get the poker rules. No matter if you’re playing Omaha, Hi Lo, Stud Poker, Texas Hold’em, or any other popular variant, the rules will be available from the game’s info page 99.99% of the time.

The greatest thing about online poker is that you can practice how to play the game for free. You don’t need to spend your bankroll and learn the poker rules on the fly. Simply find a free online variant and practice all you want. Our experts recommend doing so until you get comfortable with the game. Remember: luck plays a part in poker, but not that big of a part as in roulette. If you want to win in online poker, you’ll need to rely on your skills.

mougle.com’s handy poker guide will tell you all you need to know about online poker. We’ll help you learn how to play poker online and show you how to build a stronger hand and collect the virtual pot.

Online Poker Betting Rules

When you start a poker game, for example, a Texas Hold’em variant, the initial round starts with a player who posts the small blind. That’s the first forced bet of the game. This would be the first player clockwise from the dealer button.

Once the small blind has been dealt with, the player clockwise from the small blind posts the so-called big blind. This is usually twice the size of the small blind, although the exact amount depends on the variant you’re playing.

In Limit games, the blinds are equal. This would be indicated next to the game – for example, $1/$2. Depending on the game, you might also need to post an Ante bet into the pot. This is another forced bet that ‘feeds’ the pot you might eventually win at the end of the game.

Once the blinds have been posted (along with the eventual Ante bet), the game begins. Players receive two cards (hole cards) and the betting action proceeds. According to the basic poker rules, you can either check, fold, bet, call, or raise your bet. This, of course, depends on the variant you’re playing.

Pre-Flop Betting

In Texas Hold’em, the pre-flop betting process starts when all players learn their cards. The player next to the big blind starts by either calling or raising the blind. All the action proceeds in clockwise order at the table. The betting process will end when all active players have placed their bets in the pot unless they have folded.

The Flop

The Flop indicates the point when three cards are added to the table. In Holdem, these three cards are community cards shared by the players. The betting proceeds in similar fashion to pre-flop betting. Of course, you can also opt to check and pass the action to the next player.

The Turn

According to Texas Holdem poker rules, the turn is the fourth community card on the table. Once it is dealt, another round of betting commences.

The River

The River is a term for the fifth and final community card added to the table. The same poker betting rules apply for this round.

The Showdown

If more than one player remains in play after the river, the hands are compared if there’s no bet on the final round. The player with the strongest hands wins the game and the pot. If there are two identical hands in the end, the rules of Texas Hold’em poker state that the pot is equally divided between those players.

We’ve picked to show you Texas Hold’em rules because it’s the most commonly player online poker variant today. Before you start playing for cash, try Texas Hold’em for free at mougle.com’s recommended online casinos. Master the game and you’ll see how easy and fun it is to play.

Online Poker Variants

As mentioned, the cool thing about online poker is that it offers so many variants to play. Why be stuck with a single poker table when you can have a world of poker games at your fingertips? From Omaha and Texas Hold’em to Three Card Poker and below, mougle.com shows you the best poker games you can play online for free or real money.

Omaha Poker

If you take a look at the rules of poker Omaha, you’ll see that they are very similar to Holdem.  The blinds and betting are almost 100% the same with the only difference being in the number of hole cards dealt. There are several Omaha variants you can try in most online casinos – Pot-Limit Omaha and Omaha Hi-Lo.

Pot-Limit Omaha

The pot limit variant plays a lot like Hold’em – the basic betting rules including the five community cards and the flop, turn, and river are the same. However, you get four hole cards initially instead of two. To make your best hand, you must use only two hole cards and three from the community cards.

With a bit of practice, Pot-Limit Omaha is not that different from Texas Hold’em.

Omaha Hi-Lo

If you learned how to play Pot-Limit Omaha, Hi-Lo is very easy. The poker rules for this variant say that the pot is split between the best high hand and the best low hand. If you manage to have the best of both worlds, you win the whole pot. This is known as scooping.

Three Card Poker

The 3 card poker rules indicate that the game is played with a standard deck of 52 cards. This variant is actually 2 games combined into one. Unlike other popular variants of poker, in three card poker, you use the Play (Ante) wager to bet against the dealer’s hand.

After the Ante bets at the table have been placed, players get 3 cards face down and examine them. The round of betting follows basic poker rules.As soon as all players have folded or raised their bets, the dealer will reveal their cards. If the dealer doesn’t have at least a Queen high, they are not qualified. If they do have at least Queen high, the dealer compares their hands to the player’s hand to determine the winner.

5 Card Draw

Five card draw poker is one of the simplest poker variants. It’s also the variant we’ve all played as kids for fun. The rules for poker 5 card state that all players get 5 cards and that players can exchange their cards for new ones.

You can bluff your way in victory in 5 card poker, but while it may look simple, it’s a variant that is best played with a poker strategy.

Seven Card Stud Poker

This online poker variant is played with one upcard and two downcards before the first round of betting begins. The stud poker rules call for three more upcards and one more downcard later. A final round of betting commences after the last downcard.

The player who has the best five-card hand wins the pot.

Expert Poker Tips and Tricks

Our team of experts here at mougle.com have shared their vast knowledge of online poker on this page. Everybody wants to learn how to win in poker online. However, since it’s not a chance-based game, you’ll have to rely on your skills to win. And what’s the best way to hone up your skills? A lot of practice, of course.

Thanks to free online poker variants, you can practice all you want and get better at poker before you splash the cash. It’s even better when you take into consideration the expert poker tips and tricks we have for you. Improve your skills and try our tips in free poker variants if you want to win big when you sit at real money poker tables.

Best Tips for Winning Poker Online

Begin with Low-Stakes

We’d all want to pick a poker variant online and make a killing, but that simply isn’t possible if you don’t learn the poker rules and hands by heart. That can be done with a lot of practice on free poker variants. When you’re ready to move up, you should first go with low-stakes poker variants.

Why? Well, you’re less likely to lose a lot of money with low-stakes variants rather than high-stakes games. Starting with low-stakes poker games will help you get better at poker before you play with the big guns. High-stakes poker variants tend to have more challenging opposition in contrast to low-stakes poker tables online.

Start with a Single Table

Another great aspect of online poker is the so-called multi-tabling. This allows you to play multiple poker tables, but in order to do so, you’ll have to be pretty familiar with poker rules. Multi-tabling is complex so it’s best left to the experienced player. If this is your first time with online poker, you’re better off with a single table.

This will give you a chance to learn more about the game before you’re confident enough to maneuver multiple tables. Of course, it’ll also keep you from losing a lot of cash.

Keep Your Bankroll in Check

Managing your bankroll is a key tactic for winning any casino game online. This, of course, includes online poker. If you’re not careful and you don’t set limits for yourself, you will surely get into trouble sooner than later.

Setting daily winning and losing limits is a great idea to keep your bankroll in check. While it may not look like an expert tip at all, it’s one of the best tips and tricks you’ll ever get online.

Learn to Have Some Fun

No matter how good you are at poker, you will inevitably lose. That’s the thing with casino games – skills and luck play a big part, but don’t guarantee winning 100% of the time. It’s the same with online poker. You can hone up your skills all you want, but you must also be prepared for losses.

Keep one thing in mind – gaming should be fun before everything else. Even if you’re stuck in a rut, you should be able to laugh it off and leave the table before you start chasing losses.

That kind of behavior will eventually lead to more losses and destroy your bankroll and hopes of becoming a good poker player.

Learn How to React in Certain Situations

Poker is more than just a simple casino game. Aside from knowing the poker rules, you also need to learn how to react in certain situations. Playing anxiously and calling too often, for example, is one of the fastest ways to lose in a game of poker. Sometimes, you need to learn when it’s time to fold and what to do in other situations if you want to win at online poker.

Without that ‘superpower’, you will get in trouble sooner rather than later.

Online vs. Live Poker

If you’ve ever played poker online, you’re probably aware that there are differences between online and live poker. The basic rules of poker are essentially the same for all poker variants. However, there are a few notable differences.

For example, online poker games tend to be faster. They are also less risky since you can easily find a low-stakes table. In comparison, live poker games are not available for free and tend to be on the higher-stakes side. Live dealer variants are also much softer and more passive, so get ready for a slower pace and longer playing sessions.

Online poker vs. live poker pros/cons?

Online games bring much tougher competition too. In general, online poker variants are a bit better if you ask most players. They’re surely better for beginners since you can learn the basic poker rules with ease straight from the game. And, you don’t get to practice rules when you play live poker. You can only do that online, and that’s as big of an advantage as it gets.

Poker Strategy

As a game of pure skill where luck plays only a small part, it is possible to raise your winning chances in poker by learning a poker strategy. Poker is an easy game to play at mougle.com’s recommended casinos, but it will take a lot to master. This includes a lot of practice. While you can’t sit at Vegas tables and have a go for free, you can practice the game online.

Free online variants allow you to learn the poker the basic poker rules and even try out a few strategies. mougle.com’s poker guide will tell you all the basic and advanced concepts on online poker that will help you optimize your profits once you get a handle on the rules.

Basic Poker Strategies

Online poker is so much more than just playing your cards right. Many of the decisions you make will come from street smarts that can’t be learned on the table. This includes mathematical decisions, controlling your emotions and bankroll, and having a plan for a cash session that will keep you in the game for longer.

We’re going to start with a few Texas Hold’em strategies that will help you become a better player and of course, win more cash.

Pre-Flop Poker Strategy

Pre-flop planning is absolutely vital in a game of Holdem. This is where it all begins. You will make the most important decision before the flop depending on the variables involved with your hand. In a game of Texas Hold’em, it is very important to make a good decision before the flop as you will later build on the foundations.

A solid pre-flop strategy will set the tone for the rest of the session. It will essentially put you in a better position to win cash. Make a quality decision at the start of the round and continue it throughout the rest of the hand to defeat your opponents.

The best hands to play in online Texas Hold’em are big pocket pairs (AA-TT), big suited connectors (AK, AQ, KQ, AJ), and big connectors (AQ, AK, AJ, KQ). These card combinations have the best chance in a game of Holdem. Sticking to them will put you in a great position for the rest of the game.

If you want the best results, you should avoid playing many hands in an early position or in the blinds. Remember – you’ve already placed money in the pot, so you don’t need to enter more pots. Always be aware of your position in a hand and avoid playing out of position. Don’t feel committed to playing hands when in the blinds if you want to stay in the game for longer. A pre-flop raise will reduce the number of players who follow you to see a flop. In this case, it is easier to make more profitable decisions.

Choosing a good hand and folding bad ones is a great pre-flop strategy to begin with. It’s all about your starting position – that’s the most solid poker strategy you can use on Texas Hold’em online.

Post Flop Poker Strategy

With the pre-flop out of the way, it’s time to think about your post flop strategy. This requires understanding the basic poker rules and the basic poker drawing strategy. While many poker guides will suggest you to be aggressive with draws, we have to note that you have to be cautious.

By definition, a draw is not always the best hand. To put things into perspective, an unpaired straight draw makes you an underdog to any pair your opponents hold. When it comes to post-flop betting, you have to consider effective stacks and utilize your position effectively.

Position is critical in a game of poker and knowing yours is vital. If you play out of your position, you will soon be out of the action. When you play out of position, you will surely be more selective about the hands you want to continue with and as a result, bet passively.

You don’t want that. Be aware of your position and the cards you are holding in your hand to have a realistic understanding of the eventual outcome of the round.

Betting as a Bluff

You’ve surely heard all about bluff betting in a game of poker and we’re here to tell you that it’s just as important as anything else. Since you can’t bluff with a poker face in an online Hold’em variant, you can use bluff betting as a ‘smokescreen’ that might flush out some of the other players.

If you want to bluff, the trick is to wager as little chips as possible while continuing with the story that you have a big hand. This kind of bluff will let your opponent know that you have a big hand even if that’s not the case. However, being too confident with it could make you lose a lot of money. Keep as little chips involved as possible if you don’t want to lose the round.

Semi-bluffing is also possible. This move can be profitable when you hold a flush or straight. You could pick the pot up with a semi-bluff and disguise your draw. If you’re called on it, you have a way out.

Protection Betting

Protection betting can loosely be described as value betting of your hand. However, you should be smart about it. When you bet for protection of your hand, the basic poker rules say that there is a minimum amount. If you bet too little, you’re giving your opponent a chance to call you and get the pot.

Bet too much and it’s a very risky move. Keep in mind that there’s no poker strategy that can make your opponent fold. You can only make sure that they make a mistake when they continue with their hand.

Betting for Information

Betting for information is a good poker strategy the best players often use. Of course, you’ll need to learn the poker rules properly for it and be prepared for your bet to be called. In this case, you won’t learn a lot about your opponent’s hand. The pot is growing bigger while you don’t have a particularly strong hand.

We would advise against poker betting for information since you can get in trouble before you know it. If you want to get the info on your opponents, it’s best to check instead.

The poker strategies we mentioned so far are more tips and tricks than real strategies. Poker is a unique game so betting strategies that work on roulette or blackjack don’t apply to it. However, following the aforementioned tips and tricks will put you in a better position to win and claim the pot, hopefully with a lot of cash in it.

Poker Odds

Everyone surely wants to know the odds of winning at poker. In Texas Hold’em and any other poker game, the odds vary depending on the card you get. You can calculate the return for each if you know the basic poker rules and the hand rankings too. You can check the Holdem pot odds chart below and see how your chances of winning stand.

Hold’em Pot Odds Chart

Most people just use online calculators to analyze their chances to win the pot. This is tied into the poker hands and their value. When the odds are particularly against you winning, you will be the long shot for that round – in short, you’ll be the underdog no one sees winning.

Before our poker guide lets you know more about poker odds, you’ll want to learn how to calculate the so-called “outs”. These are the cards used to improve your hand and help you move ahead of your opponent.

This can be simply calculated by paying attention to the cards on the table and in your hand. For the sake of practice, let’s say you’ve got two hearts. The dealer lays out two more along with two clubs. There are four hearts at the table while you ignore what your opponent is holding. Since there are 13 heart cards per suit and there are 4 on the table, only 9 are left in play. This means that you have 9 outs you can get to win.

Winning and Losing Cards

With 9 outs and 46 unknown cards, there are now 37 cards left in the game that will cause you to lose. You will then split those cards into winning and losing cards. In this case, you have 37 cards that can cause you to lose and only 9 to win, bringing the odds to 37:9. If you simplify that number down, it ‘translates’ to 4:1. With those cards in your hands, you are 4 times more likely to lose the pot than win it.

While calculating your odds for each hand is not simple, you can do it if you play poker regularly. However, most Texas Holdem tips will suggest an online calculator that will make things easier for you.

Of course, in order to calculate the odds correctly, you also need to know everything there is about the poker rules and how to play that particular variant.

Poker House Edge

One of the very best things about online poker is that it’s a game of pure skill that doesn’t have a house edge. To put it simply, you’re playing against other players rather than the house most of the time, meaning that there’s no cut for the dealer like in blackjack. Of course, the house takes a small rake from the pot for hosting the games.

While this is true for most online poker variants, some have a house edge you should be aware of. This includes games such as Let It Ride, and Caribbean Stud – in short, poker variants where you play the house instead of other players.

The house edge varies a lot depending on the game. Caribbean Stud Poker, for example, has a house edge of 5%. Pai Gow Poker is set at 2.5%, while Three Card Poker’s house edge is as low as 1.5%, which is just around the same percentage as baccarat.

Blackjack still reigns supreme when it comes to the house edge of casino games. If you use a basic betting strategy, you can drop it to 1% or below which are very favourable odds for players.

How to Win at Online Poker

If you want to start winning at online poker, you need a lot of practice. A game of skill where you only have yourself to rely on, online poker requires strong knowledge of the rules and the hand rankings. There’s no better way to memorize them apart from a lot of practice. Thanks to free poker variants online, you can do this without much effort.

mougle.com’s poker guide is a great starting point for all new poker players. If you ever wanted to become a serious poker player, you have everything you need here in one spot. You can apply all that newfound knowledge to your playing style and improve your chances to beat the other players and win great sums of cash.

While it may look complicated at first glance, poker is a game you can learn and play with ease. Most importantly of all, it’s loads of fun. As soon as you gel with your favourite variant, you will have the time of your life beating your opponents. Our expert poker tips and tricks can be used to your advantage to improve your game and play better from a much better position.

Of course, you can’t expect to be successful in online poker if you don’t use a poker strategy. Our guide has all the strategies that matter and then some. These aren’t your usual betting strategies like what you’d use in blackjack. They’re more like poker tips which will help you improve your game and hone up your skills so you get yourself to the next level and win loads of cash.

Now that you know everything about poker, go and try your hand in it – we’re sure it’ll be a fun ride.

FAQ

Can I play poker for free?

Yes, you can play online poker for free. That’s one of its greatest aspects – you get to practice all you want and learn more about the game. When you’re ready, leave the free tables and try your skills against the best players for real money.

What is rake?

Rake is a scaled commission fee that a site takes for operating a poker game. Its size depends on the poker variant and the pot, but in general, it ranges between 2.5% and 10%.

Is it safe to play poker online?

Absolutely. Playing poker online is 100% safe and the future of the card game. At least it is safe at the recommended poker sites listed here at mougle.com.

Can strategies help me win?

Just like in any other casino game, a good poker strategy can greatly improve your chances to win. Use our expert poker tips and tricks and poker strategies to drastically improve your chances.