Poker Rules

Poker Rules

Poker, a card game, is largely based on skill, giving the player a lot of control over the outcome. The poker rules are based on the variant you play. For instance, in community card games Omaha Hold’em and Texas Hold’em (two of the most widely played variants of the game), the number of cards dealt to the players differ. In the former, a player gets four cards of which he has to use two. On the other hand, in Texas Hold’em he will be dealt only two cards.

You will have to place bets based on the strength of your hand, which is how high or low it ranks in terms of card combinations. It will be compared against those of your opponents, at the table where you play. To win, your hand’s card combination should be the best at the table.

Game-play

A dealer will deal cards from a standard deck of 52. A few variants of the game, like Wild Cards and Jokers require several decks. The highest ranking card is the Ace, followed by the King, Queen and Joker. The remaining cards, have the same value as the numbers on their face. Ace is the only card which has two values – the highest (in a combination with the top cards Ace-King-Queen-Joker and Ten) and the lowest (in a hand with low ranking cards like two-three-four-five).

There are four card suits – clubs, diamonds, hearts and spades. But, no suit is more valuable than another. In every game, a player has to make a hand with the cards dealt to him and those on the board (in community games).

Hand-rankings

High-card:
5 cards, not in sequence or from 1 suit.

One pair:
just 1 pair, with the kicker breaking a tie if another player has the same pair.

Two pair:
2 separate pairs.

Three-of-a-kind:
3 cards, 1 rank.

Straight:
cards in a sequence, from 2 suits at least.

Flush:
5 cards, from 1 suit.

Full-house:
3-of-a-kind and 1 pair.

Four-of-a-kind:
4 cards from same rank, and 1 unmatched card

Straight flush:
5 cards in a sequence, from 1 suit. If it has Ace-King-Queen-Joker-Ten (suited), it is a Royal Flush.

Betting rounds and dealing of cards

When a game begins, a player will have to place an ante, a small bet required for dealing to begin. After the cards are dealt, each player decides whether to bet or not. If you bet, you can stay in the game. Most players bet only with strong hands, or those with the potential to improve. Each player will get turns to bet or fold.

After the first wager in a betting round, players can fold, raise or check. When you fold, you give up your hand and leave the round. A raise is made when you want to bet more than the player before you. You can call the bet a player makes if you want to wager the same amount. A poker game will have multiple betting rounds. Each will be followed by the dealing of cards, which will affect the strength of your hands. Based on this, you can stay in the game or not.