Poker Rules

Poker is very much a game of luck if the cards and hands are taken at face value. However, with the introduction of betting, poker players can gain skill and psychological advantage over their competition. This page is meant as a very basic guide into the general rules for most poker games found in casinos, at home or Online.

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The Very Basics of Poker

Poker is played with a deck / pack of cards (52) sometimes with one or two Jokers (53/54) see Wildcards. These cards are ranked (from the highest card Ace to the lowest card (2)) Ace, King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, Ace. (Ace can be used as high or low, but is usually used as high). There are four suits of cards spades, hearts, diamonds and clubs; however, no suit is higher than another. Poker hands order comprises of five cards and the highest remaining hand wins.

History of Poker online

  • Some poker games have Wild Cards these cards take on whatever suit and rank the player desires, Sometimes jokers will be used as wild cards, other times the game or players will specify which cards would be wild (deuces (2’s), one-eyed jacks (two of the jacks in a deck have one eye only), jokers or whatever its usually the dealers choice). Wild card hands rank lower than a natural hand with the same card but hand rank order like should be discussed prior to the starting of the poker game.

Poker Hand Ranking Rules *This should put an end to some poker arguments.

Five of a Kind: consists of five of the same cards, in this case the one eyed jack is a wildcard (Q,Q,Q,Q,Q)

poker hand ranking order 5 of a kind with wild card, wildcard
Royal Flush: consists of the (10, J,Q,K,A Only) of the same hand rank rules
Straight Flush: consists of a running numerical order of cards in the same suite excluding above. straight flush, basic rules of poker
Four of a Kind: consists of four of the same cards (A,A,A,A)four of a kind aces rules of poker
Full House: consists of three of the same cards (K,K,K) and two of the same cards (9,9) this hand would be called kings full nines.
Flush: consists of all the cards in your hand being the same suite. (Color & Shape) (All Diamonds) diamonds flush poker hand order
Straight: consists of a running numerical order of 5 cards of any mixed suite. (5,6,7,8,9 mixed) straight
Three of a Kind: consists of four of the same cards (7,7,7)three of a kind
Two Pair: consists of two of the same cards known as a pair(6,6) and another pair (two of the same cards) (9,9)two pairs poker card order
Pair: consists of two of the same cards (2,2)one pair of dueces hand rank order of cards

High Card: When none of hands above are available we go to the next highest card in the following order: A,K,Q,J,10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2 to determine the winner, the same applies to “tied” poker hands above, the highest card is the highest hand and is the rule of thumb.

All suites are equally ranked in poker there are no higher or lower suites if the hands are exactly the same the pot is split between the remaining players.

Eg. straight flush 2-6 diamonds = straight flush 2-6 Hearts & Clubs & Spades

The Basics of Betting

So, how do the betting rounds work? Poker is, after all, a gambling game. In most games, you must ‘ante’ (an initial bet the amount varies by game), just to get dealt cards. After that players bet into the ‘pot ‘ the pool of money collected in the middle. At the end of the hand, the highest hand (that hasn’t folded) wins the pot. Basically, when betting gets around to you (betting is usually performed in a clockwise order), you will have one of four choices to either:

  • Callif you call, you have to bet enough to match what all the other players have bet individually since you last bet an example of calling would be you bet 50c last time you bet in the same pot and same betting round and someone else called your 50c and increased (“Raised”) your bet by an additional $1 that would mean that you would need to bet $1 to call. (usually used on an uncertain hand)
  • Raise – To raise means means to increase the bet so firstly you would need to call any previous bets since the last time you bet then increase “Raise” between the limits set so using the prior example if you wanted to raise the last bet you would call the $1 and raise the bet by $1 thereby placing $2 in the pot.(usually used on a probable winner.)
  • Fold – When you fold you retire from the hand and have no way of winning any money from the pot but it also means that ypu don’t have to put money into the pot neither. (used when you have a bad odds hand or losing hand.)
  • Check – Pass your turn to bet.

Poker Terminology

All in: have no more chips/money left on the table and still want to be in to win; if there are other players still in the round a separate pot will be formed of which you can only win.

Betting Round: rounds in poker begin either with the highest/lowest cards out on the table or in turn rotating clockwise depending on the game and house rules with the person to the left of dealer betting first, a round is only completed when everyone has finished betting and a winner/winners(split pot-tied hand)are determined.

Cards Speak: if say what you have (declare) and the dealer turns your cards and sees a bigger hand than what you thought you had cards speak mean that the visual hand is larger than the hand you verbally declared.

Down Card: A card dealt face down also known as the ‘hole card’ and down and dirty.

Natural Hand: Consists of a poker hand made up of no wild cards.

Rank: Is the value of the card

Showdown: Revealing of hands to determine a winner.

Up Card: A card dealt face up revealing it value.

Big Blind: A designated amount that is placed by the player sitting in the second position, clockwise from the dealer, before any cards are dealt. (Players joining a game in progress must post a Big Blind, but may do so from any position.)

Bullets: A pair of Aces.

Bump: To raise.

Buy-In: The minimum amount of money required by a player to sit down in a particular poker game.

Check-Raise: When a player first checks and then raises in a betting round.

WSOP: World Series of Poker.

Turn: In flop games, this is the fourth card dealt. It is the third round of betting.

Download a printer friendly .jpeg version of poker hand rankings order –

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