Poker 101

Poker 101

How does Poker work? What are the basic fundamentals of the game? Get ready to learn about Poker 101. You don't need any prior knowledge to start learning.


Poker is one of the most widespread and exciting card games in the world! Though there are various types of poker games, the most common is called ‘Texas Hold ‘Em,’ so that’s what we’ll be discussing. 

In poker, the card dealer will give each player two pocket cards. Players have to look at their cards, decide whether or not they want to continue playing or fold, and wait for the dealer’s flop of the first three cards. Each player only knows the two cards in their hand. As play goes on and the next two cards are flipped, players need to decide whether to check, call, raise, or fold. Players wager poker chips in each game and once you run out of chips, you are out of the game. The goal of poker is to finish with all of the chips through strategy and a bit of luck!

Poker Basics

Equipment and Gear

Since poker does not involve much physical exertion or movement, it requires only a small amount of equipment. The most important equipment you need to play poker is a full deck of cards. Without cards, poker is virtually impossible to play! You should also make sure to have a lot of multi-colored poker chips, since different colors represent different dollar amounts. A table is also necessary as a playing surface, though it does not necessarily need to be a poker table, since they can be expensive.

Some people also like to play with sunglasses to hide their eyes and keep their intentions a mystery from other players, but these are not necessary.  

Poker Equipment

Penalties and Rules

Just like any other competitive sport or game, poker has its own set of penalties and rules. For one, if at any point a card dealt to a player is accidentally revealed to the table, it is considered a misdeal and the cards are re-shuffled and re-dealt. Players are not allowed to mark cards in any way that differentiates them from any others and gives any player an advantage. Rules also exist in betting during poker games, but they can differ from table to table. Generally, players must bet in a set order and there may be limits set on how much can be bet. Committing a penalty can result in a player being removed from the game.

There are also rules specific to scoring each hand. Having a full house or royal flush is better than just having a pair of aces. Knowing the rank of hands in poker can be important in helping you win a poker game!

Poker rules and regulations


In a typical competitive game of texas hold ‘em, up to ten players are seated at each table, with no less than six players to start with. Each seat is assigned a position based on where they are sitting at the table, around the dealer, and they rotate after each round. The player to the direct left of the dealer is called the small blind and the player to the left of them is the big blind. These players pay the predetermined bets before any pocket cards are dealt and must go first after the flop.

To the left of the big blind are the early positions (in a game of 10 players there will be 3). These players are known as the ‘under the gun’ players. After the early position players are the middle position players, there should be the same amount of MP players as there are EP players. 

The late position players are last, with the cut-off being the second-;ast player at the table and the button positioned next to them. If the table has a designated dealer, they are the button at all times. If not, the button becomes the dealer for that round. 

Poker Positions

Important Poker Concepts

Here are some of the most important poker concepts to know:

  • There are many types of poker, but texas hold ‘em is the most popular
  • In texas hold ‘em, each player is dealt two cards and five cards are involved in the community cards
  • Aces are considered the high card
  • Players bet poker chips that are assigned point values
  • Each round, players can either check, bet, raise, or fold

Poker 101 Lingo

Here are just a few of the important terms to know in poker:

  • Pocket cards- the two cards you are originally dealt in a round of poker 
  • Pot- the total amount of chips bet by each player in a round of poker
  • Hand- the two pocket cards that a player is dealt, combined with three community cards
  • Community cards- the cards flipped by the dealer in a round of poker
  • Flop- the first three cards in the community cards flipped by the dealer