How to play Poker

Poker is one of the most popular card games in the world. Both in home games with friends and colleagues or in a casino room, millions of players around the world enjoy poker. Here are the basics to get you up and running for Texas Hold'em, now the most popular poker game.

How to play

At the start of the game, the players in the two positions after the button will put in a small and big blind. This is to get the pot going. These figures are determined by the casino and will go up at predetermined times according to the casino.

After this, the dealer will give everyone at the table two cards face down. These are called your "hole cards" and are yours alone.

At this point the dealer will go around the table in a clockwise order asking players if they want to fold, check (make no bet but stay in the game) or raise.

Once all the betting is done and everyone still in has placed the same amount of chips into the pot, the dealer will deal three cards into the middle of the table -- this is called the flop. These are shared cards and can be used by any player. Once more a round of betting takes place with raise, check and fold as the three options.

After this fourth shared card is dealt, called the turn card, and another round of betting takes place. A fifth card -- called the river -- then gets dealt and a final round of betting takes place.

If at any point during the hand only one player is left as everyone else has folded, they’ll be declared the winner and be given all the chips in the pot.

If two or more players are still involved at the end of this, the players reveal their cards and a winner is determined by who has the best five cards out of the seven. Players can use as many of the five shared cards as they like.

Order of Hands

High Card: The highest single card either player has, and aces are high.

One Pair: A single pair of cards - for example, two 8s.

Two Pair: Two pairs of cards - for example, two 4s and two 9s.

Three of a Kind: Three of the same number, for example three 6s.

Straight: Five cards in a row, for example a 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8

Flush: Five of the same suit, for example five spades. Order doesn't matter.

Full House: One Pair and Three of a Kind.

Four of a Kind: Four of the same number, for example, four 7s. Very rare. 

Straight Flush: Five in a row all of the same suit, for example a 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 of hearts.

Royal Flush: A Straight Flush but a 10, Jack, Queen, King and Ace of one suit. This is like winning the lottery it's so rare. 

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