Thursday, February 3, 2011

How to Play Poker

The word poker is often misused to describe a game. Poker itself is not a game, it's a game genre. Most common poker games include Texas Hold'em, Omaha, 7 Card Stud and more, all of which use a distinctive set of poker rules. However, they do have one thing in common: they are based on the standard 5 card poker hand. This page explicates how to play poker games.
This page dashes the basic communal rules applicable to all poker games and does not focus on one specific poker game.

Poker is presently experiencing a gush in popularity, due in part to its popularity on television and prominence with celebrities. Want to start the fun? It's easy to get started. Here's a welcoming overview on how to play 5-card draw, which will help you get the basics down. Once you get the hang of it, you can easily adjust to playing other variations (described on the next post) and improve your poker skills through practice.

Poker Hand: Cheat Sheet
  1. Royal Flush (10, Jack, Queen, King and Ace, all of the same suit) - Most valued because it's most surprising when received. It is a common misconception that this is harder to get than any of the other set of 5 cards.
  2. Straight Flush (five cards in numerical order, all of the same suit) - Can't contain a King and a Two in the same hand (e.g. Q-K-A-2-3).
  3. Four of a Kind (four cards of the same number and any other card)
  4. Full House (three cards with the same number and two cards with the same number) - ties are broken by the highest value card in the three of a kind.
  5. Flush (all five cards from the same suit) - Numbers don't matter
  6. Straight - (all five cards in numerical order) - Suit doesn't matter. Can't contain a King and an Ace in the same hand (e.g. J-Q-K-A-2).
  7. Three of a Kind (three cards with same number, two other random cards) - If the other two cards have the same number, it's a full house (see above).
  8. Two Pair (two sets with the same numbers plus a random card) -
  9. One Pair (two cards with the same number, the rest of the cards are random)
  10. High Card Otherwise unrelated cards ranked by the highest single card.


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