How to play poker

PokerPoker is one of the many gambling card games and is probably considered to be the most famous card game in the world. Poker is a game that can be played at the casino as well as at home with a group of friends. In order to be able to win from your competitors it is important to know the rules of poker. This article will therefore address how poker should be played.

Game of poker

Most people have probably played a game of cards once in their life. Whether it is playing hearts, lying or the game bullying, these card games usually do not involve a form of betting. Poker, on the other hand, does. Betting is even considered to be an intrinsic part of the game. It can be playing for money, or anything else depending who you play the game with. The winner of a poker game is determined by the person having the strongest hand. The strongest hand means that the person has the best combination of players’ cards. This remains hidden until the end of the hand, and poker games can therefore continue for a long time. There are different forms of poker games that can be played. The various games differ in the number of cards dealt, the number of cards which remain hidden and the different betting procedures. The two most popular poker games are 5 Card Draw and Texas Hold’em. In casinos both games can be played and people usually bet with large amounts of money. Poker is also very popular on the online platform. There are many international online poker competitions and for some people these tournaments provide for a monthly income.


It is said that the first game of poker was played in New Orleans, in Louisiana in 1829. This game was played with a deck of 20 cards and there were a total of four players. The four players bet on the player who had the most valuable combination of cards in his hand. From Louisiana the game spread to the rest of the United States. Poker was over played on the Mississippi riverboats. Gambling, playing cards and other bet games were very popular to pass time. After the spread to the rest of the United States, the game of poker was played with a deck of 52 cards. During this time the combination of card called “flush” was introduced. In the next paragraphs it will be addressed what a “flush” is. After this time, the combination of cards referred to as “draw” was introduced. Moreover, during the American Civil War more combinations were introduced and different types of card games were introduced. In the 1970s, the World Series of Poker was introduced and poker tournaments became popular in American casinos. After the popularity of poker tournaments, poker strategy books were introduced and poker became more and more accessible to the public. It was also considered to be a common recreational activity.


A game of player starts by the distribution of cards. The right to deal the cards usually rotates among the players. In order to keep track of who has the right to deal the cards, there is a token that is rotated among the distributer. This token is called a dealer button or is referred to as a buck. When playing poker in a casino, it is not the players who distribute the cards but a house dealer. The cards are always dealt clockwise around the poker table. Instead of a token being rotated, at a casino a white plastic deck is being rotated to indicate the order of betting. The first round of a poker round starts with one or more players making a forced bet. This forced bet is often referred to as ante or called a blind bet. Each player bets according to the rank he believes his cards are worth in relation to the other poker players. The players then continue clockwise and each player must either match, or “call”, the previous bet of fold. This means that the other players lose the amount of bet so far and lose further interest in the hand played. A player who decides to match a bet may also increase the bet. The round of betting ends when all players have folded or matched the last best. If all players decide to fold on a round, the player who decided not to fold collects the pot without having to reveal their hand. If more than one players remains in the game and has not folded after the final round of betting, both players have to reveal their hand. The player with the best combination of cards, or the strongest hand, takes the pot.

Hand ranking

Before playing a game of poker it is important to familiarize yourself with the basic rules of poker. Besides the rules of poker it is also crucial to know about the different hand rankings. While there are many different hands, this paragraph will address the five most commonly known combinations of cards.

1. Royal Flush: This combination of cards is the highest combination possible. It can therefore not be beaten. This combination consists of the ace, a king, a queen, a jack and a ten. This combination is considered to be poker’s most famous hand.
2. Straight Flush: The straight flush is the second highest combination of cards possible in the game of poker. A straight flush consist of five cards in the same sequence of the same suit. In case of a tie in the game, the player owning the highest rank at the top of the sequence wins the game.
3. Four of a Kind: Four of a kind consists of four cards from the same rank, in combination with one side card. This side card is also referred to as “kicker”. In case of a draw, the person having the highest side card is the winner of the game.
4. Full House: Full house consists of the combination of cards of three cards of the same rank and two cards of a matching rank. In case of a draw, the person with the highest three matching cards wins the game.
5. Flush: Flush is the fifth highest combination of cards. A  flush is five cards of the same suit, which are not in a specific sequence. In case of a draw, the person holding the highest ranked card wins the game.


One of the tips often given by poker players is to keep your cards close. Some people like to put them in order while everyone else looks at their own cards. During this time you can evaluate how strong your hand is while everyone else is busy ordering their cards. Players often show how strong their hand or their combination of cards is by giving a certain clue. This could be by breathing excitedly or a lack of eye contact. Sometimes it is revealed by facial muscle flexes. This could either mean that they want to cover up a smile or relax their muscles. It is therefore important to try and deduce these hints as much as possible. By doing this you trick your players by not reacting thrilled or disappointed to a set of cards. People therefore often say that while playing poker you should keep a “poker face” in order not to show any response. When playing poker games or poker tournaments, players often wear a neck scarf to cover up muscle tension. Some players also wear large sunshades or a pulled low hat. They also put extra effort in concealing reactionary gasping and breathing.

Variations of poker

Poker has different variations of games. Most games follow a similar pattern of play and usually use a similar hand ranking hierarchy. There are two main games of poker. These games are grouped by the protocol of betting and card-dealing. The most popular game of poker is called “straight”. Straight is the oldest family of poker. A complete hand of cards is dealt to each player. During this game all players bet in round one and during this round they are also allowed to raise and re-raise. The roots of this game are originally known as Primero. This game  was  very popular during the American Revolutionary War among the many gentlemen clubs. Primero is still played in the UK today. Another popular game is called “Stud Poker”. During this game cards are distributed in a pre-arranged combination of face-up and face-down rounds. After the distribution of cards, rounds of betting follow after that. The most popular variant of Stud Poker is the seven-card stud. This means that the dealer deals two extra cards to each players. Four cards are dealt face-up and three cards are dealt face-down. With these cards the player must make the best combination of 5 cards.


Article written by: SarahAjaoud
Times read: 2048x
Added: 31-07-2016 16:42
Last modified: 07-08-2016 22:45

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