What is poker: description and essence of the game

What is poker: description and essence of the game

Online poker is the most popular card discipline at online casinos. They make films and write books about it, it is in every casino in the world, and billions of dollars are played at his tables every year. The card world attracts attention, many people want to try their hand at it. But before that, you need to find out what the essence of the poker game is, what its rules and varieties are, and then read tips on choosing a strategy.

Game History

The first mentions of poker date back to the 16th century. Then it was played in Europe, but the rules were very different. A variety similar to the modern one appeared in the 19th century. At the same time, a 52-card French deck was adopted as the main one.

In 1967, Hold’em, the most popular modern discipline, appeared in Texas. It was invented by a player known as “Blondie”, for which he was subsequently inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame.

Famous players Doyle Brunson, Amarillo Slim and Pretzel Addington brought Hold’em from Texas to Las Vegas. The discipline became so popular that soon separate institutions began to open for it. In 1970, the first official World Series of Poker was held at the Golden Nugget Casino. Soon there were only Texas Hold’em tournaments left — it began to be considered the benchmark of the game in terms of luck and skill.

Rules of the game in classic poker

Rules of the game in classic poker

From two to ten participants play at the same time. A classic 52-card deck is used. Positions are randomly selected at the start.

After that, several gamblers make small and big blinds. Next, poker players are given open or closed cards — it depends on the discipline. After that, several rounds of bidding (streets) take place. The next one starts only if all bets are equal. Between them, users receive new cards, or exchange existing ones. The game ends if:

  • Poker players did not equalize the bets and saved. The winner is the last user in the game;
  • There are no unbalanced bets left on the last lap. Then the poker players show their hands and compare them by seniority. This stage is called an autopsy (showdown);
  • The winner takes all the chips. If two or more poker players have collected equal hands, then the pot is divided.


Poker varieties have their own peculiarities. Disciplines differ in:

  • The number of players. Up to ten poker players can sit at the Texas Hold’em table, and no more than three in Chinese Pineapple;
  • The number of cards. From two to six;
  • The number of shared cards. These include those denominations that any participant of the distribution can use to collect a combination;
  • The maximum size of the bet. In some games, you can put all the chips (go all-in) at once, in others, the upper limit of the increase is set in advance.

Types of poker

Before starting a poker casino online, it is better to get acquainted with different disciplines in order to choose the most suitable one.

Texas Hold’em

At the beginning, the poker players receive two closed pockets. After that, there are trades: preflop, flop, turn and river. They are analyzed in more detail in the corresponding section.

The goal is to collect the strongest combination at the table using seven cards (five of them are common) and win the showdown or force opponents to fold their hands.


Omaha is the second most popular poker discipline after Texas Hold’em. The variety differs in the number of pockets (four) and the rules for collecting combinations. In Omaha, the combination must consist of two closed and three community cards.

In addition to the main option, where the player with the strongest combination wins, there is Omaha Hi-Lo, where the pot is divided between the older and younger hands. For the latter, you need to use five denominations less than Eight — pairs are not allowed among them, and Straight and Flush are not taken into account. 

Draw poker

Before the advent of Texas Hold’em and Omaha, draw poker claimed to be the most popular variety. It is easier to master it than the previous disciplines, so everyone played.

After making mandatory bets, the participants of the distribution are given five cards in a closed one. At this stage, the poker players must evaluate the received hand and decide whether they want to continue playing with it. If so, they equalize or raise the opponents’ bets, if not, they pass.

Next comes the exchange circle. Poker players can discard cards (from one to five) and get new ones. The exchange can be refused if the user’s hand is strong enough or he wants to deceive rivals.

After that, the last round of bidding takes place. The participants of the hand can no longer strengthen the hand, so they either discard it or reach the showdown. The bank is taken by the user who has collected the strongest combination.

Double Discarding

Double Discarding is a kind of Draw poker. It has another trading street and an additional exchange circle. Discarded cards are shuffled and used again in the hand.


There are several types of Herds, differing in the number of cards: from four to seven. The latter is the most common, so its rules will be considered.

At the start of the hand, everyone makes an ante. Next, players are given three cards, one of them is visible to opponents. A poker player with a lower face value makes a bring-in — the minimum bet or half of it. Sometimes several players have equal cards. In this case, the bet is made by the poker player with the lowest suit (in descending order: spades, hearts, diamonds, clubs).

Next, players are given one open card each. The user with the strongest combination of two denominations puts first. After that, they give out one more card. The bet is made by the owner of the highest hand of three denominations. So passes two more laps. In the end, the poker player who has collected the strongest five-card combination wins. In the Herd, as in Omaha, there is a kind of Hi-Lo with similar rules. It is not as popular as the main option.

Free online poker games

The maximum bet when playing poker may vary. Along the upper limit of the increase, there are limit, pot-limit and unlimited types.


In limit hold’em there are two concepts that are absent in the following types: lower and upper bet. The first limits the maximum size of the raise on the preflop and flop, the second — on the turn and river.

Blinds are also placed on the initial street in limit poker. Then the distribution participants decide whether to continue or not. They can raise, but the maximum raise is two bets. You can’t bet more than three times per street — after that, only a call is available to users.


Pot limit online poker gambling also has an upper limit on the increase, but it is equal to the sum of the opponent’s bet and the current pot size. Example: An opponent deposits $10 into a $20 pot. If the user wants to raise, then he will be able to deposit no more than $30. The number of bets is unlimited, so the participants of the distribution can go all-in already on the preflop.


Unlimited is the most popular type of Texas Hold’em. It does not limit the maximum amount of increase and the number of flights to the street. Poker players can go all-in at any time, so in unlimited poker you need to act more carefully or try to beat your opponents with a bluff.

Combinations of cards in play online poker

Combinations of cards in play online poker

Since the point of playing poker is to get a high—ranking combination and defeat opponents, novice players should know the strength of their hands.

Senior Card

A poker player plays with the highest card if he has not collected a full combination. If several participants have collected such a hand, then the winner is chosen at face value at the table.


If a player has received two identical cards, then his hand is called a pair. It can be pocket-sized, assembled through hitting the board and completely laid out on the board.

If several players have collected the same pair, then the winner is determined by the kicker — an assistant card that does not participate in the combination, but sets its seniority in case of a draw.

Example: three poker players have collected a pair of Kings. The first player will be the winner, because he has an Ace as a kicker. The card is the assistant of the second poker player — the Lady is younger, so he is inferior in the hand. The third player’s kicker — the Jack — is on the board because his pocket Ten is weaker.

Two pairs

A doubled version of the previous combination. If several players have collected two different pairs, then the leader is determined by the strength of the upper one. Poker players with the same hands divide the pot equally.


A set is a combination of three cards of the same denomination, assembled from two cards. It is often confused with a thrips — a hand obtained by hitting a pair on the board. The combinations differ in name, but when summing up the distribution, they are equal.


A straight is five mismatched cards in order. To increase the chance of getting it, you need to play connectors — sequential pockets more often


A flush is five matching cards. The denominations cannot go in order, otherwise the hand will be stronger. If there are several Flushes, the winner will be determined by the highest card. A combination with an Ace is always the strongest on the board.

Full House

A full house is a pair and a set in one hand. If several poker players have this combination, the winner of the top three will win.


Quads are four identical denominations. If they are collected by two poker players, the winner is selected by the top card.

Straight Flush

A straight flush is a combination of five matching cards in order. It is very rare — the probability of getting is 0.0015%.

Royal Flush

The royal flush is not a separate combination, but a special case of the previous hand. This is the name of a Straight flush from Ten to Ace. This is the strongest combination in the game, the poker player with it automatically becomes the winner of the hand.

Read also about Baccarat Online Casino Game.

Free online poker

After the beginner has read the description of the poker game, it’s time to find out in what style to act as a beginner to increase the chances of winning. Choosing the right strategy is the best thing to do at the start. Most gamblers can be divided into two groups according to their playing style:

  • Tight. This group includes poker players who choose only the best hands for the draw and rarely bluff. Their strategy is simpler, so they rarely get into difficult situations at the table;
  • Loose. This group is the complete opposite of the previous one. Loose poker players play more hands and often try to bluff their opponents out. This is more suitable for experienced gamblers, since the style implies a lot of complex decisions.

Representatives of both groups can act aggressively if they play combinations through a raise, or passively if they prefer to check and call opponents’ bets. For beginners, a tight-aggressive style is more suitable — such poker players are called TAGS. To do this, the gambler must choose the strongest combinations on the preflop, bet with a strong combination and discard with a weak one. This way the poker player will avoid losses from drawing weak hands and will be able to earn more.