Poker is a popular game at land-based and online casinos alike. It is relatively easy to learn to play poker, but can be difficult to master and it is therefore popular with all types of players. There are some basic concepts in the game and it is important to know these when you learn to play poker, regardless of the variation that you are playing.

Each variation also has aspects that are specific to it and when you learn to play poker, you must take these into account.

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Hand Rankings in Poker

When you learn to play poker, you must be familiar with the hand rankings of the game. During poker, players need to make up five card hands. Learn to play poker by focusing on the rankings of the hands and this will help you to succeed in the game. While the ranking may alter slightly depending on the variation you are playing (such as the lowest hand winning), they generally rank as follows, from highest to lowest;

•    Royal Flush – 10, J, Q, K, A all in the same suit.
•    Straight Flush – five consecutive cards all in the same suit, e.g. 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 of Hearts
•    Four of a Kind – four cards of the same numerical value e.g. 4, 4, 4, 4, X
•    Full House – three cards of one numerical value and two cards of another numerical value e.g. 4, 4, 4, 7, 7
•    Flush – any five cards of the same suit e.g. 4, 6, 7, 10, K of Hearts
•    Straight – five consecutive cards, in any suits
•    Three of a Kind – three cards of one numerical value and two cards of any other value e.g. 3, 3, 3, X, Y
•    Two Pair – two cards of one numerical value and two cards of another numerical value e.g. 5, 5, 9, 9, X
•    Pair – two cards of one numerical value, with three cards of any value e.g. 6, 6, X, Y, Z

Learn to Play Poker

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Before beginning the game, each player must place an ante bet – the initial bet that is placed by all players and ensures that there will be money in the pot even if all players except one, fold.

Learn to play poker in the variation that you plan to play so you will be familiar with its nuances. The dealer deals the cards. The number of cards dealt depends on the variation of poker you are playing. You must take note of how many cards you are dealt and how many community cards are dealt when you learn to play poker.

Regardless of the variation you learn to play poker in, you will need to make up a hand using your cards and perhaps some of the community cards. The cards are then compared with the cards of the other players. When you learn to play poker you will learn how many rounds there are and at which stages you will get the chance to call (match the bet), raise (increase the bet) or fold you hand.