Poker rules and variations

Poker rules and variations

Rules and winning hands

Online poker is about getting the best 5 card hand you can muster from the cards ‘dealt’ to you (the hole cards) and the cards shared between all players (the community cards).  Here at we bring you information on poker rules.


Winning Hands in order of highest first

Gambling royal flush
Royal Flush

A royal flush is the best hand you can have in Texas Hold’em poker.  You need an Ace-King-Queen-Jack-10 all of the same suit.

A straight flush, is a set of 5 cards all of the same suit, running in consecutive order

Four of a kind – e.g.; four 3’s or four Kings

A full house, is a set of 3 of a kind along with a differing matching pair – e.g; 3x 7s and 2x Queens

flush consists of 5 different non-consecutive cards all of the same suit

straight consist of 5 consecutive cards, of different suits

Three of a kind consists of 3 of the same cards of differing suits

Two pairs consists of 2 sets of matching cards of different suits (e.g.: 2 x 3s and 2x Kings)

One pair 1 set of matching cards of different suits (e.g.: 2 x 3s)

High card – one of the most unlikely wins in Texas Hold’em would be a high card win, where at least 2 players bluffed their cards right to the end of the game, but neither actually held any sort of winning hand.

One of the biggest aspects of any poker game is whether you actually have a winning hand or not.  Players can fold their hand at any betting point, but obviously are not thrilled to do so once they have put money into the ‘pot’.  Hence, some hands need to be played out because you are ‘pot committed’ – because you have already invested too much money into the hand to risk not seeing if you have won it!

Another thing to remember is the blinds, at the beginning of each hand, there is a big blind (the initial wager) and a small blind to be placed, and these blinds move round the table with each hand played.  So if you have placed the  big blind to on a hand, even if you have rubbish hole cards, don’t fold them, as it doesn’t cost you anything extra to ‘wait and see’ what the flop cards are.


Poker Variations in online casinos today

  • Texas Hold’em.

This is the most common variation of poker around today.  Made popular by being introduced in 1970 in the World Series of Poker it is the most common type of game featured on online gamings sites around the world.

Each player is dealt 2x ‘hole’ cards face down.  They then use these cards in conjunction with the 5 shared, or ‘community’ cards, dealt into the middle of the table, to get the best hand they can.  The community cards are dealt bit by bit.   The first 3 cards are dealt first, (called the ‘flop’), then there is the fourth card (the ‘turn’) and finally the 5th card (the ‘river’).  Opportunities for betting are when you receive your 2 hole cards, before the flop, then after the flop and then after the turn cards.  After the river is dealt, the best maximum 5-card-player-hand (using 1 or 2 of their hole cards along with as many of the community cards as possible) is judged to be the winner.

  • Omaha Poker

This type of poker is very similar in most ways to Texas Hold’em, but rather than being dealt 2 hole cards, you are dealt 4.  You then have to use 2 of those hole cards, (no more no less) along with 3 of the community cards, to make up your hand.  If there is a Pot Limit Omaha game, it means that you are not allowed to supersede the pot total in any one betting round.

  • Seven-card Stud

Each player is dealt 3 cards, 2 face-down and one face-up.  The betting then will commence with the player who has the visible card of the lowest-value.  There are no community cards in 7 card stud (or the less often played 6 or 5 card stud versions).

Each player will then receive a fourth card, bet should they so wish, a fifth and a sixth card, betting after each card.  The seventh card is then dealt face down.  As with most poker games, the aim is to produce the best 5 card hand at the end of the game.

  • Five-card Draw

This game is much quicker and more simple than other versions.  Each player is dealt 5 cards face-down.  They then take it in turn to burn one or more of their hole cards, by placing them at the bottom of the deck and taking an equal amount of burnt cards to replace them.  The player with the best hand at the end of this is the winner.

There are a few other variations of the game, but the above are the most commonly played variations.  If you have any questions we would be delighted to answer them!  Send your questions to us via our contact page.  We have a wealth of information about poker on the site and suggest you take a look at the recommended poker films and books section of