The Poker Basics

Learning the basics of poker is not a daunting task at hand. However, being really good at it is another task in itself.

Maybe you have seen some New Jersey PokerStars, and you want to try your luck at online poker. Whatever has you interested in poker, you are not alone. In fact, you could easily try out an NJ online casino once you get the hang of things.

The Hand Rankings

The first thing you need to know when playing poker is the hand rankings. This is the value of each card and is very important.

Typically, each card will use their face value, so anything that is 2 through 10 will be exactly that. Then you have an increasing order of Jacks, Queens, Kings, and Aces.

There are four groups of suits too. These are Hearts, Clubs, Diamonds, and Spades. Each suit will have 13 cards numbered 2 through Ace.

When using the card values, you can then try to put together the best five-card hands possible. These are the hand rankings you should remember:

  • High card – The highest card value in your hand when nothing else can be matched or paired together. This is the lowest hand ranking possible.
  • One Pair – This is formed when you have two of the same value cards from different suits such as 6 of diamonds and 6 of clubs. The number or face value matters in this situation.
  • Two Pairs – This is where you have a matching pair twice. So a five-card hard might look like 4, 4, 7, 7, K.
  • Three of a kind – This is when you have three matching face value cards, such as 5, 5, 5, 8, 9.
  • Straight – This five-card hand is a sequence of cards in a row regardless of their suit such as 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.
  • Flush – All five of your cards are of the same suit, regardless of the hand value, such as five different hearts.
  • Full House – When you have three of a kind and a pair in your hand, such as 3, 3, 3, 5, 5.
  • Four of a kind – Four cards of the same value in your hand such as 5, 5, 5, 5, 8
  • Straight Flush – When you have a sequence of cards, and they also are of the same suit. For example, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and they are all spades.
  • Royal Flush – This is the absolute best hand in any game. This is when you have A, K, Q, J, 10 of the same suit.

Types of Games

The most basic poker games you can play with other people are either draw or stud variations. The basics of these games will help you understand many other games too.

Draw games usually deal out five cards to players, and then players can have the option to trade in at least three cards. The goal is to make the best five-card hand possible. Also, do not forget the betting rounds in between each hand.

Stud games usually are dealt out five or seven cards at a time. They can either be flipped over one at a time or by looking at your hand at first. This is similar to draw games, but usually, the rules are slightly different.


When playing poker, you need to know the terms that players are using when they talk during the games. These basic terms are synonymous throughout the poker world.

  • Raise – When you think you have a good hand and want to increase your bet
  • Fold – When you no longer think your hand is good, so you stop playing that round and discard your hand. You do not win anything, but you also do not have to sit through and keep betting.
  • Call – When someone bets an amount, you can “call” their bet, which means you match the same bet.
  • Check – If no one has raised the bet, you have the option to “check,” which means to stay where you are at, and the gameplay continues.

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