How To Play Poker

Whether you’re going to a high-end casino, or having a game night with your family and friends, poker is often the main attraction. Poker is one of the most popular betting card games in the world, and its international recognition has turned it into a household word. Poker is a game that anyone can play, which is one of the reasons it’s so popular. You don’t need any special cards, and you don’t need to be a poker professional to have a great game with some friends. Poker is easy to pick up and can offer a lifetime of enjoyment.

What You’ll Need

To play the most common variant of poker, five-card draw, you’ll need a few simple things to get started. First and foremost, you need a regular pack of playing cards. Next, you’ll need a playing surface; a kitchen table works well. It’s best to have at least three other friends to play with, but you can play a game of poker with as few as two people.

Setting up and Playing

At the beginning of the round, each player enters the game by placing a set bet in the middle of the table. This is called the ante. After each player antes up, the dealer distributes five cards, face down, to each player. The players then look at their cards and the first round of betting begins. Starting at one end of the table, each player bets, raises, or withdraws from the hand, also called folding, depending on the relative strength of the cards they have. After the first betting round is over, the players can trade in from zero to several cards from their hand for new ones from the deck. After the new cards are distributed, another betting round occurs. After the final betting round, the players reveal their cards and the person with the highest-ranking hand wins.

Winning Hands

Starting from lowest scoring to highest scoring, here’s a list of the possible hands:

  • High Card – No pairs and no combinations
  • Pair – Two cards with the same face value
  • Two Pair – Two different pairs of cards with the same face value
  • Three of a Kind – Thee cards with the same face value
  • Straight – Five cards in numerical order
  • Flush – Five cards in the same suit
  • Full House – A three of a kind and a pair in the same hand
  • Four of a Kind – Four cards with the same face value
  • Straight Flush – Five cards in numerical order in the same suit
  • Royal Flush – Ace, King, Queen, Jack, Ten in the same suit