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Poker Basics
Poker Basics

Poker MovesPoker Basics

Poker Basics

Poker is a skills based strategy game, mixed with elements of luck. Poker = Strategy + Skills + Luck

No-Limit Texas Holdem is the most popular poker game variation. Because NLH poker is a game of skills, deploying better strategies over the long term can make you a winning player.

However, over the short term, even if you make the right play using well thought out reasoning and strategy, you can still lose because of bad luck!  Good luck is when you make the wrong play and still win. Luck is what makes poker appeal to a much broader range of players.

When you really learn poker you realize there is much more to winning than what it appears to a beginner.

Poker Rules

Here are rules the poker community uses to govern how poker is played. Casinos, poker rooms and poker leagues can set their own rules, but most follow one of these sets of rules.

Tournament Directors Association

Robert's Rules of Poker

Other Poker Rules Examples

General Rules - Poker Etiquette

There are some general rules you need to follow while at the poker table playing poker. When you're at the poker table there is certain etiquette you should follow if you want to be invited back or if you don't want to tick off your fellow table mates. There's only a few, but they go a long way.


Be Nice - Poker is meant to be a fun game and non-nice players are no fun. 🙂

Keep Your Cards Covered - After you've looked at your cards, place a chip or a trinket on top of your face down cards. This let's the dealer know you're not mucking your hand. It's your job to protect your hand.

Place Bets Out In Front of You - Don't splash the pot. Make sure the dealer will be able to count out your bet. If you put the chips into the pot, then nobody will know how much you bet.

Announce Your Betting Actions - This is best for you, the dealer and the other player so everyone knows what your intentions are.

Keep Your Large Chips In View - When you're stacking your chips, the large denomination chips must be able to be seen by all players.

Keep Your Cards In Front of Your Chips - Put your cards in front of your chips and cover them after you've looked at your hand and / or made your action. This way everyone knows you are in the hand, including the dealer so they don't pass you by when it's your time to bet.

Try To Look At Your Cards Without Picking Them Up Off The Table - Beginners and regulars some times have trouble with this.

Take A Shower - You're going to be sitting right next to people for perhaps hours, so be a good table mate and shower up. A toothbrush, paste and a little mouthwash wouldn't hurt either. 🙂

Tip The Dealer - If you're in a cash game and win a big hand or if you make a big cash in a tournament, it's standard to tip the dealer. The amount is up to you.

Only Gamble Where Authorized - Here is a link to how this works in the United States. Also, get help if you have a gambling problem. Poker is meant to be a fun game. Let's keep it that way.


DO NOT Talk During A Hand - Oh, I folded a flush there.

DO NOT Show Your Hand To Other Players or Audience - Show one show all if you decide to.

DO NOT Berate The Staff, TD, Dealers, or Fellow Players - Be nice!

Standard 52-Card Playing Deck

There are different terms for different areas of the deck you will need to concern yourself with if you're a dealer. Otherwise, just learn the facts below.

Standard 52-Card Playing Deck, Stacked, Placed Face-Down

Facts About A Legal Poker Deck

52 Cards In A Legal Deck

4 Suits In A Deck (Suits Have No Value)

  • Spades | Hearts | Diamonds | Clubs

13 Card Values For Each Suit In A Deck

  • 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | Jack | Queen | King | Ace

52 Cards Face Up

  • 13 Spades 2 through Ace
  • 13 Hearts 2 through Ace
  • 13 Clubs 2 through Ace
  • 13 Diamonds 2 through Ace
Standard 52-Card Playing Deck, All Cards Placed Face-Up - Click Image To Enlarge

Why Were Poker Playing Cards Created?


Playing cards, as modern history tells us, were invented in China in the 9th century AD to play what was called the 'leaf game'. Other games were played that revolved around drinking alcohol. Sounds oddly familiar. Read more using link below.


The deck of cards we use today for poker are French-Suited Playing Cards. A form of playing cards arrived in Europe from Egypt in 1370, landing in France in 1377. France added Queen face cards to replace the Knight, which was one of the three male face cards which made up the imported deck. Read more using link below.

The Deck of Cards - Tex Ritter Song

Tex Ritter explains how the deck of cards represents God's story as a Bible, Almanac and a Prayer Book in his song 'The Deck of Cards'.

Agricultural Calendar

The deck of cards is also an agricultural calendar that tells us about the weeks and the seasons.

  • 52 cards for 52 weeks in the year
  • 2 colors for day and night
  • 4 suits for the 4 seasons - 13 weeks per season
  • 12 picture cards representing the 12 months
  • Add the face value of each card (1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2+....+13) = 364
  • Jokers used for leap years
  • With each new season, it was King's week, then Queen's week, Jack's and so on until Aces week which signals a changing season and a new color


Today, you would be hard pressed to convince anyone that the Deck of Cards was invented to do anything other than to be used to play poker. Use this course to learn how to play poker better and become the best poker player possible.

Poker Skills List

These are the list of skills needed to play poker:


Critical Thinking

Quick Decision Making

Math: Outs, Odds, Counting Stacks, Counting Pots

Human Psychology: Seeing Tells, Using Tells, Using Deception, Seeing Deception

Determining the Nuts

Learning Poker Strategies: Table Position, Hand Selection, Betting, Pre-Floo, Post-Flop