Poker is one of the most popular card games in the world, with millions playing online or live at casinos around the globe. It is a game of luck, but it also requires great skill, as each player has the ability to make or break their opponents with their cards.

The basic rules of poker are pretty simple. In each round of play, each player is dealt two cards, kept secret from everyone else. After each betting round, players reveal their cards – and the player with the strongest hand wins.

Rank of hands

A standard poker hand is made up of a combination of five cards. These are called ‘hands’ and they can be any combination of the following:

High card – highest single card; pairs, like two 2s; straights, which consist of five cards in sequential order; flushes, which have five cards of the same suit; three of a kind (two 2s or more), which is known as a ‘full house’.

When two or more players have identical hands, the higher card will break the tie.

Position – where you stand at the table

There are four main positions at a poker table: Early, Late, Middle and Back. Usually the first player to act is in Early Position; the last person to act is in Late Position.

Your position is important because it can affect your betting strategy. Especially in the case of a ‘blind’ bet – a bet you can’t see your cards, but which you’ve entered before the other players have seen theirs.