Poker in various forms has become one of the most played and popular card games in the world but there was always the difficulty of meeting players and getting together for a game but with the coming of online poker it is now possible to play against players from all over the world virtually 24 hours a day 7 days a week. To help you to start to play we have constructed this online poker rules section which covers the general rules of poker but also has detailed sections on a number of the more popular formats of the game.
Before embarking on detailed explanations of each of the games it is important to know the online poker rules that apply to every form of the game such as the fact that poker is played with one deck of 52 cards with the suit having no role in the strength of hands (suits can play a role in determining who plays first in certain games) and the “button” is used to identify the dealer. Another of the online poker rules is that the idea of every poker games is to form a hand of 5 cards regardless of how many cards are available to you so one of the first things to learn in online poker rules is the value of the hands which starting from the lowest value is as follows:-
HIGH CARD – A hand in which there is no pair or better.
ONE PAIR – A hand in which two cards are of the same value eg: two sixes.
TWO PAIRS – A hand in which there are two sets of cards of the same value eg: two sixes and two Jacks.
THREE OF A KIND – A hand in which there are three cards of the same value eg: three Kings.
STRAIGHT – A hand in which all five cards are in sequence but not all the same suit eg: 7,8,9,10,jack.
FLUSH – A hand in which all five cards are of the same suit.
FULL HOUSE – A hand which contains one pair and one three of a kind.
FOUR OF A KIND – A hand which contains four cards of equal value eg: four eights.
STRAIGHT FLUSH – A hand in which all five cards are both a flush and a straight
ROYAL FLUSH – The same as a straight flush but the cards are 10, Jack, Queen, King, Ace.
The only exception to this order of hands is in Soko poker where four cards can form a straight or a flush and those hands rank between one pair and two pairs.
From this point on the online poker rules will depend upon which game is being played and we have concentrated on Texas Hold’em, Omaha and Omaha Hi/Lo, 7 Card Stud and 7 Card Stud Hi/Lo, 5 Card Draw and Soko. The main differences in the online poker rules of these games is the number of cards which are used and whether players place an “ante” bet or whether certain players have forced bets called “blinds” to get the pot up and running. Texas Hold ‘em, Omaha and 5 Card Draw use small and big “blinds” where two players (determined by the position of the button) place forced bets into the pot before the deal whereas in 7 Card Stud and Soko all players place an “ante” into the pot before the deal.
The other major differences in the online poker rules of the games are the number of cards received and whether these are your individual cards or whether they are community cards (cards which can be used by all players to form a hand), the number of cards which are face up and face down and whether there is any opportunity to exchange cards during the play of the game. The most popular form of online poker at the moment is Texas Hold’em which uses 7 cards in total of which 2 are your own cards known as hole cards which are face down and 5 community cards which are face up and the player can use any combination of 5 cards from the seven to form a hand. For the online poker rules about betting rounds and when the cards are dealt we refer you to the individual section on the separate games. Omaha Poker is very similar in that there are 5 community cards which are face up but each player has 4 hole cards face down and the player must use two of those in the 5 card hand. The online poker rules for 7 Card Stud state that each player has 2 cards face down and 5 cards face up but there are no community cards so each player must form a 5 card hand from the 7 cards that are available to that player and in a similar way Soko Poker also has no community cards but in this case each player has only 5 cards of which one is face down and four are face up.
Online poker rules for 5 Card Draw Poker are a little bit different and this is the only game we cover in which players are able to exchange a number of cards. In 5 Card Draw all cards are face down and each player is dealt 5 cards but after a betting round each player has the choice of discarding as many of the initial 5 cards as they like and the equivalent number of fresh cards will be dealt.
As you can see, there are a number of variations of what is called poker all of which are exciting betting games and the only real commonality is that the final hand comprises 5 cards so don’t restrict yourself to Texas Hold’em there are other exciting alternatives but they are all games of skill, luck and judgement.