Learn How to Play Poker Like a Pro by Richard Jagger - HTML preview

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Official poker rules

Basic Poker Terms:

Hand:Hand represents to the particular combination of cards held by the player.


Play:A single game, from one shuffle to the next is called a play.

Pot: The accumulation or pool of money bet by players during the game is referred to as pot. The game is a contest for a pot of money, which builds in the course of play of each hand.

Hand Tie: If two players have the same hand then they divide the pot between them. When the pool is not exactly divisible then the left over amount goes to the player who called the highest bet.

Ante:Money the players put into the pot before they see their cards. Antes are also calledblind bets.

Rake: It is a commission charged by the poker rooms as a small amount of the total pot won at the end of most hands. This is their only source of revenue.
Showdown:The final act of determining the winner of the pot after all the betting has been completed.

Betting Rules:

Call:A bet exactly equal to the highest bet made by the preceding player to stay in the play. Call is often known as"stay in".

Fold: A player discards his hand and gives up his chance of winning the pot in this play. A player who folds is considered inactive and also forfeits his previous bets. Fold is also referred to as"drop out".

Raise: A bet equal to the highest bet made by any of the preceding players plus some extra amount. The additional amount is that by which he raises the bet. Every other player in the game must either then call (bring his bet up to the raised amount), fold, or raise again.

Check:It's like pass, where a player doesn't bet any amount and still stays in the play.


Also see howlimit, no limit and pot limit poker rulesaffect your betting.

Hand Rankings:

Know the order of cards, from low to high 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, Jack (J), Queen (Q), King (K) and Ace (A). The ace (A) can usually double as the lowest card when necessary. There is no ranking between the suits - so for example the king of hearts and the king of spades are equal. Poker ranks are always based on five cards only.

Familiarize yourself with the definitions and values of different hand. The hands are in order of increasing value:One Pair, Two pair, Three of a kind, Straight, Flush, Full house, Four of a kind, Straight flush and Royal flush.A given hand beats all hands listed before it.

1. One pairrefers to two cards out of five cards with the same numerical valueEx: A-A-K-7-6 (or) J-J-8-5-3. If the pairs are equal, compare the highest ranking odd cards from each hand; if these are equal compare the second highest odd card, and if these are equal too compare the lowest odd cards. Sothese are equal too compare the lowest odd cards. So 5beatsA-A-7-3-2because the6beats3.

2. Two pairrefers to two different pairs of cards and one another card.EX: A-A-K-K-5 (or) J-J-10-10-7. If the higher pairs are equal, the lower pairs are compared, so that for exampleA-A-KK-5beatsA-A-J-J-3. Finally, if both pairs are the same, the odd cards are compared, soA-A-10-10-5beatsA-A-10-10-4.

3. Three of a kindrefers to three cards of the same numerical value and two other cards.EX: A-A-A-3-2 (or) 5-5-5-K-J. If you have to compare two threes of a kind where the sets of three are of equal rank, then the higher of the two remaining cards in each hand are compared, and if those are equal, the lower odd card is compared, soK-K-K-A-10beatsK-K-K-A-9 because10beats9.

4. Straightrefers to five cards in the sequential order of different suits.EX: 6-5-4-3-2 (or) Q-J-10-9-8.
5-4-3-2-Ais the lowest kind of straight, 5 being the top card. Where3-2-A-K-Qis invalid since cards cannot turn the corner.

5. Flushrefers to five cards in non-sequential order of the same suit.EX: A-9-7-5-2 (or) K-J-8-6-3. If the highest cards are equal then the second highest card is compared; if those are equal too, then the third highest card, and so on. Hereequal too, then the third highest card, and so on. Here 2beatsJ-9-7-4-3because5beats4.

6. Full Houserefers to three cards of the same numerical value and a pairEX: A-A-A-5-5 (or) 6-6-6-2-2. If the threes of a kind were equal, the rank of the pairs would decide the outcome.

7. Four of a kindrefers to four cards of the same numerical value and any other card.EX: A-A-A-A-3 (or) 5-5-5-5-7.
8.Straight Flushrefers to five cards of the same sequential order of the same suit.EX: 7-6-5-4-3 (or) 9-10-J-Q-Kall spades. RememberQ-K-A-2-3is usually not allowed. Since cards cannot turn corner.
9.Royal Flushrefers to10-J-Q-K-A (or) A-K-Q-J-10of the same suit. It's nothing but the best straight flush. As all suits are equal, all royal flushes are equal.

10.Now what happens when the five cards do not form any of the

combinations listed above. That's when High Cardcomes in to play. When comparing two such hands, the one with the better highest card wins. If the highest cards are equal the second cards are compared; if they are equal too the third cards are compared, and so on. SoA-J-9-5-3beatsA-10-9-6-4because theJbeats10.