Poker has become the most popular card game around the world. The rules for each game are different, but essentially they all have the same outcome: you play against your opponent and you try to make as much money as possible. There are many variations of poker, including Texas Hold’em and Caribbean stud, so there is something for everyone. Poker is played for fun, for prizes, for bragging rights, for socializing, for personal enrichment–it’s practically a game of its own.
Poker is any of a multitude of card games where players place wagers over which hand is the best (or worst) according to the rules of the game. The first round of betting occurs before the game begins, at the starting table. At this point, players may choose to raise or fold, depending on their starting hand–the best hand is the strongest, so players who choose to fold are risking their starting hand; similarly, the strongest hand may be considered the strongest, and players who opt to raise are risking their starting hand and possibly their entire bankroll.
After the initial round of betting has ended, each player receives three cards: the two highest cards face up and the two lowest cards faceup. Then, each player chooses a hand and reveals the cards. If the player’s hand matches the cards being dealt to them, the match is a” Pocket” –there is no more drama and the pot can be re-dealled without an action by the player.
Another common variation occurs when a player bets and then raises–thus starting the ante, or “auntie.” When a player bets and then bets again, the previous bet is doubled, and the new bet must be greater than the previous one. It is not unusual for a player to bet and then raise, then bet and raise again, with the final amount reaching up to the maximum allowable raise for that game. In poker terms, however, “ante” means “after,” to raise after the final ante is illegal.
Some hands, called flush bets, consist of two or three low-hand cards. They are called “flush” because it is impossible to make a single-raise, double-raise, or a flush in these decks–the cards must be of the same rank. The highest possible hand in a flush requires choosing between one or two cards from the two “high” decks, regardless of how many cards are in the other two “low” decks. These types of hands, which are called “flush” hands, are the easiest to deal out of the poker hands illustrated here, and thus they are often used as practice bets.
The final type of poker hand occurs when a player commits a “draw” after the flop. This is different from a “stay-at-the-pocket” because the player could conceivably raise before the flop, if there was a strong hand. The draw only occurs when a player draws from the pot without having any high cards in the flop, and usually this is the most dangerous way to lose because it is difficult to recover from the draw in a poker game.