How to Play Poker

Title : How to Play Basic Poker – Part I
Description : To learn how to play basic poker, first learn the rules of poker.
Keyword : how to play basic poker

Part I | Part II
Patience, practice and right policies maketh a poker champ!

Have you lately watched any of the old Hollywood classics like ‘The Cincinnati Kid’ and ‘The Sting’ or the modern day hits like ‘Rounders’ and ‘Ocean’s Eleven’ and have been inspired to learn how to play poker, a time-tested game that also has the distinction of being one of the oldest form of gambling? Or are you motivated by the sensational successes of Chris Moneymaker and Greg Reymer, World Poker Champions 2003 and 2004 respectively? Whatever may be your stimulus to learn poker, it is imperative that you be trained on the tricks of the game if you do not wish to throw your savings on card gambling.

Poker, at its very essence, is a simple game and is played with a standard deck of 52 playing cards (except for Ross Perot Poker, which is played with less than a full deck). The cards are ranked from high to low in the following order: Ace, King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2. Aces are always high and worth more than Kings which are worth more than Queens which are worth more than Jack, and so on. The cards are separated into four suits: ‘Clubs’, ‘Spades’, ‘Hearts’ and ‘Diamonds’. All the suits are all of equal value, meaning that no suit is more valuable than another. It’s a very egalitarian game.

Countless versions of poker like Texas Hold’em, Omaha High, Omaha 8 or Better, Seven Card Stud and Seven Card Stud or Better are played worldwide and they are reasonably complex. The ‘5-card draw’ or the ‘regular poker’ is not only the easiest game for the beginners, but also the simplest approach to be familiar with the rank of poker hands, order of poker hands and poker rules.

Each player in the ‘5-card draw’ poker game is dealt with five cards. The player with the highest-valued hand wins the game. From the highest to the lowest value hands are explained below:

Five of a Kind: This hand composes five cards of an identical rank from different suits and is only possible with wild cards. A possible hand in this case may be A-A-A-A-Joker (a Joker can be substituted for any card and is thus a wild card).

Royal Flush: This is the most valuable hand in a poker game and is composed of Ten, Jack, Queen, King, and Ace of the same suit. It is the toughest hand to get.

Straight Flush: A Straight Flush is comprised of five cards in numerical order, all of the same suit. You can get a 3-4-5-6-7 in a straight flush, but a ‘wrap around’ such as K-Q-A-1-2 is not allowed. It is also a rare hand and in case there are two straight flushes on the same table, the hand with the highest-valued cards is declared the winner.

Four of a Kind: This composes of four similar ranking cards from different suits and one random card like 9-9-9-9-A. If more than one player gets a Four of a Kind in the same table then the one with the highest-valued cards is declared the winner.

Full House: This hand composes of three cards of the same rank and the remaining two of a pair from different suits like A-A-A-3-3. In case more than one player has got a Full House the tie is broken by the rank of the first three cards.

Flush: This hand has an arrangement of five cards the same suit such as 2-3-7-10-J. If there is more than one flush, the hand with the highest card value wins.

Straight: A Straight hand is one when all the five cards are in a sequence like 3-4-5-6-7 or 8-9-10-J-Q. The cards may be from any suit. In case of a tie, the player with cards of higher value (like 8-9-10-J-Q) is declared the winner.

Three of a Kind: Three cards of the same numerical rank, and two random cards that is not a pair, such as J-J-J-7-8. Here when three cards are of the same value, it is also known as the ‘trips’. In case of a tie the player having the higher ‘trips’ card is declared the winner.

Two Pair: This hand composes of two pairs from different suits and a random card like Q-Q-5-5-8. If more than one player has a ‘Two Pair’ hand, then the player with the highest pair wins. If both have same high pairs, then the player who has the second highest pair wins.

One Pair: This hand composes of one pair and three random cards of any suit, for instance A-A-3-7-9. If more than one person has a ‘One Pair’, then the person with the highest ranking pair wins.

High Card: This is the lowest-valued hand and if none of the players have anything of value, the player holding the highest-valued card wins, with the 2 as the lowest card, and the Ace as the highest. In the case of a tie, you move to the next highest card, and continue.