Poker is a card game that involves players putting together hands of cards with the aim of having the highest or in some cases the lowest ranking hands to win. This game will usually involve some form of betting system where players have to bet to stay in the game. The best hand will not always win in poker if a player with a lower hand can bluff his/her way to the end. The winner of a game is held to win the ‘pot’ that contains all bets made in a game.
Poker has many variations in terms of the games that are played. These share some rules in many cases but each individual poker game can be very different from the next. Many players like to stick with one or two game types that they enjoy playing most. Some poker games are played with five cards and some with seven.
Most poker games will start with a bet that all players will take place in to build up the pot. They will then go round the table with each player having to decide whether to bet again to stay in the game or whether to fold. Players will usually fold if they believe that their hand is not good enough to win the game. In some cases cards will be changed and new ones taken into a hand during the course of a game.
Most standard poker games will fall into three main categories. These are:
- Draw games -- a poker draw game involves the player being dealt a hand of cards which he/she then tries to improve to get the best hand possible by ‘drawing’ cards from the pack to replace ones they do not want. The hand that is dealt out in a draw game will be hidden from other players.
- Stud games -- stud games differ from draw games in that players are dealt some cards which are hidden from the other players at the table by being dealt face down and others that are visible to others by being dealt face up. Again, you can improve your hand most of the time here.
- Community card games -- here you are dealt some cards that are private to you and others are dealt to the table (or community) on a visible and shared basis.
Standard poker hands include:
- Royal Flush (i.e. Ace, King, Queen, Jack, Ten of the same suit)
- Straight Flush (i.e. five cards in numerical order of the same suit)
- Four of a Kind (i.e. four cards of the same value in a hand)
- Full House (i.e. two cards of the same value plus three cards of the same value)
- Flush (i.e. five cards of the same suit but not in numerical order)
- Straight (i.e. five cards in numerical order but not of the same suit)
- Three of a Kind (i.e. three cards of the same value in a hand)
- Two Pairs (i.e. two sets of the same value card in a hand)
- One Pair (i.e. one set of the same value card in a hand)