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At its most basic, poker is a game with alternating rounds of dealing cards and betting and a winner determined by either being the last remaining player or having the highest-ranking five-card hand. The game is simple enough, but misleadingly so. In reality, elements of mathematics, psychology and chance intertwine to increase the complexity of the game. While it may only take a short while to understand the fundamentals of how to play, to be a truly gifted poker player will take time and lots of practice.

There are different ways to play poker we call these games ‘poker variants.’ They’re identified by the type of game, such as flop or draw games. Some of the more common variants are Texas Hold ‘em, Omaha, Seven-Card Stud and Five-Card Draw. A good tip to know from the start is to make sure you learn how to play all of the different varieties in order to be a well-rounded player. The games are further divided based on the value of the betting limits and the betting structure (such as Fixed-Limit and No-Limit).

Texas Hold ‘em is the most popular variant and is the game played at the World Series of Poker (WSOP). It’s a good game to learn first, and once you get a firm grip on it, teach yourself another one.

Visit PokerStars and Bodog Poker have free interactive tutorials where the computer guides you through a hand of Texas Hold ‘em. They are excellent, easy-to-follow programs that will definitely help you learn poker. Once you understand the game, both sites have tables where you can play for free with ‘play money.’ This is highly recommended before you start playing with real money.

Poker today is everywhere: in the privacy of peoples’ homes, tournaments, charity events, casino poker rooms and the internet. It’s become such a popular pastime that it’s almost socially gauche not to know how to play. will help you on your journey to poker propriety by first teaching you how to play the game, and then how to play the game well and win money. Because that’s what poker is about: winning as much money as you can by maximizing your wins (by getting your opponent(s) to put in as much money as possible) and minimizing your loses.

One place you can be sure to win money playing poker is online. It’s available 24 hours a day and there is plenty of action and excitement playing people from all over the globe. There are also some great sites with huge payouts and generous sign-up bonuses (check out

Visit they have sign-up bonuses of up to $200!). Many of the top poker professionals honed their craft on the internet and continue to play online in addition to live tournaments. If you want to develop your skills and beat your friends more often in home games, find an online casino you like and start playing!

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The object of all poker games is to either have the strongest five-card hand at the end of the game (the showdown), or be the last player left in the game (everybody else folded), and win the money in the pot. Hands are ranked based on probability, with the least-probable hand being the strongest (straight flush) to the most-probable hand (high card) being the weakest. It’s OK to write the hand rankings down and bring them with you to a game until you have them memorized. We have them available here to print. While the dealing structure and individual game rules may vary, all poker games share this common format:

-— Players ante in or place blind bets into a central pot to get the action started

- Cards are dealt to every player and the betting begins after everyone’s had a chance to look at their cards

-— Players may check, raise, or fold in turn (their decision is based on the strength of their hand)

—- If you want to stay until the showdown (the end of the game when active players show their cards) and have a claim to the pot, you must match the amount of money that has been bet when it’s your turn to act. Otherwise, you have to fold.

—- There are several rounds of dealing cards and betting until the showdown

-— Players make their best hand out of five cards. Depending on the game, these cards can be either their own personal cards or in combination with community cards that are dealt face-up and available to everyone

-— The game is won when either there is only one active player left or a player is determined to have the highest-ranking hand at the showdown.

Read hand ranking and betting for further information on that part of the game. Also read our individual game rules for a detailed explanation of how the games are played.

As mentioned above, it is highly recommended for beginner players, and those who already know how to play but want to improve their skills, to practice. While it might not be feasible to meet up with friends several nights a week for a game, the opportunity to practice online is unlimited.

PokerStars offers free games, which are great for beginners so you don’t lose too much money. It’s very easy to begin playing: you can play right on their site without having to download software. Once you feel comfortable with your skills, move on to pay poker winning money is part of the game, after all, and the reason why poker is so exciting.

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DISCLAIMER: The information contained on this web site is for entertainment purposes only and is not to be used for any illegal activities. This web site is an independent directory and information service only and does not accept wagers of any type. Links to third party web sites are provided for informative purposes only. If you use these links, you leave this web site and are subject to the terms and conditions of use of the linked web site. Warning: There are thousands of different gambling opportunities available on the Internet. Do not assume that Internet gambling sites are in compliance with the rules and regulations of every country from which they accept players. YOU are responsible for determining if it is legal for YOU to play any particular game or place any particular wager under the laws of the jurisdiction where you are located.

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