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Learning to Play Poker

Anyone who has turned on the television or looked at the internet in the past few years will be well aware of the massive global popularity of poker. The top players can win millions of dollars in glitzy casinos across the world, and anyone can play games 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at PokerStars

For all that, the game may seem daunting for some beginners. It uses its own language and might appear to have many complicated rules. But poker is actually remarkably easy to play and the way into the game need not be intimidating. Most people play for small amounts among friends, or even for "play" money as they learn the ropes.

PokerSchoolOnline, where you find yourself now, is the perfect gateway. You too can be playing poker in no time. 

We will show you the core mechanics of the game, and guide you through your first visits to the PokerStars tables. You will be given the chance to test your knowledge with a series of small quizzes and can interact with our live trainers, who have a wealth of experience to share.

You can also visit our forums to ask questions of top pros and fellow beginners alike.

You can revisit previous lessons to refresh your knowledge, or press on through numerous courses as your understanding grows. PokerSchoolOnline is carefully designed to be fun, informative and interactive and open up the wide world of poker to everyone.


The Poker Basics course should be the first step for new players. It guides you through everything you need to know as a beginner, starting with some simple poker definitions, then the rules of the game. It takes you through some key concepts of play, then gradually examines some examples of how to apply the knowledge in real poker situations.

It might seem like a lot of theory - at least at the beginning - but there are plenty of opportunities to get involved and give you confidence for when you first take a seat at the table. You will find our unique hand replayers embedded in some articles, which freeze the action at key stages in poker hands and allow you to make a decision, giving guidance towards the correct play.

The course is divided into chapters, comprising several linked lessons. Although most of the course is designed to be read and understood in chronological order, there are some times you may want to skip back to refresh your memory of previous lessons. 

All of what you learn in the Poker Basics course is crucial, regardless of what order you read it. If things don't seem to be going so well, you should go back and review.

The Poker Basics course is the foundation on which your poker game will be built, so make sure those foundations are rock solid.

Exercises and Quizzes

At the end of each lesson in the course, you will find a short exercise, usually comprising four or five questions. You should attempt to answer these before you move on to the next article. The questions directly relate to what you have learned in the lesson, so read carefully to make sure you answer correctly.

There is a significantly longer quiz at the very end of the course. That will test your knowledge of everything you have learned to that point. It can be tricky, but all the answers are in the material you will have read. Open Full Lesson
Getting to Know the Game

An introduction to the wonderful world of poker - all the variants, betting conventions and the difference betw ...

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Learn From basics to advanced strategy
Practice Improve your skills with our trainers
Win! Establish yourself as a winning player
Lean back and take our blitz video edition of the course

Getting PokerStars is easy: download and install the PokerStars game software, create your free player account, and validate your email address. Clicking on the download poker button will lead to the installation of compatible poker software on your PC of 51.7 MB, which will enable you to register and play poker on the PokerStars platform. To uninstall PokerStars use the Windows uninstaller: click Start > Control Panel and then select Add or Remove programs > Select PokerStars and click Uninstall or Remove.

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