Poker is a family of gambling card games. All poker variants involve betting as an intrinsic part of play, and determine the winner of each hand according to the combinations of players' cards, at least some of which remain hidden until the end of the hand. Poker games vary in the number of cards dealt, the number of shared or "community" cards, the number of cards that remain hidden, and the betting procedures.
How to Play Texas Hold 'Em
The following refers to the Texas Hold 'Em form of poker:
One player has the "dealer button," a plastic disc with the word "dealer" written on it, that indicates the player as being the dealer for that round. The player to the dealer's left is known as the "small blind" while the player to the small blind's left is the "big blind." In order to ensure that every game is worth at least some money, the big blind is forced to bet the minimum bet and the small blind is forced to bet half the minimum bet.
The dealer begins dealing the cards one at a time, going clockwise around the table until all the players have two cards.
A game of Texas Hold 'Em consists of four rounds of betting. During a round of betting, players have three options:
- Fold: The player quits the round, giving their cards back to the dealer. The player doesn't need to bet any money to do this, but any money they've already bet remains in the pot.
- Call: The player bets as much money as the highest bet on the table.
- Raise: The player bets even more money than the highest bet.
After the first bets have been made, the dealer draws 3 cards and places them face up on the table. The players then have a second round of betting. After this, the dealer places another card on the table and initiates a third round of betting. Finally, the the dealer draws and places the last card and starts the final betting round.
Once the last bets have been made, the players reveal their hands. The player with best combination of cards is the winner and receives all the money in the pot.
- Straight flush: The player has five cards of sequential rank that are all of the same suit. The highest valued poker hand is the "royal flush," a straight flush consisting of an ace, a king, a queen, a jack, and a 10.
- Four of a kind: The player has four cards that are the same rank.
- Full house: The player has three cards that are the same rank and two cards that are the same rank.
- Flush: The player has five cards that are all of the same suit, but not of the same rank.
- Straight: The player has five cards of sequential rank, but the cards aren't of the same suit.
- Three of a kind: The player has three cards that are the same rank.
- Two pair: The player has two pairs of cards that are the same rank.
- One pair: The player has two cards that are the same rank.
- High card: None of the player's cards have the same rank and their cards aren't in sequence or the same suit. The player's hand is his or her highest value card; their "high card."
Before the next game starts, the dealer passes the dealer button to the player on their left. The roles of the big blind and small blind are also moved one player to the left.