How to Play Poker: A Beginner’s Guide to Online Poker

This is the guide for you if you want to learn how to play poker or if you want to become a better player. We break the game of poker down into 3 simple steps.

If you want to learn how to play poker, you’ve come to the right place. If you want the best poker tips and strategies, you can click here for our poker strategy guide that covers everything from Caribbean Stud to Jacks or Better. For those of you who aren’t ready to study the nuances of betting strategies and maths, this guide is for you.

It’s not quite a “rules of poker for dummies” guide, but it is accessible to everyone at any level. If you’re a complete newbie looking for a beginners guide to poker, or you have a bit of knowledge and want a more of a poker guide for advanced players, we’ve got you covered. So, without further ado, here’s the best poker guide for beginners and intermediates on the internet.

How to Play Poker Step 1: Poker Rules for Beginners

Before we get into the nuances of poker rules, how to make poker winning hands and everything else in between, we need to make a few things clear. Firstly, we’re an online casino. In fact, we’re the online casino for anyone wanting fun, frolics and plenty of added value. Aside from giving us a chance to blow our own trumpet, this is an important point.

It’s important because it dictates the type of poker we offer. We don’t have a poker network, which means we don’t offer one-on-one cash games and tournaments. In other words, you’re not playing Texas Hold’em et al against other people in cash games or tournaments. Instead, you can take on our dealers. You can play against the house in casino poker games such as Caribbean Stud.

This difference has implications when it comes to online poker tips and strategies. It also has some implications for when it comes to poker rules and learning how to play poker. Why? Because you’re not trying to win a pot by any means possible in our games. When you play online poker cash games and tournaments against other people, you can bluff. When you’re facing off against a casino’s dealer, you can’t steal the pot without a hand.

Casino poker house rules require you to make a ranked hand or choose a hand that’s going to win at a forced showdown. There isn’t any scope to bluff. There isn’t scope to be creative. All you can do is play within the confines of official poker rules. So, to reiterate, casino poker games such as Jacks or Better, are played in isolation. You aren’t competing against other people so you can’t win the pot in a variety of ways.

Instead, you’re simply trying to make/pick the best hand. If that hand is better than the dealer’s or ranks on the payout chart, you win. This makes casino poker slightly easier to master because you don’t have to think about poker tips and strategies such as value betting and bluffing. You do need to memorise our guide to poker hands and use a bit of deductive reasoning. However, there’s no need to read opponents and get into the psychology of poker.

How to Play Poker Step 2: Poker Hands Explained

You should now know how to play poker at Clubhouse Casino in a general sense. You know that our games are different from cash games and tournaments. It’s not time to talk about poker winning hands and how to beat the dealer. 

We should say that payouts will vary depending on the poker rules in play. However, poker winning rules are such that the strength of a hand determines its payout potential. So, if you’re comparing a pair to a straight, the latter has more payout potential.

Now we’ve made that clear, the poker winning hands you need to know are listed below from the strongest to the weakest:

 Hand RankingExample
StrongestRoyal Flush Five cards of the same suit running from 10-A e.g. 10d, Jd, Qd, Kd, Ad
 Straight Flush Five cards of the same suit in consecutive order e.g. 7c, 8c, 9c, 10c, Jc
 Four of a Kind Four cards of equal value e.g. Kc, Ks, Kd, Kh
 Full House Three of a kind and a pair e.g. As, Ah, Ad, 2s, 2c
 A Flush Five cards with the same suit e.g. 2c, 5c, Jc, Kc, 3c
 A Straight Five cards in sequential order e.g. 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
 Three of a Kind Three cards of equal value Js, Jd, Jh, X, X
 Two Pair A pair and a second pair e.g. 7d, 7h, 8s, 8d, X
 A Pair Two cards of equal value e.g. 5d, 5s, X, X, X
WeakestA High Card Your hand is based on your highest value card

How to Play Poker Step 3: The Aim of the Game

Planning poker moves requires a general overview of how a game plays out. The reality is that there are two main formats when it comes to digital and live online poker. Those two formats are table poker and video poker.

A Beginners Guide to Poker: Table Poker and Video Poker

Both have the same fundamental premise and, in turn, use the same hand ranking system. However, the way you make hands differs. With this in mind, we’ll conclude this guide to playing poker with a breakdown of table games and video-based variants:

Table Poker Rules

Table games such as Caribbean Stud and Ultimate Texas Hold’em involve two or more hands in a showdown. It’s the same when you look at 5-card draw poker rules and 4-card poker rules. Some table games require you to make a hand that’s good enough to beat the dealer’s hand.

Other poker variants require you to bet on which one of the hands in view will win at a showdown. Whatever the subtle differences between the poker house rules, the ultimate aim is to make or pick the winning hand. To show you how this looks in practice, here are the easy poker rules for Caribbean Stud:

  1. You place an opening bet (known as the ante).
  2. You receive five cards.
  3. The dealer also receives five cards. However, because of exposing cards poker rules, you can only see one of the dealer’s cards
  4. You assess the value of your hand.
  5. If you have a ranked hand or one you believe will beat the dealer, you can make a second bet (double the value of your first) and go to a showdown.
  6. If you have a weak hand, you can sacrifice your ante bet, fold and move on to the next hand.

After you’ve made your moves, the action moves to the dealer and, in turn, showdown:

  1. Going to a showdown reveals the dealer’s remaining four cards.
  2. If the dealer has an ace and a king in their hand, they qualify.
  3. If the dealer doesn’t have at least an ace and a king, they don’t qualify, and you win by default. Winning by default means you get a 1:1 (even-money) payout on your ante bet. You also receive your play bet back. So, if you paid a €1 ante and made a €2 play bet, winning by default would return €4 ( €1 ante + €1 profit + €2 play bet).
  4. If the dealer qualifies, the value of your hand is compared to theirs. In this case, you stand to win 1:1 on your ante and an additional payout on your play bet. The additional payout is based on the value of your hand i.e. the higher the hand ranking, the bigger the payout.

The above steps should be seen as basic poker rules for beginners. You should be able to take the general structure and apply it to almost all table poker variants. So, to recap, the basic actions of making an ante bet, receiving some cards and making a play bet apply to all variants.

From four-card poker rules and Ultimate Texas Hold’em to four-card poker rules, you bet to receive cards then make a second bet if you want to go to a showdown. It’s also true that the dealer will need a minimum hand to qualify for a showdown.

The minimum requirements can vary, and we don’t need to outline them all when we’re discussing the basic rules of poker for beginners. The main thing you need to keep in mind at all times is that dealer’s need a suitably strong hand to take you on in a showdown. If they don’t have one, you win by default.

Bet On Poker Rules

Bet On Poker is somewhat unique in that you aren’t playing a hand vs the dealer. This live poker game requires you to pick a hand you believe will win. Despite this subtle difference, the fundamental dynamics are the same as other table poker variants. You place an opening bet and then have the opportunity to make additional bets as the hand progresses.

For example, you place an opening bet on Hand #1. The dealer puts out three community cards in the middle of the table (the flop) and you have the chance to bet on another hand, add to your existing bet or do nothing. A fourth community card is dealt (the turn), and the same betting options are offered. A final card (the river) is dealt, and a showdown occurs by each of the hands using three or more community cards to make a hand. The strongest one wins.

Video Poker Rules

If you know how to play poker table games such as Caribbean Stud, mastering video poker is easy. This game doesn’t involve a dealer or two bets. However, you are still aiming to make the best five-card hand from the ones you’ve been given regardless of whether you’re playing Deuces Wild, or its Joker Poker rules. The main moves you’ll make in video poker are:

  1. You place a bet.
  2. You receive five starting cards.
  3. You assess their value and decide which ones you want to keep (hold) and the ones you want to swap (fold). You can hold/fold as many cards as you want.
  4. Once you’ve made your moves, you press the play button and any cards you fold get replaced by new ones.
  5. The final five cards you’re left with are your hand. If that hand is ranked on the payout board, you win a prize.

As it is with poker winning hands in table games, the value of your payout is based on the strength of the hand. For example, a royal flush is worth more than a pair. As long as you can understand this, you’re well on your way to planning poker strategies for games such as Jacks or Better.

Poker FAQs

Is online poker fair?

Yes, all online casino games at Clubhouse have been tested and certified fair by independent agencies. That means you can learn how to play poker and have a fair shot at winning each time you ante up in any of our games.

Can I bluff in live casino poker?

No. If this was a cash game or poker tournament guide, we’d say you can bluff. However, in casino poker games such as Caribbean Stud and Deuces Wild, the aim is to win by making the strongest hand. What’s more, there are no poker raise rules in casino games. That means you can’t raise your bet after it’s been accepted. 

Is there a guaranteed winning strategy for casino poker?

No online poker winning strategies can guarantee you make a profit each time you play. However, if you learn the basic poker rules, bet conservatively and think logically, you’ll have the opportunity to make real-money bets and win cash prizes.

Play Poker Online

This dummies guide to poker has taken you from the game’s basic premise to the hand rankings. Even though you will need to read the poker rules for each specific game to see if there are any specific nuances, this guide will certainly get you off on the right foot. So, if you’re eager to turn hands into cash prizes, stop reading this how to play poker easy guide and join Clubhouse Casino today.