How to Play Poker in India
To better describe how to play poker and the most general poker rules, we’ll use the most common poker game Texas Hold’em as an example.
Big and Small blind: A big and small blind that has been predetermined is paid. Two players pay the blinds. The blinds are forced bets that are paid by the players on the left side of the dealer.
Cards are dealt once the big and small blind has been paid.
First Round: The first round of Texas Hold’em starts with every player getting two personal cards dealt face down. These cards are called “hole cards” and belong to the player himself and should not be shared with the others.
After everyone has had a chance to look at their cards, the first round of betting is conducted. The first player to act is the player on the left side of the big blind. This position is often referred to as “under the gun”
At this point, anyone that wants to continue playing has to match the big blind that was placed before the round started. If a player doesn’t think that his cards are good enough, he can fold without matching the blind. At this point, players also have the option of placing a bet that is higher than the big blind. In that case, all other players have to match that bet to continue playing.
Second Round: After the first round of betting, three community cards are dealt face-up on the table. These cards are called the flop and can be used by any player at the table. Then the second round of betting is conducted.
Third Round: When the second betting round is done, a fourth community card is dealt on the table next to the flop. This card is called the turn. Then the third round of betting is conducted.
Fourth Round: The fourth and final round starts with the dealer dealing a fifth community card called the river. After the river has been dealt with, a last round of betting is conducted and then the players reveal their cards.
In the example below Player 2 wins the hand with Three of a Kind
Actions: Raise, Fold, Call or Check
Raise: If you have a good hand, or want to pretend that you have a good hand (bluff) then you can raise. A standard raise is typical with 1-3x the big blind.
Fold: If you don’t like your hand you don’t have to play it and you can fold it. Once you fold you are out of the game and can not win the pot.
Call: You can call, which means that you match the current bet.
Check: If your turn comes and no one has acted you have the option to check, which translates to “pass”. The turn is passed on to the next player without a wager.
Best Sites for Playing Online Poker in India
Here are some of the best sites for playing online poker in India. All sites we have reviewed are licensed and legal to play with.
In order to play poker online, you have to find a reliable online poker or poker site. As always, we suggest you stick with our recommendations since our team of casino experts only recommend the best of the best.
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18+ | T&C's Apply | Responsible Gambling is advised. Gambling is an entertainment form that comes with a considerable risk of losing your money. Never play with more than you can afford to lose.
If you’re interested in playing poker online, you have a few options to choose from. The easiest version of online poker is the so-called video poker which almost works as a combination of poker and online slots.
However, if you want to play real poker with other players you have to find a poker site where “the real” poker games are offered. Some poker sites are connected to online casinos that also offer live casinos and slot machines, but many poker sites are separate sites altogether. The reason for this is that poker is different from most other casino games.
Once you’ve signed up for an online poker site, you can pick which type of poker you want to play and join an available table with other players. And that’s it. Playing poker online in India is really that simple.
Poker rules are pretty easy and straightforward as long as you get a hang of the basics. In most types of poker, especially the popular poker games online such as Texas Hold’em, your goal is to create the best poker hand possible using five cards.
Remember that you play poker against other players that are all seated around the same poker table. Generally speaking, there is a dealer at the table whose job it is to be in charge of the game without participating.
If you play poker at home or with friends, the role of the dealer is usually switched between all the players after each round so that everyone gets to be the dealer.
Limit vs. No-Limit poker
Limit Poker: During the pre-flop action and during the flop bets can not exceed and must be matched with the big blind.
No-Limit Poker: There are no restrictions in terms of the amount you can bet.
Knowing the different poker hands is essential to playing poker because they are what decides who wins and who loses. Therefore, it’s also the hands that determine how you’re going to play and which strategies to apply.
Luckily, poker hands are pretty straightforward and easy to learn and memorize. Below, we’ve collected all the different hands from the smallest to the biggest, with detailed descriptions of what they are and how you build one.
Remember that most types of poker use five cards per hand. However, as you’ll soon see, you don’t necessarily have to combine all five cards to create a valid hand. For the sake of clarity, we’ll use the most standard poker rules to explaining the hands below, ie. the rules used in Texas Hold’em.
The cards that are not included in the actual card combination are called kickers, or side cards. And even though they’re not included in a combination, they still serve a purpose. You can read more about them further down.
Pair – A pair is a lowest-valued hand in poker. It consists of two cards of the same rank, for example, two 2s or two kings. The suit of the card does not matter in a pair but the higher the denomination is, the higher the value of the hand gets
Two Pair – A two pair is a hand made up of two different pairs, for example, one pair of 7s and one pair of 10s. The fifth card is a kicker. Similar to a regular pair, the suite doesn’t matter, but the higher the rank of the card, the better the hand.
Three of a kind
Three of a kind – Three of a kind is three cards of the same rank and value such as three Kings or three 3s. Once again, the suit of the card has no meaning but you want to aim at getting a three of a kind with the highest cards possible for the best chance of winning.
Straight – A straight is a different type of hand than the three aforementioned. It’s also the first hand to use all five cards. In a straight, you have to have five cards in chronological order. For example, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 or 10, J, Q, K, A.
Flush – A flush is one of two poker hands where the suit of the cards matter. In fact, the suit of the card is what makes this hand a hand. You need five cards of the same suit to make a flush, although the rank of the card doesn’t play a part. Now, the cards have to be the same suit and not just color, that means you need five spades, hearts, clubs or diamonds to make a flush.
Full House – A full house is a combination of a pair and three of a kind, ie. a pair in 6s and three Kings, etc. This is a really hard hand to get, which is why it ranks so high.
Straight Flush – a straight flush is one of the best hands you can get in Texas Hold’em. It’s made up of a straight and a flush, ie. five cards in order and the same suit.
Royal Straight Flush
Royal Straight Flush – a straight flush with the cards 10, J, Q, K, A, is called a Royal Straight Flush and it’s the best hand that one can get in Texas Hold’em, beating all other hands.
Kickers are all the cards that are not included in a poker combination. For example, if you have four of a kind, you’ll also have a kicker which is the fifth card. The same goes if you have three of a kind but then you’ll have two kickers instead.
The purpose of the kicker is to determine who wins in case two players have the same hand. The higher the kicker, the better it is. Let’s say that you and one other player have a pair of 4s, then the player with the highest kicker wins.
Different versions of the Game
There are many types of poker some of which you can play at home without money and some that require money and a betting system. The most commonly known form of poker today is Texas Hold’em, which is the type of poker played at all major poker tournaments and pretty much at any online poker you can find.
However, there are other types that are almost as popular, and we’ll talk more about them in this complete guide on how to play poker online in India.
Below, we’ve listed the most popular online poker games so that you can get a better understanding of how they differ from one another.
Five Card Draw
Five Card Draw – This is the simplest version of poker and the type of poker many of us learn how to play as kids.
In this poker game, each player gets five personal cards and there are no community cards. Depending on the rules, players have the option of switching cards either ones or twice to create the best hand. It’s one of the few types of poker that can be played without betting and is therefore rarely offered at casinos or in tournaments. Five Card Draw also acts as the foundation for Video Poker.
Texas Hold’em – Texas Hold’em is the most commonly played poker game at online and land-based casinos all over the world. This is the game that’s played in most major tournaments and it’s considered the quintessential version of poker. We’ve detailed how Texas Hold’em is played in the beginning of this guide.
Omaha – You should not be surprised to find Omaha offered at most online casinos and poker sites in India. It’s quite similar to Texas Hold’em and the goal is to get the best hand. The biggest difference between the two poker games is that, in Omaha, each player gets four hole cards each as well as five community cards. However, each player is only allowed to use two of the four hole cards to create a poker hand.
Stud Poker – Stud Poker is a collection of different poker games with similar rules. Caribbean Stud Poker and Seven Card Stud are two popular versions that you can find at many casinos today.
Razz – Technically speaking, Razz is a form of stud poker and it’s becoming increasingly more popular at casinos all over the world. What makes Razz unique compared to other types of poker is that the goal is to get the lowest-valued hand possible, instead of the highest.
Three Card Rummy
Three Card Rummy – This is one of the few three-card poker games offered at some online casinos. As the name entails, the goal in three card rummy is to make a hand using only three cards instead of five. Thus, the rules of three-card rummy are a bit easier to learn.
Strip Poker – Strip Poker is a variation of the traditional poker where the loser of each round has to take off one clothing item until one player is completely naked and has, in fact, lost.
For obvious reasons, strip poker isn’t played at casinos and it can’t be played online. Instead, it’s mostly played for entertaining reasons at parties and among friends.
Crazy pineapple – In Crazy Pineapple you play with the same rules as Texas Hold’em but instead of 2 cards you can 3 cards pre-flop. Before you start the betting round you have to discard one card. After that the game continues with the same rules as Texas Hold’em.
The Poker Table
The poker table is an essential part of any poker game. It’s usually a big oval table with clearly marked seats for players as well as one seat for the dealer. The dealer always sits at one of the longer sides facing all the players.
A poker table is either covered with felt or a Teflon-based fabric that makes it easy to slide playing cards across it.
When playing poker online, you and the other players will be placed around a virtual poker table, often shown from above. This makes the experience much more authentic.
The Poker Chips
Poker chips or casino tokens are small, coin-shaped discs used instead of real money at a casino. To start playing poker at a land-based casino, you have to exchange your money for poker chips.
There are many variants of poker chips and many casinos make their own with the casino name printed on them. The tokens come in several different denominations with unique colors that make it easy to separate them. Also, poker chips are used for most table games at casinos such as roulette, blackjack, and baccarat.
Poker chips are used for several different reasons, one being enhanced security at casinos since it’s difficult to steal them and exchange them for real money. However, the main reason is that poker chips are easier to play with than real money, both for the players and the dealer.
The Poker Cards
You’re probably already familiar with poker cards, also known as playing cards. They are the most essential part of any poker game which is why you must know what they are and what their purpose is.
A standard deck of cards consists of 52 playing cards split into four different suits. The suits are Hearts, Clubs, Diamonds, and Spades.
Furthermore, each suite has 13 cards each – 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, Jack (J), Queen (Q), King (K), and Ace (A). When playing poker, the Ace can either be the highest valued card or the lowest valued card, depending on the hand you’ve created.