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Poker Basic Rules


Poker is played with a standard pack of 52 cards. (Some variant games use multiple packs or add a few cards called jokers.) The cards are ranked (from high to low) Ace, King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, Ace. (Ace can be high or low). There are four suits, spades, hearts, diamonds and clubs.

Poker is can be played with 2 to 10 players, but five players are said to make the best game. The best combination of five cards wins the game. In the case of a tie, the pot is split equally among the winning hands.

Each player places an ante or "token bet" into the pot before the cards are dealt. The ante is set before the game and guarantees a winner on each hand. In all poker games there are betting rounds during which each player in the game must fold (stop playing the hand), call (equal the bet made), or raise (increase the bet made). All bets are placed together to form a pot.

Once the ante has been made, the cards are dealt  face down around the table, starting at the player to the dealers left and continuing clockwise. The dealer deals everyone their first card and then deals the second, and so on. As soon as everyone has five cards, the remainder of the deck is placed in the middle of the table, and play begins.

Players first round betting options. If no one makes a bet, you have two choices: (OPEN or CHECK)

OPEN: If no betting has been done when your turn comes, you may "open" the kitty. This allows you to make the first bet (any amount up to the betting limit).

CHECK: The opportunity to "check" only occurs if no one has opened the betting round and then it is time for you to decide what to do. When a player checks, it means that they do not want to open the betting, but at the same time they don't want to quit either. If someone opens the betting you now have three choices: (SEE, RAISE, and FOLD)

SEE: When you "see" another player it means that you match their bet. So whatever the other player bets and you still want to stay in the game, however you have to "see" their bet by placing the same amount into the kitty.

RAISE: When you "raise" it requires you to first "see" the previous bet, and then increase the bet. If the previous person bet a R1 and you want to bet more than that, you must then say "I see (match) your $, and raise you (increase the bet) another $".

FOLD: When someone else opens, you can cut your losses and fold your cards. When you "fold" you "give up" and place your cards face down on the table, and loose whatever you have bet so far. You only "fold" when you think your hand is too weak to compete against the other players.

The two basic forms are draw poker and stud poker, in both of which a deck of 52 cards is used and sometimes a joker added.

Draw Poker
In draw poker five cards are dealt singly, face down and in rotation, to each player who has paid an ante to the pot before play began. Once a player has opened the betting, the others must call the opening player's bet to stay in the game. In jackpots, perhaps the commonest variety of draw poker, a player must have at least a pair of jacks to open. At the conclusion of the first round of betting, a player may now stand pat (hold his or her five original cards) or draw from one to four cards from the stack (after discarding the same number from the hand). Another betting interval follows, beginning with the opener. If a bet is not met, the winner is not required to show his or her hand. When a bet is called, all hands are shown and the best hand wins.

Stud Poker
In stud poker, sometimes called open poker, each player is dealt singly one card down (the hole card) and one card face up. Each player looks at the card he or she has in the hole, but lets it remain face down. The player with the highest card showing starts a betting interval, and when all players have completed their betting, another card is dealt face up. This goes on until each player has four cards showing and one face down. After the final betting interval, the hole cards are exposed and the best hand wins. The many other variations of poker, such as high-low poker, and seven-card stud.

The art of good poker is learning and understanding your opponent's play and body language.


  • No cheating.
  • No swearing.
  • No abuse.
  • No defacing of property.
  • No drugs.
  • No weapons.
  • No excessive noise.


  • No acting out of turn.
  • No checking a hand when third player is all-in.
  • No reading of another player's hand before it has been placed face-up
  • Not to reveal a live hand in a multi-handed pot before betting is complete.
  • No muddling with the chips and discarded cards.
  • No stacking chips in a way that interferes with dealing or viewing of cards.
  • No intentional stalling of the game.
  • No uncalled statements or actions that unfairly affect the course of play.


Poker is on fire

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