Poker rules

Here are the complete rules of poker:

1. preface

Poker is hot. More and more people in the world come into contact with the game of poker. Poker sites are popping up like mushrooms and poker tournaments in local cafes and casinos are better attended than ever before. Every week there is also an article in the newspaper or on television about poker. For people who would also like to get acquainted with poker Championships of Poker has written this poker manual with poker rules. If you want a personal explanation with your colleagues, friends, customers or your association, book a poker workshop from Championships of Poker.

Our guide does not cover all types of poker rules, but it does cover the most common ones. To know no limit hold ’em. This variant is played the most and shows the different aspects that are important in poker. This means that this form of poker requires a lot of insight from the players. But this is also what makes poker so much fun. You are never an accomplished poker player; there are always things you can still learn. This keeps poker constantly evolving. Since poker is a sport developed in America, almost all poker terms are in English.

2. What makes poker so much fun?

In this first chapter Championships of Poker wants to make the reader enthusiastic about the game of poker. What makes poker so much more fun than other (card) games such as clovers, hearts, chess, colonists and other board games? This is due to the versatility of the game. For example, when looking at clover jackets, it is important for the players to remember which player played which cards. This is just one trait you need to master as a clover jack in order to be a good clover. To become a good poker player you have to have many more different qualities. To start with, you must be able to estimate (mathematical) odds well, your opponents can “read”, remain very calm under pressure (famous poker face), be able to bluff well and think a few steps ahead. All these different facets make poker so versatile and therefore so much more fun than other games. An additional advantage is that the poker rules are easy to learn, but that you are never finished and the game therefore offers many challenges for both beginners and advanced players. For a real poker tournament you will of course rent a poker table at Championships of Poker.

Finally, we want to clear up another major misunderstanding. Poker is often referred to as a form of gambling and is lumped together with black jack, roulette and more of these types of casino games. This is incorrect. In a game like roulette, the profit expectation is negative (you can win 35 times your stake if you predict the right number and there are 37 numbers) and people who play this game make a loss in the long run. After all, the casino must also make money. In poker, everyone who plays statistically has an equal chance of winning. So it comes down to the skills of the player (just like in other sports). Of course the cards are important and you have better cards one night than the next, but in the long run everyone is dealt the same cards and the best player will win.

3. The poker rules

3.1 Purpose of the game

In this guide, we’ll cover two different forms of the game of poker. We will first discuss the poker rules of texas hold ’em no limit. This form has slightly fewer rules than texas limit hold ’em and is therefore a bit easier to learn. So when we talk about the game of poker in the future, we mean Texas hold ’em no limit.

The ultimate goal of the game is to win as many chips as possible from your opponents. This can be done by making card combinations, where the intention is that your card combination is better than that of your opponent. Each player starts with two face down cards in their hand and eventually there will be five face up cards on the table. Of these seven cards, each player chooses the five best to make the highest possible combination. The value of the card combinations is the same in all poker games. Below we show what the possible combinations are and what their value is. We start with the highest possible combination and go down the list to the lowest combination.

Royal Flush

The five highest cards of each suit (hearts, spades, clubs and diamonds). So ten, jack, queen, king and ace of the same suit.

Straight Flush

Five consecutive cards of the same suit.

Four of a kind

Four of the same cards (kind does not matter).

Full house

Three for two of the same cards (kind does not matter).


Five in a row following cards (kind does not matter).

Three of a kind

Three of the same cards (kind does not matter).

Two pair

Twice two of the same cards (kind does not matter).

One pair

Two of the same cards (kind does not matter).

High Card

Highest card on the table or in the player’s hand.

Above are all possible combinations you can make with poker in the correct order. Click here to rent poker cards. However, we should also mention that in poker the value of the cards is the same as in most other card games. The Ace has the highest value, followed by King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, and 2 in that order. So when two or more players make a pair, the player with the highest pair wins. A pair of queens is therefore higher than a pair of jacks. This applies to all possible combinations. A street with the Ace as the highest card is therefore better than a street with the King as the highest card. A full house with three aces and two jacks is better than a full house with three kings and two nines.

3.2 The distribution of poker chips

Before we proceed with the poker rules, let’s talk a little bit about the chip distribution. We already know that the ultimate goal of the game is to collect as many chips as possible. In poker it is common for something to be played for. Usually this is money. Of course you don’t have to, you can also just play for the honor of winning or for something else (from handing out the dishes to getting a round of beer).

Determine in advance with your fellow players what you will play for and what the distribution of the prizes will look like. Will the winner get everything or will the numbers two and three also get some? When you start playing for money, it is important that it remains fun for everyone. Don’t let the stakes get too high so that no one goes home broke. You can own poker chips on this page.

When playing for money, you can distribute the chips among the players in two ways. You can give the chips a fictitious value and distribute the total number of chips among the players. Then each player puts in the same amount (for example one euro). All this money goes into the prize pool and is divided among the winners. So when you play with ten people, there is 10 euros in the pot. The most common distribution of the prize money is then: 50% for the winner, 30% for second place and 20% for third place. When you play with significantly fewer people (for example 5) you can divide the prize money between the winner and the second place. Also, if you play with, for example, 30 people, you can divide the prize money over more than three places. This form of poker is called tournament, because it continues until there is 1 winner who then receives the most prize money.

The second way to distribute chips is to give the chips real value. Here players can buy in for, for example, 5 euros and then actually receive 5 euros worth of chips. The advantage of this form of game (also called cash games) is that you do not have to continue playing until one winner remains, but everyone can stop at any time and exchange their chips. After all, the chips represent a real value. The disadvantage of this form of game may be that more money is involved and therefore more money can be lost and won. Where at the tournament you can play for 1 euro (or less) all evening, this will soon become more in the cash games.

3.3 The poker rules in dealing the cards

Now that we know all the possible combinations, it is time to pay attention to the rules for dealing the cards. In poker there is always one person who is the dealer (dealer). This person is responsible for dealing the cards and placing the cards face up on the table. This dealer moves one place clockwise after each round (seen from the dealer to the left). So everyone at the table will be a dealer once every round.

The dealer’s job is to deal each player two face down cards. The dealer deals these cards one by one, so not two at the same time. Subsequently, the betting begins (which we will discuss in detail in the next chapter). After everyone has placed their first bet, it is the dealer’s turn again. He discards one face-down card from the deck of cards he has left (this is called burning) and then places the top three cards of the deck face up on the table. These three cards are called the flop. After this, the second betting round will start. When everyone has bet again, the dealer burns the top card of the stack again and then places one face up on the table. This fourth card is called the turn. Now the third betting round can begin. Finally, the dealer burns another card and puts it back

one open on the table. This last card is called the river. Eventually there are five open cards on the table and the final betting round can start. The dealer’s job ends here and moves up one place the next round.

3.4 The poker rules when placing bets

Below are the poker rules of the most important part of the game of poker, which is betting. Before the cards are dealt, the two people to the left of the dealer place a bet to create a pot. These bets are called the small and big blind because they must be bet blind. After all, the players have not yet seen their cards. The person directly next to the dealer posts the small blind, the person next to the big blind. The players who place the blind also move up one place each round, just like the dealer clockwise. The small blind is usually half the size of the big blind. The exact size of these blinds depends on the game format being played. We will come back to this later. These blinds count as a bet. When the blinds are in, the cards can be dealt. Then the player to the left of the big blind starts the game.

Each player has five options per betting round:
Check: Do not bet and pass the turn to the next player
Bet: Placing a bet before someone else has placed a bet in a particular round
Fold: Discard the cards and stop playing
Raise: Placing an extra bet on top of a previously placed bet
Call: Make as many bets as any previously placed bet

After the player to the left of the big blind has placed his bet (bet), the turn passes to the next player. The first round of betting is not allowed to check because the big blind has already placed a bet. When a player decides that he wants to play, he must bet at least the amount of the big blind. When one of the (other) players decides to raise (and thus bet more than the amount of the big blind), the other players have three options. First, they can fold and discard their cards. Second, they can call the raise and thus bet just as much as the player who initially raised. Finally, they can raise again and bet even more than the player who raised the first. The turn continues until all players who are still participating have bet the same amount and the rest of the players have folded.

When the bets of all players are equal, the dealer places the first open cards on the table (the flop). When these cards are on the table, the betting starts all over again. The only difference with betting before the flop is that no blinds are now being bet and players can check if nothing has been bet yet. The bet is made again until the players who are still playing have bet the same amount.

Then the fourth open card is placed on the table (turn). This betting round is exactly the same as the betting round after the flop.

Finally, the last open card is placed on the table (river). This betting round is also the same as that of the flop and the turn. Finally, the remaining players show their cards and the player with the highest combination wins the pot.

3.5 Example

We clarify the above poker rules with an example:

Poker rules before the flop

We take a table with six players, as shown on the right. Player A is the dealer, player B is in the small blind and player C is in the big blind. Player A has just dealt the cards. Players B and C have already placed a mandatory bet (the small and big blind) and it is now player D’s turn. Player D has three choices: fold, call (10 bets) or raise. He decides to fold after seeing his cards. Then it is player E’s turn. He decides to make a raise of 20. He now bets a total of 30, 10 of the call (big blind put 10) and 20 of the raise. Player F also decides to fold. After player A sees his cards, he decides to raise 20 and thus place a total bet of 50. Player B decides to call and bets 45 to get a total bet of 50. Player C also decides to call and bets 40 to get a 50 bet. Now it is player E’s turn again. He must bet 20 to get a total bet of 50. He can also raise and place an even higher bet. If he decides to do this, all other players must take turns again in order to fold, call, or raise. In principle you can therefore keep raising each other. Player F decides to call and bet 20. Now the first betting round has ended and we continue to play with players A, B, C and E. These players have all bet 50. The other players have folded and are no longer playing this round.

Poker rules before the flop

After the dealer has placed the flop on the table,

Peler B’s turn. After the first round of betting, Player B is next, because he is directly to the left of the dealer. So this is a difference from betting before the flop, where player D was allowed to start, because he was sitting to the left of the big blind. Player B now has two choices: check or place a bet. He decides to check and therefore passes the turn to player C. It is now allowed to check, because no bet has been placed yet. Player C decides to bet the minimum bet of 10. The minimum bet each round is the amount of the big blind. Then it is player E’s turn. He decides to raise with 10 and thus places a total bet of 20. Player A then decides to fold. Player B, who initially checked, can now decide whether to call, raise or fold. He decides to call and adds 20. Player C also decides to call and adds 10. Now the second betting round has ended and we go to the third betting round with the players B, C and E.

The dealer now places the fourth card (turn) on the table. The third betting round can now begin. Player B is the first to act again and decides to check. Players C and E also check. This means that all players are checked and we move on to the next round.

Poker rules river

The dealer now puts the fifth and last card (river) on the table. Player B’s turn again, who decides to check again. Player C decides to bet 50. Player E decides to raise with 50 and place a total bet of 100. Player B then decides to fold. Now only players C and E are left. Player C must bet 50 to call Player E’s raise. He decides to make another raise of 100. This is again 50 more than player E has bet. Player E must now bet 50 to call or may raise in turn. Player E decides to call 50. Now both players have bet a total of 150 in this fifth betting round. All bets from this game are now in the pot. The player who shows the best cards wins and receives the pot. If you want to experience poker in real life with professional instructors and poker tables, book a poker workshop here.

Showing the cards (showdown)

A very important part of the game of poker is the final phase of each round. This is the phase where the remaining players have to show their cards. The rules are that whoever bet or raised last must show his cards first. When no one has bet the last betting round (and is therefore checked), the person who was the first to act to bet shows his cards. Then the players behind the first person do not have to show their cards if they cannot beat the first person’s cards. This can be very important, as players who don’t have to show their cards can hide their game play. They can bluff without anyone knowing. Hence, the order of showing the cards is very important. When a player places a bet anywhere in the game and all other players fold, this player does not have to show his cards. It doesn’t matter when in-game this happens.

4. The poker rules in difficult game situations

4.1 Which hand is better?

In this chapter we want to talk about difficult situations. This is best mastered through one of our poker workshops. When two or more players have (almost) the same hand in the showdown, which one is better? First we introduce another poker term, the kicker. The kicker is the card that does not count in the combinations made, but it can be important in determining which hand is better. We clarify this with an example:

Where A = Ace, H = King, V = Queen and B = Jack.

Above, two players must show their cards in the showdown. There are two pairs on the table, the aces and the kings. Player one also makes two jacks. Still, the pot goes to player two. This is because player two has the highest kicker. The queen in his hand does not make a pair, but is the highest fifth card. Player two makes two pair just like player one, but his queen is higher than the jack on the table. Since it concerns the best five cards, player two has the queen as the fifth card. This gives him the best hand. Despite the fact that player one actually makes three pairs (aces, kings and jacks), he still loses. When neither player has a card higher than the jack in their hands, the pot is split.

Clarification of other difficult game situations that may arise:

With one or two pair, the pot goes to the player with the highest pair. A pair of aces together with a pair of deuces thus beats a pair of kings with a pair of queens.

When two or more players have a straight, the pot goes to the player with the highest straight. So if a player has ace, king, queen, jack, 10, he wins from a player with king, queen, jack, 10, 9. When several players have a straight with the same highest card, the pot is shared between these players.

When two or more players have a flush, the pot goes to the player with the highest flush. When there are 8, 9, queen, king and ace of hearts on the table, all players make a flush. The pot is now divided. When one of the players has the jack of hearts or 10 of hearts in his hand, the pot goes to that player. This is because the jack of hearts and hearts are 10 higher than the 8 of hearts. If one of the players has a heart in his hand that is lower than the 8, then this player does not have a higher flush than the one on the table. So the pot is simply shared between the players still playing. Remember that these are the best five cards.

With a full-house it is first about the highest 3 of a kind. So three threes and two fours beat three twos and two aces.

When there is a four of a kind on the table, the highest kicker counts. Since a four of a kind only consists of four cards, the fifth card matters. This is either the fifth card from the table or one of the cards from one of the players’ hand. It must then be higher than the fifth card on the table and higher than the cards of the other players.

4.2 Dropout of players

If you play poker in tournament format, you can face some tough situations. In this form the intention is that players drop out until one winner remains. If a player is eliminated (out of chips) who has paid the big blind that same round, the next round will only be paid a big blind by the player next to the eliminator. So there is no small blind.

When one or more players bet their full chip supply (chip stack), there may be a side pot. A sidepot is a portion of the pot in the center of the table that not all players play for. When player A has $ 10 in chips and bets all of this (all in), it goes into the pot. When player B and player C both have 20 euros in chips and also bet all of this, both B and C go to 10 euros in the main pot (the pot that A is also part of) and 10 euros in the sidepot, the pot that can only be won by player B or player C. When one of the players has fewer chips than the rest and bets all of them, the other players can continue to play against each other by means of a sidepot. The player who is all in then only has a chance to win the main pot and the side pot is for one of the other players.

Now you have a pretty good idea of ​​how poker works. If you want to get started yourself, you can organize a poker tournament here. Have fun and enjoy the game!

5. The poker rules dictionary

Below we have listed a number of poker terms with their meaning. These can provide clarity for learning the poker rules.

All in: Player who has all his money in the pot.
Bet: Placing a bet before someone else has placed a bet in a particular round.
Blind: Mandatory bet that players must place before the face down cards are dealt. The blinds move clockwise after each round.
Bluff: A bet or raise from a player who thinks he doesn’t have the best hand.
Board: The open cards on the table.
Button: Usually a round plastic disc that lies at the dealer. This way everyone at the table can see who the dealer is. The disc moves with the dealer every turn.
Buy in: The money to be deposited in a tournament or cash game.
Call: Make as many bets as any previously placed bet.
Caller: Player who calls a bet or a raise.
Check: Do not bet and pass the turn to the next player.
Check-raise: Check first and then when another player bets, raise that bet.
Chip: A round coin in different colors that represents money.
Chip Stack: Total amount of chips a player has.
Family pot: Game round in which the most players play before the flop.
Flop: The first three cards face up on the table after the first round of betting.
Flush: Any five cards of the same suit (hearts, diamonds, spades or clubs).
Fold: Discard your cards and stop playing.
Four-of-a-kind: Four of the same cards (kind does not matter). For example four farmers.
Full House: Three for two of the same cards (kind does not matter). For example three aces and two jacks.
Heads up: Game between two (remaining) players.
Kicker: Card that does not count in the combination made. See chapter exceptional situations.
Late position: Position of a player when he has the button (and is therefore a dealer) or is right in front of the button. This means that almost all other players have to do something before it is his turn. Most favorite position, because you can now see what other players are betting before you have to bet anything yourself.
Limit: Maximum amount a player is allowed to enter bet during a betting round.
Center position: Position of a player when he is approximately in the middle of all players. This means that there are about as many players in front as behind him in this game round.
Muck: The tray in which the cards disappear when they are no longer used. When someone “mucks” his hand, he discards his cards and folds.
Nuts: The best hand possible. When a player has the nuts, he cannot lose.
Off-suit: Cards that are not of the same suit. So for example a heart and a spade.
Overcard: Card that a player has in his hand and that is higher than all cards that are face up on the table.
Overpair: A pair a player has in their hand that is higher than any open card on the table.
Pair: Two of the same cards. For example two women.
Position: Position of a player that takes into account the moment of betting. See also early, middle and late position.
Pot: Total amount of money in the center of the table.
Raise: Placing an extra bet on top of a previously placed bet.
Raiser: Player who places a raise.
Rake: Amount from each pot that must be paid to the casino when playing in a casino.
Reraise: Place a raise when another player has already raised.
River: The fifth and last open card on the table.
Royal flush: The five highest cards of each suit (hearts, spades, clubs and diamonds). So ten, jack, queen, king and ace of the same suit. Highest possible hand achievable in poker.
Side pot: A second pot when one of the players is all-in and the other active players bet even more.
Straight: Five cards in sequence (suit does not matter). For example nine, ten, jack, woman, gentleman.
Straight flush: Five consecutive cards of the same suit. For example nine, ten, jack, wife, gentleman of the kind of hearts.
Suited: Cards that are of the same suit.
Three of a kind: Three of the same cards (kind does not matter). For example three women.
Top pair: A pair with the highest card face up on the table.
Turn: The fourth open card on the table.
Early position: Position of a player when in the blinds or just behind the blinds. This means that he must bet before most other players have done anything in this game round.

Would you like to apply the above theory in practice? Then book one of our poker workshops and get started!