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How a game plays out

A poker game in 8 easy steps

Before you ante up and bluff your way to a major victory, you’ll need to get the hang of a few poker basics. When you break things down, a hand of online poker is really easy to understand. Below, you’ll find a play-by-play of a typical hand of No Limit Texas Hold’em, our most popular online poker game. But first, some lingo you need to know:

Blind – The blinds are forced bets posted by players to the left of the dealer button in flop-style poker games, and are used to stimulate play and avoid no-action rounds

Small Blind – The small blind is placed by the player to the left of the dealer button

Big Blind – The big blind is posted by the next player to the left of the small blind

Hole Cards — The two cards dealt to each player, face down. The cards are not visible to other players in the game until exposed during a showdown.

Community Cards — The 5 cards dealt face up through three separate rounds, including the Flop (3 cards), Turn (1 card), and River (1 card). These cards are visible to all players at all times and players can use any combination of the community cards and their hole cards to create a winning 5-card hand.

Burn — One card, dealt face down into a discard pile before the flop (first three cards), turn (4th card), and river (5th card) are dealt. While you typically see burn cards in live poker games, online poker games don’t include them.


1) Pre-flop
Each player receives two cards, face down.

2) Betting Round 1
After each player looks at his or her hole cards, a round of betting occurs, starting with the player to the left of the big blind.

3) Flop
Once all players have checked, raised, or called, one card is burned (dealt to a discard pile) and three cards are dealt face up on the table.

4) Betting Round 2
With each player now able to form a 5-card hand, another round of betting occurs.

5) The Turn
Another card is burned, and a fourth card is dealt, face up. If you’ve learned poker basics before, you might also know this card as Fourth Street.

6) Betting Round 3
With six cards now available to each player to create a 5-card hand, another round of betting occurs.

7) The River
A final card is burned and a fifth card is dealt, face up. The River is sometimes referred to as Fifth Street.

8) Betting Round 4
With each player now able to make their best 5-card hand out of 7 potential cards (5 community cards and 2 hole cards), a final round of betting occurs.


Winning the hand
There are multiple ways to win a hand of poker. If all players fold their cards because the blinds are too big or the raise is too large and you’re the only player left standing at any point during the hand, you win the pot.

If the hand goes to a showdown with the flop, turn, and river exposed, the player with the best 5-card hand wins.