Poker Basics for Beginners

The art of poker involves a broad spectrum of concepts. Those who master them, perform at a completely different level. They know how to analyze, count and predict. In this section, we will tell you about the fundamentals that every beginner needs to learn at the start of their playing career.

If you aspire to achieve positive results and avoid being "shark food" (easy prey), you should approach the absorption of theoretical material with utmost dedication. Many professional players emphasize this point, and who else but they truly know the formula for success?!

Exploring Poker Theory: Fundamentals

A wealth of new information can easily create chaos and confusion in your mind, so it’s best to break up it into manageable chunks. 

Once you get the essentials down, the realm of poker will seem incredibly straightforward.

Here’s what every novice ought to master before jumping into the fray (read “join the action”), especially when real funds are at stake:

What should I know?How will this benefit me?
RulesUnderstanding the general principles and nuances of betting rounds will facilitate and speed up the process of mastering inputs on strategies.
CombinationsYou have limited time to make decisions at the table, so by learning all possible combos and ways to form them, you will quickly navigate through your pocket cards and those on the board.
TerminologyThis game has its own slang. Without knowing specific terms, you will struggle to understand what is being discussed, Whether it's in-game policy, strategy guides, or table talk.
Starting hand chartsYou will be making savvy hand selections preflop. Understanding different ranges will assist you in playing more profitable cards and, ultimately, making money.
Game typesBroadening your poker horizons will enhance your understanding of the game, as each discipline has unique aspects. Some may find the classic format boring, so it's worth exploring other variations to add new challenges to your poker experience.

Possible Card Combinations

Before studying the rules and varieties of the discussed game, one should remember the ten main poker hands and their seniority. Your progress will be hindered without understanding what a winning combo looks like or which combinations triumph over others. Newbies are often perplexed during showdowns when they end up losing with three pair (it’s a classic case 😏). Diligent ones, however, are aware that such a combination doesn't exist at all, as only 5 cards make up the kit.

What you need is a beginner's guide to forming hands, and we have one available. Make sure to visit the page that provides descriptions of all combos, as it will help you understand which cards should encourage you to bet, raise, check, or fold.

Detailed Rules of the Game

Many neophytes immediately sit down at the table, claiming that it’s the surest way to learn poker ins and outs, and ultimately end up losing their bankroll in a few hands. This really is partly true, but you should first look through theory and only afterwards put the acquired knowledge into practice.

Our team of editors suggests starting a learning journey with Texas Holdem, as it’s the simplest and most prevalent form of poker, and then gradually exploring other variations. We have prepared a comprehensive, specifically designed-for-novices guide that goes beyond just text – visuals and examples to facilitate your understanding are attached as well.

Relevant Terminology in Use

This game has many slang terms. Unfamiliar specific words and expressions will appear literally at every turn. For beginner players, they may initially seem like a separate language, but over time, you will naturally use them even off the table.


Here the term "call" refers to an action where a player matches their opponent(s) wager. It has nothing to do with making actual phone calls.

Alternatively, imagine you're watching a live tournament broadcast and hear someone at the table saying, "I've got the nuts." You might assume that the person has been playing for a while, got hungry and bought themselves some nuts for snacking. But that's not the case here. This phrase actually means that the player holds nuts, an invincible combination (on the current street or in the distribution). If you have it, no other hand can beat you.

These widespread cases are just the tip of the iceberg. On our website, you will find a fairly extensive section dedicated to “local” terms; the glossary designed to help you process new information faster.

Smart Choice of Initial Hands

Entering hands and placing bets without thinking is the easiest and surest way to lose money. Novices' fundamental issue lies in playing too many starting (pocket) cards. However, if you fail to play an adequate number of starters, you will miss out on many opportunities to claim the pot. Special attention should be given to selecting initial cards, as it’s the key to your success during both preflop stage and subsequent betting streets. Understanding which hand is worth playing and which one should be folded right away is vital, so a special poker cheat sheet will be a big help.

Classic Gameplay vs Modified Versions

Poker theory is a truly vast concept that encompasses numerous variations. Each form has its own set of rules, which may affect your bet sizing or way of determining victor(s). For instance, in some cases, the pot can be won by either the best or the worst combo (check Omaha Hi Lo rules). Additionally, people may not always be dealt two personal cards; certain versions involve dealing four, five, or even seven elements. We provide special material on this topic as well.

One thing to remember!
One thing to remember!

Complex knowledge is what yields beneficial results. If you memorize card combinations quickly and seem to understand the principles of betting but completely neglect initial hand choices (ranges), you won't achieve anything significant. So, go ahead, folks, and be bold, no matter what!


💁‍♂️ Is poker a gambling activity?

This is a card game that encompasses both elements of chance and strategy. The first refers to how luck influences match outcomes, while the intellectual aspect stems from our ability to succeed through mathematical prowess, logical thinking, and well-thought-out tactics.

📌 How to master poker without risking your own finances?

One effective approach is to practice the game through a play money mode. Many online rooms offer this option, but it usually requires creating an account beforehand.

🎉 What variation is the most thrilling?

There is no definitive answer as it varies based on personal preferences. Some individuals find traditional poker more enjoyable, while others are drawn to its manifold adaptations.

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