Poker is a game that involves chance. Poker gains a lot of skill and psychology when betting is introduced. This is not to say there aren't skills in poker, but there's less risk. This article is intended to give you a basic overview of the rules of poker. For more information, read a book or start playing with others who are familiar with the game. Although it's more costly than reading a book on the subject, the group will not mind. Snicker).
This list can be broken down into multiple parts at the moment:
The Very Basics
How the Hands Are Ranked
Descriptions of hand ranks
An Example 5-Card Draw Hand
The Very Basics
A standard pack of 52 cards is used for poker. Some variant games may use several packs of 52 cards or add a few jokers. The cards are ranked from high to low. Ace, King, Jack, Ace, Queen, Jack 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 5, 4, 3, 2, Ace. Although Ace can be high or low it is always high. There are four types of suits: hearts, spades, diamonds, clubs, and spades. However, each suit can be higher than the other. The highest hand is the one with five cards.
Wild Cards are cards that can be used in any game. They can take on any suit or rank they desire. Jokers can sometimes be used as wild cards. Other times, the game will indicate which cards are wild (dueces or one-eyed Jacks, or whatever).
How the hands are ranked
The following are the hand rankings (from high-low to low):
Five of a Kind
Four of a Kind
Three of a Kind
Descriptions of hand ranks
Five of a Kind
Five of a kind is the highest hand possible. This is possible only when wild cards are used. A hand that has more than five cards of the same wins. Five Aces beats five Kings, five Queens beats five Kings and so forth.
Straight flushes are the best natural hand. Straight flushes are five cards in an order of 5, such as 5-6-7-8-9, that all belong to the same suit. You can either have an ace high (A-KQ-J-T), or low (5-4-3-2-1). A straight may not be 'wraparound'. K-A-2-3-4 is an example of a straight. A Royal Flush is a straight-flush Ace high that is higher than the Ace is called.
Four of a Kind
A four-of-a-kind is simply four cards with the same rank. If two or more hands qualify, the highest-ranking four of a type wins. In a bizarre game that involves many wild cards, if there are two or more hands with the same rank of four of a kind, the hand with the highest card other than the four of the kind will win. General Rule: If hands tie on rank (e.g., pair, three or more of a type), the cards to the left break the tie following the High Card rules.
A full house is made up of three of a type and a pair such as K-K-5-5. The three of a type, followed by the pair, break ties. K-KK-K-2 beats QQ-QQ-A-A which beats QQ-QQ-J. (Obviously, three of a type can only be identical if wild cards have been used.
A flush is when all the cards in a hand are of the same suit. For example, J-8-5-3-2 or all of spades. Follow the rules for High Cards when flushes tie.
Straights are 5 cards ordered in a particular order, such as 4-5-6-8-8. An Ace can be either high (A-KQ-J-T), or low (5-4-2-3-1). A straight might not be 'wraparound'. (Example: Q-K-A-2-3 which is not a straight). Straights tie are won by the player with the most straight wins. (AKQJT beats KQJT9 to 5432A). They will split the pot if two straights have the exact same value (AKQJT and AKQJT).
Three of a Kind
Match three cards of any rank with two cards that do not match (or it will be a Full House). The highest three cards of any rank win. If they are of the same rank, the compare High Card is awarded.
There are two pairs of cards and one fifth card. Tiebreakers are won by the highest pair. The second pair is the winner if both hands have the highest pair. The high card is the winner if both hands have the exact same pair.
One pair with three cards. High card breaks ties.
This hand is any hand that doesn't meet the criteria for any of the other hands. If there is no pair, the highest card wins. Multiple people may tie for the highest card by looking at the second, third, and so on. If the high cards are used to break ties, they can also be used when both the high cards and the hands have the same type (pairs, flushes, straights, etc).
How do you place a bet? Poker is a gambling game. To get cards, you will need to 'ante' (an amount that varies from game to game). Then, players place bets into the middle of the pot. The pot is won by the highest winning hand at the end of each hand. You have three options when it comes to betting (betting is usually done in clockwise order).
You must bet enough money to match the amount you have bet since your last bet. For example, if you had a dime and another person had a quarter, you would owe 15 cents.
You raise by first placing a bet sufficient to match the amount you have bet since your last bet (as in calling). Then you raise the bet an additional amount (up to you but usually there is a limit). If you bet a dime and the other person raises you 15 cents (or up to a quarter), then you might raise a quarter (or even fifty cents). You would have to pay 40 cents to the pot since you owe the pot 15 cents for calling you and 25 cents for your raise.
If you fold, you lose any chance of winning the current hand. However, you don't need to pay any money into it.
The betting continues until someone calls or folds, regardless of whether they win or lose.
Some Betting Rules
We ante one nickel in the group I am part of. The maximum bet is 50 cents and the maximum raise is 50 cents. Raisings are limited to one dollar per round.
An Example Five Card Draw Hand.
Five-card draw is the most popular type of poker hand. After each player has been dealt five cards, a round is followed by betting. Each player can then discard as many as 3 cards (four if your last card was an ace or wildcard, in some circles), and you will get back from the deck as many cards that you discarded. After another round of betting, the hands are revealed (the "showdown") and the winner is the one with the best hand. You are now the dealer in a five-card draw game against four other players (Alex, Brad, Charley, and Dennis) (seated in the same order as your left). You deal 5 cards to each person and everyone puts in a nickel (Ante).
You can deal yourself a pretty good hand KsKd-Jd-5c-3d. The deal is good if you have a pair of kings. The betting begins...
Alex "Checks" (checking is basically calling when there's nothing to the pot).
Brad wagers a dime.
Charley calls and puts a dime in the pot
Dennis raises a dime and puts twenty cents in the pot.
It's your turn. You get twenty cents. You have the option to fold, call, or raise. As I mentioned before, a pair of kings doesn't make you bad. You can call and pay twenty cents to the pot.
Alex grumbles, and then he folds his cards. Note: Never show your folded cards to anyone when folding.
Brad calls. Brad calls.
Charley, who is in the same place as brad and throws a dime into a pot, is also in the same situation.
The last round of betting is complete. Everyone is now all square after Dennis's raise. Everyone can now discard up to three cards. Brad discards three cards, Charley discards one, and Dennis discards two. Now it's your turn to deal replacements. There are three spades and a pair of kings. You don't have any chance of getting a straight. You should keep your two kings, and try to get a third or fourth king. Your new hand will be Ks-KdKc-4c-8h after you discard three cards. Three Kings! A nice little hand.
What did the other players try to do? Brad had two cards so he likely had a pair. However, it wasn't an ace so you would probably beat him even if he got three of a type. Charley had four cards so he was likely trying to get a straight or flush. Charley might have been able to bet harder if he had four of the same cards. Dennis is the problem. Dennis raised earlier and only drew 2 cards. Although he might be lying, he could have gotten three of a kind from the deal. The second round of betting begins (with the dealers still).
Brad wagers a nickel.
Charley folds (I guess that he didn’t get his straight and flush).
Dennis raises twenty-cents (to a total of a quarter).
Brad examines his cards and then calls (betting 20 cents).
Everyone called Dennis's raise again, and the round of betting ended.
Now, it's over. Everyone reveals his hand.
You had Ks-Kd-Kc-4c-8h.
Brad had JhJd-3c-3s -Ah.
Dennis was Qh-Qs -Qd-As-7s.
The highest hand is three of one kind and your highest three-of-a-kind hand are your three kings. You win!
After that and about an hour of playing, you will feel right at home poker. Although you may not be very good at poker, it is possible to play from home. Our List of Poker Variants will help you if you get bored with the basic 5 card draw.