ProPokerGuide's Basic Poker Rules
Poker games are generally played with a standard deck of 52 cards. A standard deck consists of of thirteen different ranks of cards, and they are: Ace, King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2. Each of these cards comes in four different suits: Clubs, Diamonds, Hearts, Spades. Poker games involve rounds of betting into a common fund, or "pot", and rounds of replacing/receiving cards. The number of betting rounds and card draws depends on the particular variation of the game you are playing. Action proceeds to the next player in a clockwise direction.
Generally betting begins with players making an "Ante" or a "Blind Bet" (called so because the player bets without having seen their cards). During the remaining betting rounds, players will take one of the following actions:
Check - if there is no bet already on the table, the player may bet nothing, and pass the action on to the next player, by saying check.
Call - if there is a bet on the table, the player may choose to match the bet.
Bet or Raise - if there were no bets on the table, the player places one by betting. If there was a bet on the table, the player may increase the bet by raising.
Fold - If the player does not choose to match the bet on the table, and they can forfeit their cards and any chance at winning the pot.
Poker Hand Rank
At the end of the game, the highest hand wins. The hands are ranked as follows:
Royal Flush - which is a series of cards, all of the same suit ranking Ace, King, Queen, Jack and Ten. (10 J Q K A)
Four-of-a-Kind - Four cards of the same rank with one other card of varying rank. The highest ranking Four-of-a-Kind would win in case of a tie. (8 8 8 8)
Full House - is a hand comprised of both a three-of-a-kind (three cards with the same rank) and a pair (two cards with the same rank). An example would be K-K-K-A-A. If two full house hands should tie, the hand containing the higher three-of-a-kind wins. (K-K-K-A-A beats Q-Q-Q-A-A)
Flush - consists of 5 cards of the same suit. In the case of a tie, the hand with the highest card wins. Should the high cards be the same rank, the next highest cards are compared (and so on). Sample flush would be A J 2 6 9 .
Straight - five cards in sequence, of mixed suits. Should straights tie, the hand with the highest card wins. Should the hands be identical in rank, the pot is split. "Around the corner" (K-A-2-3-4) straights are NOT allowed. Ace is either the high card (10,J,Q,K,A) or the low card (A,2,3,4,5), but never both at once in a straight.
Three-of-a-Kind is three cards of the same rank with two other cards of varying rank (not a pair). The highest ranking three-of-a-kind would win in the event of a tie. Sample 3 of a kind would be 9 9 9.
Two Pairs - A hand that contains two cards of one rank, two cards of another rank, and a dissimilar fifth card. Ties are awarded to the higher of the "high" pair, followed by the higher of the "low" pairs, and finally by the remaining card. Sample two pair with ace kicker is 6 6 9 9 A
One Pair - A hand that contains one set of cards with the same rank. Highest pair wins ties. If both pairs are the same, highest card wins. Followed by next highest card and so on. Sample 1 pair is 6 9 9 K A
High Card - the weakest of poker hands. The highest ranking card wins the pot. In the event of a tie, the next highest card wins, and so on. This is an example where the high card is the Ace. A J 7 6 9
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