If you haven’t been under a rock for the past decade, you’ve seen firsthand just how popular poker has become worldwide – not to mention in Australia. From home games to the Aussie Millions, we’re now a nation of online poker players. And the game is popular for a good reason: it’s fun, interactive, and rewards skilled players by carefully mixing strategy and luck.
But if you haven’t learned how to play at this point, you might wonder if it’s too late to get in on the fun. Thankfully, poker is simple to learn, even if it can take a lifetime to master. This page explains how to play the most popular version of poker played today: Texas Hold’em, the same game that’s played in the main events of the World Series of Poker and the Aussie Millions. It also includes a little about how two other games with some popularity – Omaha and seven-card stud – are played, so that you can jump into those games as well.
First, we should go over the basics that apply to almost all poker games. Poker is played using a standard deck of 52 cards, usually without jokers (though variants certainly exist that use jokers as well). The object of the game is to either be the last person remaining in the hand (by getting everyone else to fold their hands) or to win at showdown by having the strongest hand of the remaining players. Poker hand rankings work as follows, from strongest to weakest.