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Learn how to play Poker in this guide for beginners and pros at Australian casinos. Widely known as one of the most recognisable and certainly iconic card games in existence, Poker is a game with a number of variants.

Played with a standard 52 card deck and based on various rounds of betting between Poker players, the outright objective of the game is to win the collective wagers or ‘pot’ by compiling the strongest hand or being the only player left who has yet to resign their cards back to the dealer, a move most commonly known as a ‘fold’.

How to Play Poker for Beginners

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Step-By-Step Guide to Online Poker Australia

Learning how to play Poker online is fun and easy with our top tips. So, follow our step-by-step guide for Australian Poker players to get started.

Step 1 – Choose a Variant

With any Poker game, it’s important to start with which variant of the game you’d be most comfortable with. So, try out a few Poker games for free before trying your luck at the real money option. There are four types of Poker in Australia, namely:

  • Straight – e.g. Standard Poker
  • Draw – e.g. Five Card Draw
  • Stud – e.g. Five or Seven Card Stud
  • Community – e.g. Texas Hold’em

Step 2 – Place your Poker Bets

All Poker games in Australia will start with bets. Depending on the variant, this includes a ‘side bet’ and a start bet. Side bets are placed on the outcome of the game, while start bets, or buy-ins, will allow you to start playing at the table.

Step 3 – Get Your Cards

Next, a dealer will hand out the cards. In Poker games, there are three ways to receive your cards – face up, face down or a mixture. For most straight formats, all five cards will be dealt face up. In draw Poker games, they will be dealt face down. The third type will be found in stud or community card formats.

Step 4 – Call, Bet, Match or Fold

During each round, AU players will need to call, bet, match or fold, depending on their hand. We’ve outlined each type below:

  • Bet – placing a bet at the start of the round.
  • Match – matching the highest bet made.
  • Raise – raise the going bet to force other Poker players to match or fold.
  • Fold – lay down your cards and leave the game.
  • Call – putting the raised bet in the pot.
  • Check – doing ‘nothing’ until other players have raised or folded.

Step 5 – Showdown

Following a few rounds of bets, players will need to reveal their hand. In Poker, the aim of the game is to get five cards in a certain order with a specific value. Then, depending on the suit, the player with the highest valued hand wins.

Basic Poker Rules Australia - How to Play Poker

The Basic Poker Rules

Almost every beginner Poker game follows some basic rules. These rules will help new players to learn the game with a basic strategy for playing. So, here are the basic rules of how to play Poker.

  • All Poker games use a standard 52-card deck
  • All games allow for betting, checking, calling, raising, matching and folding
  • Hand ranks are always the same
  • If there are community cards, all online Poker players can use them


How to play Poker – no matter the variation being played, the value of each of the five-card hands does not change. These must be committed to memory if you want to be an online Poker pro. In order from least valuable to most valuable, they are as follows:

  • High Card: In the event that you hold no other hand, the card of the highest value will spearhead your hand. Ace being the highest, 2 the lowest.
  • One Pair:Two cards of the same value – for example a 5 of clubs and a 5 of hearts.
  • Two Pairs:Two sets of pairs – for example a 5 of clubs and 5 of hearts, as well as a 10 of clubs and a 10 of hearts.
  • Three of a Kind:Three cards of the same value – for example a 5 of clubs, 5 of hearts and a 5 of spades.
  • Straight:Any five cards in a sequence of values – for example 2, 3,4,5,6.
  • Flush:Five cards of the same suit.
  • Full House:One pair and one three of a kind.
  • Four of a Kind:Four cards of the same value – I’m sure you get the picture by now.
  • Straight Flush:Five cards in a sequence of value and of a matching suit – for example 2, 3,4,5,6 of hearts.
  • Royal Flush:The 10, Jack, Queen, King and Ace of one suit.

Poker Hands Cheat Sheet

The trick to learning how to play Poker like a pro is memorising the hand values. These values will determine the winner in a standard game. Keep in mind that, if two players have the exact same hand value, the pot will be split evenly. However, this will depend on the overall value, so this may not happen every time.

Some Basic Poker Strategies

There is no guaranteed strategy for winning a hand of Poker. However, there are a few ways to minimise your losses while playing. So, follow these Poker tips to start playing:

Beginner’s Poker Tips

For new players, we advise trying betting instead of calling. This is because, when you call, you have to reveal your cards. If you bet instead, you still have a chance to win the pot. Most of the time, pro Poker players will make moderate bets when they have a good hand. Even if you don’t, you can still bluff your way to a showdown. Also, if you lose a hand, try again. Learning from mistakes is better than relying on luck, so play free online Poker before trying real games.

We also recommend some Poker bankroll management, to ensure that you walk away from a bad hand. Set a budget for your time and money to help you stay on top of things.

Intermediate How to Play Poker Tips

Once you’ve got the hang of it, you’ll need to pay attention to your cards and where you sit at the table. Our expert players recommend sitting on the far right of the table because the player to the left of the dealer is always up first. That way, you’ll have more information about your fellow players and be able to place better wagers. It also means that you will be able to have more control over the pot size.

Professional Poker Tips

When you’ve got the basic tips down, it’s time to start watching other players closely. This is, basically, what Poker is all about. Bluffing through a hand might not be as easy as the movies make it seem, but there are a few obvious signs. For example, some Poker players will try to hide behind constant bets when they have a bad hand. Others will fold regularly if they have strong hands.

Basic Online Poker Odds - How to Play Poker

Learn Some Basic Online Poker Odds

Of course, having a strategy is all good and well, but you still need to know the odds. In Poker, the odds of getting ‘pocket aces’ are 221 to one. This means that Aussie players may only get a pair of aces every 221 hands. Here are the most common odds in Poker games.

  • Getting a flush by the river— 1.9 to one (35%)
  • An open-ended straight by the river — 2.2 to one (32%)
  • A full house by the river— two to one (33%)
  • Being dealt a pair — 17 to one (5.9%)
  • Being dealt aces — 221 to one (0.45%)
  • Flopping a set with a pocket pair — eight and a half to one (11.76%)
  • Being dealt ace-king in a suit — 331 to one (0.3%)
  • Flopping two-pair— 48 to one (2.02%)

Variants of Online Poker

Poker is a game which has a number of different variants; so many in fact that it is best to separate them into four distinct families. While all of them do follow a similar set of rules and grading in terms of hands and card values, there are some key differences in the way that play is conducted. The chief four styles are as follows:

Standard Five Card or ‘Straight’ Format

The oldest and most original form of Poker – straight Poker – is perhaps the least flamboyant forms of the game available to play in casinos today. A full hand of five cards is dealt to each player following a shuffle and pack cut. Following this, there is just one round of betting during which raising, and indeed re-raising, is permitted. Poker players are able only to form their hand by using the cards dealt to them at the start of each hand; and it is this which gives the straight format more of a rigid and less strategic nature – perhaps owing to its decline in popularity over the course of the last century or so.

Draw Format

A full hand of five cards is dealt to each of the players face down, after which a round of betting commences. After this, players are allowed to draw various cards from the deck in an attempt to improve their eventual hand. The discrepancies involved vary from version to version, though in five-card draw, the most popular game of the draw family, players are permitted to exchange all five of their cards if they should choose to.

Stud Format

Another very old variation of Poker, stud involves the mixing of face-up and face-down rounds. Cards are dealt one at a time, with a round of betting bridging each. Perhaps the most popular variant of this kind today is seven-card stud, which is highly unique in that it allows players seven cards (three face down, four up) with which to craft their five-card hand.

Community Card Poker

Easily the most commonly enjoyed form of Poker, owing to the fact that it is home to the iconic Texas Hold ‘Em variant, community card Poker incorporates both face down and face up cards – technically making it a variation of stud.  What makes this different is the inclusion of a number of ‘community cards’, which are dealt face-up in the middle of the table and may be utilised by any player in order to complete their hand.

How to Play Poker in Australia

Playing Poker in Australia is easy and fun, but Australian Poker sites may only offer free games. This is because of recent amendments to our gambling laws. So, our tips for how to play Poker are meant for real life use at land-based casinos.