Poker rules

No matter what game you play, the rules of poker are the same. Isn’t that good news for the lazy among us all? However, while the official rules of poker are unique, we will apply them differently to the different forms of poker we play (whether it’s Texas Hold’em, Omaha, Stud) …

How do I learn to play poker?

In order to learn how to play poker, you must first learn all the rules of poker here. Then take a moment to remember your hands (also called combinations). They are compiled on one page, so you can use them in the first game and you can easily print out the game. Then find the bet, also called the bid (limit, pot limit or no limit). Finally, take the time to discover the different game heights (high, low, high-low).

After that you can discover various changes in the poker game. You will find that with a thorough understanding of the rules of poker, you will easily understand these changes. The last thing you need to talk about is the heart of the matter. Like any game of money, the rules of poker are strict. Therefore, article 1 of the official poker rules states that, for example, the position of players must be determined by drawing lots. In practice, we will avoid details like this to annoy our friends.

Poker rules

In poker, playing with real money (coins, banknotes) is very unpopular. Therefore, before starting a game, each player will change a certain number of chips. This group of chips is called the wine cellar. The entry table is defined by the smallest cellar volume, but sometimes it is also defined by the largest cellar volume. The type of auction also indirectly defines the right to enter the table. As we said, the position is drawn (in theory) at the beginning of the game. Then the game will be played clockwise. The myth of cheaters is not always realistic, but to avoid any problems, some poker rules force the players to take responsibility.

The cellar must be on the table, so we call it « chips » (hence the expression « go all-in » means « bet on all the remaining chips »). No chips must be hidden and all players are responsible for their cards. Therefore, they must protect their hands. Finally, the thinking time must be determined at the beginning of the game. During the game, it is the dealer’s responsibility to remind all players of the time limit.

Card allocation

As dictated by the rules of poker, the cards are always dealt on top of the deck. Be careful, dragging the first selected card under the deck is the most common cheating technique.

The first card in the deck is never dealt, it is considered a burn card (in case of a dealer’s mistake, it is reserved for use). If a card is handed or dealt from the table, and only the dealer does so (all cards returned by the player will be retained), it will be changed. The dealer will then complete his turn, then take back the card that was dealt and burn the card issued to the player .

Bets and raises according to poker rules

If the player faces a bet greater than his chips (the total number of chips remaining), he can call the bet by betting all of his chips. Then it will be considered all-in. However, he will not be able to talk in the next round. A raise, which is an additional offer for the initial bet, is described in more detail in the section on poker changes. However, please note that the raise is linked to the turn to talk, and all of this is linked to talking when the turn comes (clockwise).

Actions in poker

  • Passing / Lying down : The player stops, turns the card over to the dealer and gives up the move.
  • Bet / Open: If you are the first player to speak, or if none of the previous bets have been placed, then of course you can.
  • Talk: The player has not raised, but has left the floor to the next player.
  • Call: The player follows the previous player’s bet/raise.
  • Raise: The player places an additional amount to exceed the previous bet.

Also note that through the term ambush, we specify a technique that consists of proposing a word after announcing it. By passing (fold), we encourage other players to bet, so we voluntarily increase the number of pots.

Game process

During the raise, players who have folded are not required to show their hand. If they decide to show it, it would be impolite. At the end of the raise, players who « pay to watch » will then show their cards first. Then we will follow in a clockwise direction. The showdown is used to specify the winner of the pot, as there is no verbal announcement without value. Only the construction of the hand can specify the winner.

In poker, regardless of the variation, a hand always consists of 5 cards.

Players who wish to discard their hand (placing their cards face down) can do so. Afterwards, they will not be able to claim the pot. Any hand that is discarded cannot be turned over. However, other players can ask the owner of the card, but only he can make a decision. If a hand does not have the required number of cards (5 cards, a hand is always worth 5 cards in poker), it can be considered an improper card. If it has been in contact with the discarded card, it is also considered as such.

The dealer rewards the pot. If the hands are the same and there is no strong hand between the players to decide (this is a very rare thing), then he decides to award the pot. One arrangement is to deal the pot to several players without uncovering their cards. This is the most common technique used in competitions.

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Other rules and tips to know


The ranking of poker hands is based on mathematics. The less likely a player is to get a certain hand, the higher their ranking and the more likely they are to win the pot. For example, a player should not expect to receive a straight flush more than once in every 65,000 hands, but he can expect to receive two pairs about once in every 21 hands.

Unless a player is planning to bluff, he should not make a bet without holding a hand that he thinks is the best. No poker player can bet wisely unless they know what constitutes a good hand, a good hand and a bad hand. A table of the different poker hands and the number of combinations of each in a deck of cards is provided.


By unanimous or majority agreement, the players may set up a special fund called a « jackpot ». Usually, the jackpot is built by « cutting » (taking) a low value chip from each pot in which there is more than one raise. The kitty also belongs to all players, and is used to pay for new card games or for food and drinks. Any chips left in the kitty at the end of the game are divided equally among the players who are still in the game. Contrary to the rule in some other games, when a player leaves a poker game before it ends, he is not allowed to take his share of the chips that were part of the prize pool.


Poker is almost always played with poker chips. For a game with seven or more players, there should be a reserve of at least 200 chips. Usually, the white chip (or the lightest coloured chip) is the unit, or the lowest value chip, that is worth whatever the bet or minimum bet; a red chip (or other coloured chip) is worth five white, and a blue chip (or other dark coloured chip) is worth 10 or 20 or 25 white or two, four or five red. At the beginning of the game, each player « buys » by buying a certain number of chips. All players usually buy for the same amount.


A player must be designated as the banker, who keeps the stock of chips and records how many chips have been issued to each player or how much money the player has paid for his chips. Players must not make any private transactions or exchanges between themselves; a player with excess chips can return them to the banker and receive credit or money for them, while a player who wants more chips should only get them from the banker.


There are different ways to set a betting limit. A certain limit is necessary; otherwise, a player with much more money would have, or be perceived to have, an unfair advantage. Once set, the limit should be unalterable throughout the game unless the players unanimously agree to change the stakes. Some popular limit systems follow:


No one may bet or raise more than a stipulated number of chips, such as two, five or ten. Usually this limit varies depending on the stage of the game: in Draw Poker, if the limit is five before the draw, it could be ten after the draw. In Stud Poker, if the limit is five in the first four betting intervals, it is ten in the final betting interval (and often ten whenever a player has a pair or better).


Any bet or raise is limited to the number of chips in the pot at that time. This means that a player who raises can count as many chips in the pot as the player needs to call. If there are six chips in the pot and a bet of four is made, the total is 10 chips; it takes the next player four chips to call, or 14; and the player can raise 14 chips. But even when the pot limit is played, there should be a maximum limit, such as 50 chips.


The limit for each player is the number of chips the player has in front of them. If the player has only 10 chips, he cannot bet more than 10 and he can call any other player’s bet to that extent. In table betting, no player may remove chips from the table, or return chips to the banker, until they leave the game. A player may add to his stack, but only between the transaction that has just ended and the start of the next transaction.


In these sessions, the « sky is the limit », but such games are rarely played today.


In almost all games played today, there is a limit on the number of raises at each betting interval, and that limit is invariably three raises.


Players must first decide which form of poker they will play

The main forms of poker are Draw Poker and Stud Poker. In Draw Poker, all cards are dealt face down to the players. In Stud Poker, some of the cards are dealt face up as bets progress, so that all other players can see some of each player’s hands.

Unless the host, or club rule, has already established the game, players must first decide what form of poker they will play. Two factors should influence their decision: the number of players, and whether the group has only experienced players or whether it has a few inexperienced players. The following selections are recommended:

2, 3 or 4 players: Stud Poker in all its forms. Usually, with so few players, only the very experienced players play Draw Poker and they will often use a bare deck, which is a pack with cards drawn, such as both (two) and trios (three).

5 to 8 players: any form of poker, either Draw or Stud.

9 or 10 players: Five Card Stud Poker.

More than 10 players: one of the games in which less than five cards are dealt, such as Three-Card Monte or Spit-in-the-Ocean. All poker variants are described later in this chapter. Another alternative with so many players is to simply form two tables and arrange two separate games.


When the poker session is the dealer’s choice, each dealer has the privilege of naming the form of poker to be played and designating the wager, wild cards (if any) and the maximum number of chips that can be bet in each round. However, the Dealer may not require a player to bet more than another player. If a game such as Jackpots is selected and no one opens the bet, the same dealer deals again and everyone else antes again.


While most poker purists choose to play without a joker, in many games, especially Dealer’s Choice, various cards can be designated as a joker. A joker is specified by the holder as a card of any rank or suit, such as a fifth queen, or the card needed to combine with the other four in a player’s hand to form a straight or suit. Wild cards in a poker game add variety, and of course, they greatly increase the chances of getting a rare combination such as a full house or straight flush. The usual choices for wild cards are as follows:


Note that most card packs include two jokers for use in games such as Canasta. Poker players are increasingly adding one or both of these as wild cards.


It is the joker, but its wild character is limited: it counts as an ace; or as a card of any suit to make a flush; or as a card of any rank and suit to make a straight or a straight flush.


« Deuces Wild » is a popular form of Draw Poker. Both are wild. Sometimes the joker is included as the fifth joker. Note that the number of wild cards in a hand does not diminish it in any way; thus, with two wild, five of a kind consisting of 10, 10, 2, 2, 2 (five 10s) beats 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 2 (five 8s).


The King of Diamonds and the Jacks of Spades and the Jacks of Hearts show only one eye, while the other face cards all have two eyes. One-eyed jacks are sometimes referred to as jokers, but the Diamond King is rarely selected to be wild.


In Stud Poker, each player’s lowest « hole » card (i.e. the lowest card that is dealt face down and not seen by other players) is wild. In Draw Poker, the joker would be the lowest card in a player’s hand. When such a card is designated, it means that every card of that rank in that player’s hand is wild, but the fact that a certain card is wild in a player’s hand does not make that same card rank wild in other players’ hands.


In each game, a written code of the laws of poker must be used as the final arbiter to settle all issues. No one poker law is universally followed – there are many local customs and preferences – but the poker laws on this site encompass the latest customs of the most expert games and are recommended for adoption. It is a poker tradition that any club or group of players may establish special rules, called « house rules », according to their personal preferences. Of course, these house rules must be written down.


Before the start of the game, players must set a time limit for the end of the game and stick to it. Violation of this principle could possibly turn pleasant sessions into unpleasant ones. Often, when the time to leave approaches, the host or one of the players will say « three more offers » or « via Zane’s agreement », so that players know how many deals remain and can evaluate their strategies accordingly.

FAQ : Poker rules

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    What is the worst hand in poker?

    The worst is the hand composed of a 2 and a 7 because it is impossible to make a straight and you can only get 2 pairs of low value.

    Check out the rest of the rules here!

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    What are the best poker combinations?

    The strongest combinations :

    • Royal flush …
    • Straight flush …
    • Square (four of a kind or quads) …
    • Full house …
    • Colour (flush) …
    • Straight flush …
    • Three of a kind, set or trips …
    • Two pairs or double pair (two pairs)
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    What is the strongest hand in poker?

    The Royal Flush Straight: This is a straight flush of the same colour (spades, hearts, diamonds or clubs) from 10 to A. It is the most powerful combination in poker, absolutely unbeatable.

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