Poker: The Basics
Poker is a very popular game and it is played both for fun and for profit around the world. The rules of poker can become complex the more involved you become, but much of this is developed around winning. The basic rules of poker are actually quite simple and in this article we will go through them quickly, to give you a clear understanding of how to get started in the game.
In Stud poker, each player is given five cards. Using their knowledge of the strength of the cards in a pack, each player then gauges that strength, and bets chips accordingly. The player who bids the most chips in a hand wins that hand unless another player is willing to match that bet.When two or more players are matching each other’s bets, this continues until no more betting is possible and the players show their cards. The player with the highest value hand wins the chips.
The aim is to form the best five card poker hand possible. Obviously, players can choose their cards, which is why players can fold and ‘drop out’ of the hand, and then wait for the next hand to be dealt. To the left of the dealer, each round in a hand brings these four options for each player:
A player who feels he has a good hand (or feels he needs to make the other players think he has a good hand) can increase the bet required to continue playing.
A player who thinks her hand is simply not good enough to win can place her cards down on the table and fold. She cannot win the hand, but will not lose any more chips.
Once a player has upped the stakes in a game, the other players have a decision to make. Each player can raise, fold or call. Calling is basically matching the bet so that you can stay in the hand.
If no one has increased the bet, a player may stand ‘pat’ and check, or pass on the bet, while staying in the hand.
The Ace is the most valuable card in a hand. It then descends in value according to rank:
This Is where you have two or more cards that together hold value, and can be better or worse than another player’s cards.
Some hand values include:
One Pair: where you have a pair of cards that are the same, for example, two ‘8s’.
Three of a kind: this is where you have three cards of the same value, such as three ‘9s’.
Flush: when you have five cards in a hand that are of the same suit, for example having the 9, the 6 , the Queen, the Jack and the two of hearts. This is a high value hand, but if another player has a flush, the highest flush wins.
This is the very best hand of all, and involves having a straight flush that runs up to the Ace. So you will have the 10 of hearts, the Jack, the Queen , the King and then the Ace. This is rare, and apparently has a 1 in 650,000 chance of occurring.
Winning is a combination of having skill and raising the stakes. You can win with the lowest hand on the table, if you bluff the other players well enough (raise the stakes and convince them you have a high hand). Another way of playing is ensuring you only bet when you’ve a strong hand. If you’re interested in having a flutter this is a recommended online casino.