Learn How to Play Poker and Play Online at Ignition Casino

Poker Rules

Learning how to play poker is not difficult. The basic rules of most games can be learned in just a few minutes. Don’t worry if you’ve never played a hand of poker before as we’ve put together a quick guide on the rules of poker.

The games listed below are the games you’ll see on the majority of online poker sites. Familiarity with these rules will have you ready to play online poker anywhere.


Texas Hold’em

Texas Hold’em is the most popular form of poker in the world, primarily due to heavy TV exposure since 2003. The object of the game is to make your best five card hand with two cards in your hand, known as hole or pocket cards, and five community cards in the middle of the table.

The dealer position is marked by a white disc or button known as the dealer button. Prior to dealing cards, two players to the left of the button must place forced bets known as blinds. The first bet is the small blind and the second the big blind. The big blind is twice the size of the small blind.

After blinds are posted, each player receives two cards face down. These are known as hole cards. A round of betting follows. Afterward, the first three community cards are dealt face up in the middle of the table. This is the flop. The second round of betting follows.

Next, a fourth community card is dealt face up. This is the turn, followed by more betting. Afterward, the final community card is dealt face up, known as the river. One final round of betting follows and then players showdown.

Players make their best five card hand using two cards in their hand and the five on board. Note that you can make your hand with any combination of cards. In some cases, the five cards on the board will be the best hand. This is called playing the board.

The player with the best five-card hand takes the pot. In the event that two or more players have the same hand, the pot is divided evenly between those players.


Omaha Poker

Omaha poker is the second most popular form of poker in the world and the most popular in Europe. It’s very similar to Hold’em but with two distinct differences.

First, players receive four hole cards pre-flop instead of two cards. Next, the object of Omaha poker is to make your best five-card hand using only two cards in your hand and only three cards on the board.

For example, if your hole cards are  Kh-Jh-10h-8s and the board is Ah-Qh-2c-7h-3d, you have an ace-high flush and not a royal flush. You can only play the KJ and Jh, not the Kh-Jh-10h.

Otherwise, the rules of Omaha are exactly the same as Texas Hold’em in every way from posting of the blinds to the dealing of community cards. As such, many Hold’em players pick Omaha poker as the next game they learn.

A popular variant of Omaha is Omaha 8 or Better or Omaha Hi-Lo. This game is exactly the same as regular Omaha but has a split pot element. In a Hi-Lo game, the pot is often split between the high hand and a qualifying low hand.

A low hand is five unique cards eight and below. For example, 7-5-3-2-A would be a low hand. The best low hand is a wheel, or Ace-to-Five straight. When a player manages to win both the high and low hands, they scoop the pot.

Note that in Hi-Lo, you do not have to use the same two hole cards to make your hand. For example, if you hold Ac-2c-Kh-Jh and the board is 3d-4h-9h-10h-5s, you can use the A-2 for a wheel and the Kh-Jh to complete your flush.


Stud Poker

Stud poker was the most popular form of poker in casinos prior to the rise of Texas Hold’em and it has enjoyed a rebirth thanks to mixed games. The object of the game is to make your best five card hand out of seven cards in your hand. Every player receives their own hand in Stud poker and community cards are almost never used.

Prior to receiving cards, each player must place a small forced bet called an ante. After everyone antes, players receive three cards. Stud games do not use a dealer button and cards are dealt clockwise starting at Seat 1. The first two are face down and the third is face up, also known as a door card.

The player with the lowest door card must put in a forced bet called a bring-in. It is usually twice the size of the ante. A player also has the option to complete a bet, which is the small bet amount.

For example, in a $2-$4 Stud game with .50 ante, a bring-in would be $1 and a completion $2. Note that a completion is not considered a raise.

If more than one player has the same rank of door card, then the lowest suit must bring it in. Suits are ranked alphabetically from lowest to highest – clubs, diamonds, hearts and spades.

Should the low door card choose to only post the bring-in, the next player to act can either call the bring-in or complete the bet. Once a bet is completed, raises on Third Street must occur in the completed or small bet amount. This would be $2 in our example.

After the first round of betting, players get another card face up. Fourth Street betting continues in the small bet amount with one exception. If a player catches an open pair on Fourth, they may then place a double-bet, which is the big bet amount.

When betting is completed on Fourth, players get a third upcard, known as Fifth Street. Starting on Fifth, bets double to the big bet amount. After Fifth Street betting, players receive their last upcard known Sixth Street.

Once Sixth Street betting is finished, players receive their final card face down. This is Seventh Street, but many call it the river as in Texas Hold’em.

On a rare occasion, such as five or more players continuing to the river, the dealer runs out of cards to complete river dealing. When this happens, the last card is dealt as a community card. This is a rare occurrence in live poker but happens a bit more frequently online, especially in low stakes Stud games.

After a final round of betting, the remaining players show their hands. The player with the best five-card hand wins the pot. Should more than one player have the same hand, they split the pot.

Stud poker has two variants you’ll see in online poker. The first is Stud Hi-Lo, also known as Stud 8 or Better. Like Omaha Hi-Lo, the pot is often split between the best high and low hands. Low hands are also five unique cards eight and below.

The other variant of Stud poker is Razz. Razz is a Stud played for low only. In this game, aces are low only. There are no qualifiers in Razz, so the player with the lowest five-card hand wins the pot.


Draw Poker

Draw poker was all but extinct at the start of the Poker Boom, but growing popularity in mixed games since 2006 has caused a rebirth in several variants. We’ll start by going over the simplest of variants, Five Card Draw.

Modern day Five Card Draw is played with blinds like Texas Hold’em. After posting blinds, each player is deal five cards face down.

Following a round of betting, players may then exchange cards. In online poker, players may exchange up to five cards. After cards are exchanged, a final round of betting occurs and is followed by showdown.

The player with the best five-card hand wins the pot. If more than one player has the same hand, the pot is split.

There are four Draw poker variants common to online poker and in live casino play. The most popular of the variants is Triple Draw 2-7 Lowball. In 2-7 lowball, the object is to make the lowest five-card hand.

Straights and flushes count as high only and aces are always high. This means that the lowest possible hand is an unsuited 7-5-4-3-2.

As implied in the name, Triple Draw Lowball has three draws. A round of betting occurs after each draw. Otherwise, the rules of Triple Draw are the same.

The second popular draw poker variant is NL 2-7 Single Draw. The only two differences in this variant are that there a single draw and the betting is No-Limit.

Another lowball variant is A-5 Lowball. In A-5 Lowball, straights and flushes do not count against you and aces are low, similar to Razz. Otherwise, the rules are the same as Triple Draw Lowball.

Finally, another popular Draw poker variant is Badugi. This game is a bit different than other lowball games. First, you only get four cards as opposed to five. Next, the object is to make a hand with one of each suit and without pairs.

For example, 8c-7d-6s-4h would be an eight-high Badugi. The player with the lowest Badugi hand is the winner. When a player fails to make a Badugi hand, then the player with the lowest three-card hand is the winner.

Otherwise, the rules of Badugi are the same as other forms of Lowball.

You Know How to Play – Now Get in the Game!

As you can see from above, the rules of poker are not difficult. Better still, online poker software will keep you on task with prompts on when to act, how much you can bet and even what your best hand is at present.

Now that you know the rules of poker, it’s time to get into the game! Ignition Poker is a great place to play and perfect for those of you new to poker. Just download and make your first deposit today and you can immediately put your newfound poker knowledge to the test.