How To Play 2 Card Poker

Texas hold’em is the most popular two card poker game and knowing how to play two card poker can really help you in this game. Most people play no-limit hold’em which means that you can bet all of your chips in a single hand. This creates very interesting hands where players can lose all of their money. If you are first learning to play, a limit game might be best for you. The object is to make the best hand using five cards. This can be any combination of five cards including the five on the board. Two card poker is fairly easy to learn, but requires skill to really excel.

What you will need to play:

  • A good deck of playing cards.
  • A large table or poker table
  • Poker chips
  • A dealer button
  • A cut card


Getting the game set up and dealing hands:

  1. Take seats and determine who will be the dealer. To do this, deal out one card face up to every player. The highest card or the first ace wins.
  2. Post the blinds (ante). The small blind sits to the left of the dealer, and the big blind is to the left of that person. Make sure these players post their blinds.
  3. Deal out two cards to every player beginning at the left of the person chosen as the dealer. 
  4. The player to the left of the big blind will begin betting. They can either “call” the blind or place a higher bet. Each player then decides if they should pay the blind or the bet. 
  5. After every player has acted, the dealer will place the first card on the deck face down. This is the first burn card and is used to prevent cheating in case a player accidently saw the first card. Three cards are then laid out. These are called the “flop”.
  6. This time the player to the left of the dealer acts first and can either “check” or “bet." Checking can be used to see free cards or can be a way that players lead you to believe they don’t have a good hand. Often, you can see pre-flop what kinds of cards they might have by how quickly they call after only having to place the small blind. If someone hesitates to double the original required ante, there is a good chance they have crappy cards. 
  7. Once the entire table has acted, the dealer burns another card face down, and then deals the next card face up next to the flop. This card is called the river. 
  8. The action continues once again throughout the entire table.
  9. Next the dealer burns the final card and then deals the “river” card face up. The action goes around once again allowing players to check or bet. If there are two or more players still in, everyone turns their cards up. The winning hand wins the pot. 

Best Hands in Order:

  1. Royal Flush requires Ace, King, Queen, Jack, Ten, of the same suit
  2. Straight Flush requires all cards of the same suit in a numbered sequence
  3. Four of a Kind requires four cards of the same rank
  4. Full House requires three cards of the same rank and two cards of the same rank. Basically, three of a kind and a pair. 
  5. Flush requires all cards be of the same suit
  6. Straight requires all cards to be in a numbered sequence
  7. Three of a Kind requires three cards of the same rank
  8. Two Pair requires two separate pairs of cards containing the same rank
  9. One Pair requires two card to be the same rank
  10. High Card requires the highest card


  • Avoid playing for high amounts of money that you can’t afford to lose. 
  • Utilize free poker playing sites until you are good enough to play at casinos or with experienced players. 
  • Free poker sites are a great way to get a feel for the game and really learn two card poker. Observe how players bet and how quickly they react. You can get a good feel for sizing up your opponents just by watching them in hands with other players.  
  • If playing at a casino, always tip your dealer and tip well. A good tip is about five percent of your winnings.
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