Poker is an American card game, although its origin seems to be French. This game has become one of the most played in the world, thanks to its simple mechanics. The game relies heavily on faculties intervene but without involving complicated calculations.
To meld a hand higher in value than that of opponents. It is not necessary for the hand to be better than the others, merely that rivals believe it is, so that they fold before seeing the cards.
It is played with a 52 card English deck. Usually two decks of different back colours are used, so that while one is in play, the other is left shuffled beside the player who deals next time. Players decide beforehand whether to use one or both jokers/wild cards, but it is best to play without using any wild cards. The wild cards are used to supplement or represent any other card.
Two to seven players can play, although the best games are ideally played by five or six. Each player plays as an individual, without a partner.
The order of the cards, from highest to lowest, is: ace, king (K), queen (Q), jack (J), ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three and deuce.
All suits have the same value in any poker hand.
The cards are shuffled and dealt out face up, one by one, to each player from left to right, and whoever gets the first jack (J), is the one who deals first. The dealer has to give the player on their left the choice to cut the deck, this is the only person that can do this, if they do cut the deck they must leave at least five cards. Next, the dealer gives each player five cards, one at a time, in the stated direction. With each new game, the turn to be dealer passes to the player on the right.
Each player uses their five cards, discarding those that do not interest them, to meld the hands that, from highest to lowest in value, are explained below:
Playing with a wild card, this is the highest hand possible and consists of having 5 cards of the same value, one being a wild card. If played with two wild cards, the player who gets Poker with the highest cards wins, a tie is not possible.
Playing without a wild card, this is the highest hand possible and consists of having five cards of the same suit and sequential value. A Royal Straight Flush is formed by the five highest sequential cards of the same suit. The ace can be linked with the king or with the deuce to form a Low Straight Flush. The player with the highest straight wins. There may be a tie, in which case the winnings are shared.
Four cards of the same rank. The four highest cards win. A tie is not possible.
The combination of three cards of the same rank with two other cards equal to each other. The player with the highest three of a kind wins. A tie is not possible.
Five cards of the same suit but in no particular sequence. The player with the highest card wins. If a tie exists, the winner is determined by the next highest card, and so on. Should both players’ cards be of equal value, then they tie and the winnings are shared.
Five cards in sequence, but not all of the same suit. The ace can be linked with the king or the deuce. The straight that starts with the highest card wins. In the event of a tie, the winnings are shared.
Three cards of the same rank and the other two cards each of a different rank The three of a kind with the highest cards wins A tie is not possible.
Two pairs of cards of a different rank. The highest pair wins, but in the event of a tie the player with the second highest pair wins. Should both players’ cards be of equal value, the highest unmatched fifth card wins. Should there still be a tie, the winnings are shared.
Two cards of equal rank and the other three cards being of different rank The player with the highest pair wins. In the event of a tie, the player with the highest card among the three unmatched cards wins. Should there still be a tie, the winnings are shared.
In the event that a game does not contain any of the above combinations, the player with the highest card wins, and should there be a tie then the winnings are shared.
Note: If, when playing with a wild card, two players have the same poker hand with cards of equal value but one of them has used the wild card, then the player who formed the hand without a wild card wins.
After dealing out the cards, each player studies the possibilities of their hand, and in turn, starting with the “hand”, announce if they wish to play, by betting, or pass. After each player has had this option, the dealer proceeds to deal out the cards that the players request in exchange the cards they discarded to improve their initial hand, this can be up to all five of their cards, although they can also choose not to discard any. Once again, each player studies their hand, being able to bet or pass, and once the bets are finished and balanced, the cards are shown and the player with the highest hand wins the pot.
So Poker is composed of the following phases:
To open the game before the discard, each player puts an amount into the pot to receive the five initial cards. Players can only open if they have at least one pair of jacks, which is called “Jacks-or-Better”, although players are not obliged to open even if they have this or better. When one of the players opens the game, the other players can enter the game by accepting or increasing the bet, or passing, meaning that they are out of the game and place their cards down on the table. If everyone passes without opening, the cards are returned and each player puts in same amount into the pot as before. If a player opens the Pot and all the others pass, in order to take the Pot they have to show their “Jacks-or-Better”, hiding, if they so wish, the other cards they hold.
When betting starts, each player, in turn, can “call”, making the minimum bet, raise or pass. If a player calls, it means that they want to stay in the game until they see what the others are doing. Once one of the players has placed a bet, no other player can call and the players who have called have the opportunity to accept the bet, raise it or pass.
A player can pass without being eliminated from the game as long as no previous player has bet, being able to enter the game when their second turn to speak arrives, accepting or raising the previous bets. If a player passes after someone has bet, they are definitely out of the game, placing their cards face down on the table, with no right
to any winnings, even if they had the best hand. When the bets are finished, only those players who have accepted the highest bets will be left in the game, putting their amounts in the centre of the table.
If a player bets during their turn and no one accepts it, they take the pot as winnings, without having to show their cards, finishing that hand and dealing out new cards. If all of the players pass, then nobody wins and the pot stays on the table for the next hand.
When all the players call, without any of them betting, or when all the players’ bets in that game have been matched, the bets finish and any players remaining in the game can discarded from one to several or even all of their five cards to improve their hand. The dealer is the one who deals out the required cards using the ones in the deck, starting with the player on their right.
Discards are left face down on the table. Players are not allowed to look at the discarded cards, including those players who have left the game. Players are not obliged to discard any cards, but if they do then they must clearly announce how many cards they require, as this helps the other players to decide how much they are going to bet in that hand. To avoid mistakes, each player should pay attention to the number of cards they receive before looking at them.
Bets made after receiving new cards follow the same order as those made before discarding. The player who opened is the one who has the right to start the bets in the final phase of the game. If this player has withdrawn from the game, this right passes to the next player in turn. Each player, in turn, has the right to call, bet, increase the previous bet, accept the previous bets or pass.
During the course of the betting, players cannot ask how many cards have gone. No player can force another player to play more than they have in their limit and no player can, after seeing their initial cards, increase their limit. Should higher amounts be bet by other players, these will be seperate from the rest, and the one that wins will only win the stakes bet by each one of those players plus whatever was in the pot at the beginning of the hand. This player takes only their winnings, with whoever has the best hand among the other players winning the remaining bets. If after revealing their cards, two players have equal hands, the winnings will be shared between the two. Nobody has the right to see the hand of a player whose bet has not been accepted.
The following rules should be taken into account to establish who wins the game:
When playing Jack pot, the player who opened the game is only obliged to show jacks-or-better, being able to conceal their remaining cards. The player that bets last is the first to show their cards.
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