Poker is a game which people play with a typical set (or deck) of 52 cards. Poker is a game of chance which includes some luck, but also some skill. In poker, players make bets against each other depending on the value of their poker hand. Bets are typically made with plastic or ceramic discs called chips. Bets might also be made with real money, but chips are regularly used due to the fact that they are much easier to handle and count. At the end of the game, players either swap their chips for money, or the chips are counted to determine the order of winners.

History

The game of poker has progressed into the game we know today over a period of almost 1,000 years and across a broad spectrum of civilizations. Some attribute the origins of the game to the Sung Dynasty of 10th century China, while others mark its beginnings with a Persian game called “As Nas” going back to the 16th century. Throughout its history, the game has varied substantially, however the fundamental concepts of psychological strategy and card ranking have always featured along the course of its development.

The version of the game that is most closely connected to its modern form is Poque, which comes from 17th century France. The game made its way across the Atlantic with a group of French settlers who eventually established the city of New Orleans. From there, it spread up the length of the Mississippi River throughout the 18th century. The game flourished in the United States throughout the 19th century when the country began its westward expansion. For this reason, the history of poker is frequently connected with America’s “Wild West”.

Over time, various games have dominated among poker players, including five-card draw, seven-card stud and – most recently – Texas Hold ’em, which began its rise to dominance in the 1970s when it ended up being the featured game in the World Series of Poker, the game’s leading yearly competition.

Hands

The following are poker hands, from best to worst:

  • Royal Flush: Cards A, K, Q, J, 10 of the same suit
  • Straight flush: Five cards of the same suit in sequence
  • Four of a kind: Four cards of the same rank and any one other card
  • Full house: Three cards of one rank and two of another
  • Flush: Five cards of the same suit
  • Straight: Five cards in sequence (for example, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8)
  • Three of a kind: Three cards of the same rank
  • Two pair: Two cards of one rank and two cards of another
  • One pair: Two cards of the same rank
  • High card: If no one has a pair, the highest card wins

Poker Chips

Poker chips are small disks which can be made from various materials including molded plastic, colored metal and composite clays. They are usually used in Poker as replacment for the money. In past players used coins, gold dust and nuggets but chips replaced them because they are much simpler to use and count.

How to play

Basic steps in Poker

  1. Make bets

    Before any cards are dealt, two players to the left of the dealer make bets which are called the “Small Blind” and “Big Blind”. These forced bets must be at least matched by the other players in order to keep their hands.
    The big blind is twice as much as the small blind. If the big blind was $100, then it is said that the blinds are 50 and 100. This money is put into a place in the center of the table that is called the “pot”

  2. Each player gets two cards face down

    Each player is given two cards face down. These are called the player’s “Hole Cards” or what the player has “in the hole”. Once all the players have their hole cards, the betting starts.

  3. Make bets

    The player to the left of the Big Blind player starts the betting.
    The lowest amount that can be bet is the amount of the big blind. Players can bet more than the minimum. This is called “Raising”. If a player raises, the amount he raised the bet to is the new minimum. Each player in turn may either “Call” (pay the current bet amount), Raise, or “Fold” (quit the hand). This action keeps going around the table until each player has called or folded his hand.

  4. Dealer lays three cards face up

    The dealer lays three cards face up on the table. This is called the “Flop”. These three cards are “community cards”. This means they are used by every player in the game along with the two hole cards each player has. After the flop, another turn of betting takes place.

  5. Make bets

    There is no starting bet in this turn (no blinds) unless a player makes a bet. Players may “Check” or bet nothing if no player before them in the turn has bet. If everyone checks, or if a player bets and all the others call or fold, then the round of betting is over.

  6. Dealer lays one card face up

    The dealer lays another community card face up. This card is called “the turn” (or 4th Street).

  7. Make bets

    This betting is the same as after the Flop.

  8. Dealer lays one card face up

    The dealer lays another community card face up known as “the river” (or 5th Street).

  9. Make bets

    This betting is the same as after the Flop.

  10. Deciding on winner

    With the five community cards and their two hole cards, each player makes the best 5 card poker hand he can. The player with the best poker hand wins the round and the pot. If two or more players have the same hand, those players split the pot evenly. If one person bets and all other players have folded, the hand ends then and that player wins.

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