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Gone are the days of needing extra dark sunglasses, superior facial expression recognition, and the ability to maintain unidentifiable facial cues for an entire poker game. You can now play poker online. Online poker sites allow any person with even mediocre poker skills to succeed. Even if you don’t know the first thing about poker, learning to play poker online can be the best way to learn how to play poker out there. The best part about using online poker sites is that it makes poker games free. Whenever you are learning how to play poker, online poker sites can provide a safe and free place to pick up those key poker skills. So where do you start? First, learn how to play poker. To play poker online (or offline) you will need to know the basic rules and regulations starting with the best hands. This is a list of poker hands in order from best hand to lowest hand. o Royal Flush- AKQJT of diamonds would be a royal (straight) flush, which is the highest possible hand in any poker game. o Straight Flush- 5 consecutive cards of the same suit qualify as a straight flush. An example would be 76543 of hearts. If two players have a straight flush, the player with the highest top card wins. o Four-of-a-kind- Four of one card number in your hand. Again, if two players have a four-of-a-kind, the player with the largest number wins. Four Aces being the highest. o Full-House (sometimes referred to as a ‘boat’) A full house consists of a combination of three-of-a-kind plus a pair. An example, of a full-house would be KKK33. o Flush- A flush consists of any 5 cards all of the same suit. o Straight- A straight is 5 consecutive cards of different suit. o Three-of-a-kind- Three cards of the same number. Example, 444 o Two Pair- Two pairs of matching cards. Example, KK55. The highest possible two pair is AAKK. o Pair- A pair is two cards of the same number. o High Card- if no one has anything that qualifies as a hand above, the player with the highest card wins. Once you understand the basic poker hand rules, pick from reputable online poker sites like PokerStars which make online poker free. Starting on free tables can ease your mind and allow you to learn as you go. Don’t worry if you don’t get it all at first. The more you play, the easier it will become. Now all that is left is to jump in and start learning.