Basic Rules and Strategies

of Poker

Fundamentals of the Game


As a strategy and skill-based game, online poker depends on a dynamic flow that takes place throughout multiple phases. For players who want to maximize their gameplay, regardless of experience level, understanding this cycle is important. We break down the key stages of an online poker game for you, giving you what you need to effectively navigate the river from pre-flop to showdown.

  • Pre-Flop

Two hole cards are dealt to each player face down at the start of the pre-flop phase of the game. Players have to make decisions based only on their hole cards and their comprehension of the dynamics of the table before any communal cards are revealed. Three options are available during this stage:

  • Fold: Discard your hand and give up any bets you made.
  • Call: To keep your hand and match the current bet.
  • Raise: Increasing the current bet in the hopes of increasing the pot and possibly applying pressure to rivals.

Pre-flop decisions are important because they have a big impact on how the hand plays out. The best course of action depends on several variables, including pot odds, player positioning, hand strength, and table appearance. Beginners should generally stick to tight play, which concentrates on powerful opening hands, while more experienced players may use a wider variety of pre-flop strategies.

  • Flop

The next important phase is the flop, in which three community cards are dealt face up in the middle of the table. The dynamics of the hand are significantly changed when all players have access to these shared cards. Now, players base their judgments on the many hand combinations they can make, reevaluating the strength of their hands depending on the community cards and their hole cards.

Once more, players have the choice of fold, call, or raise during the betting round. Now, the size of their bets might indicate how good they think their hand is and whether they plan to raise the pot, bluff opponents, or take value out of stronger hands. This is the critical time to watch player trends and betting patterns, as these might reveal important information about their hand strength and possible strategy.

  • The Turn and River

Further changing the hand landscape are the turn and river stages, which each reveal one extra community card. Players hone their hand analysis and modify their betting strategy in response to each new card. What sets professional poker players apart from amateurs is their ongoing assessment and strategic decision-making process.

  • Showdown

If two or more players are still in the hand following the last betting round, the showdown, the last phase, takes place. The hand with the highest-ranked five-card combination wins the pot when players show their hole cards. At this point, players must be able to accurately analyze their chances of winning and make decisions about whether to fold or call. This requires an understanding of hand rankings and pot odds.

Note: to see the list of hand rankings and other terms you need check out our “Getting Started with Online Poker” page to learn more!

Mastering The Flow: Strategies You May Need

Understanding the flow of the game is just the first step. Here are some more pointers that you can apply at this point:

      • Create a strong pre-flop strategy: It’s important to know which hands to play and how to play them depending on your situation.
      • Keep an eye on the Dynamics of the Table: Watch your rivals and modify your approach accordingly.
      • Opponents’ Playing styles: aggressive or passive? Tight or loose?
      • Recent Betting Patterns: Who is raising frequently? Who has found it easy to fold?
      • Be Conscious of Your Position: Make the most of your positional advantage.

Master The Flow and Master The Game!

To succeed in online poker, you must learn to adapt to the fast-paced rhythms and flow of the game. Based on the dynamics of the game, new decisions, and adaptations must be made fast and accurately at each stage of the hand. By repeatedly practicing and mastering this flow, you may make your play more seamless and natural. You’ll soon be able to make the correct decisions without thinking!

You gain greater experience with situations as you play more hands. More quickly than any other technique, this develops poker intuition. So take all the things you learned and master the game! If you want some in-depth dive into strategies check out our other pages!