The Basics of Poker
Despite the fact that there are many different versions of Poker, the basic premise remains the same: players use a standard pack of cards, ranked from Ace to Jack, and aim to build the best hand possible. Some versions have added jokers, wild cards, or a third pair. There are hundreds of ways to play Poker, and every casino has its own rules. But there are three main structures: no-limit, fixed-limit, and pot-limit.
The most common poker game is called Texas Hold’Em. In this version, the players are dealt a standard pack of 52 cards. The dealer will deal cards to each player in turn, and all bets are gathered into a central pot at the end of each round.
The first round of betting is known as the ante. This is a small bet that can be anywhere from one to ten dollars. If the ante is not called, it will stay in the pot. If the ante is called, the player must also put a small amount of money into the pot, and can bet or fold.
The second round of betting is called the blind. The player to the left of the button is required to post a small blind, which is usually a dollar. The dealer then deals two cards to each player. These cards are normally face down. After the cards have been dealt, the player may choose to call, fold, or raise. A raise is a bet that is larger than the previous one. If a player raises, he may increase the previous bet by a number of chips, or may make a new bet that is equal to the previous one.
The best hand is a straight flush, a set of five cards in the same suit. This is the best possible hand when you know what your odds are. In Texas Hold’Em, the best possible straight flush is an Ace-high straight, which is also known as the Royal Flush. If you have an Ace-King hand, it is a very hard hand to beat if you bet immediately.
The best possible straight is 8-9. A pair of kings is not bad off the deal, but it is not the best. The best straight is the Royal Flush, which is a straight flush with an Ace high.
A “backdoor flush” is achieved by hitting the required cards on the turn and river. The “showdown” occurs when the best hand wins the pot. Typically, a poker hand only reaches the showdown when there are callers in the last round of betting.
The kitty is a special fund, or bankroll, created by players who cut a low denomination chip from a pot with more than one raise. This fund is distributed among the players in the game, and used to pay for new packs of cards. This special fund is not available to players who leave the game before the end.
The ante is the “buy in” to play the round. It is a small bet that most players will make voluntarily, unless they are trying to bluff other players.