How to Play Poker

Poker, after lying almost dormant in smoky back rooms and GI barracks for generations, has exploded on the public consciousness in recent years because of the internet and television. Someone in the non-smoky back rooms of ad agencies or network offices decided that poker could be a spectator sport and sell some toothpaste and Viagra. So, in the copycat tradition of TV, when one network began showing poker games, all the others soon jumped in.
The variation of the poker game, which is a bit too complicated for beginners, that is currently most popular on TV, is Texas hold’em. Why that name, no one has yet ‘fessed up as the inventor. Anyhow, as a poker player over at least the past six decades, I hate it, and prefer the original poker game as it was meant to be played. Therefore, if you’re just starting, I recommend that you shouldn’t try to understand all the fancy, schmancy variations until you know the absolute, rock-bottom basics of poker.

To begin, you’ll be glad to know that all forms of poker, no matter how twisted or obscured, are based on draw poker, the game played by Humphrey Bogart, Frank Sinatra, Harry Truman, Betty White, Carol Burnett and other famous draw-poker experts for at least the past 100 years. And to keep it simple, agen idn poker online that’s how I’ll tell you the basics. Once you get them, you can go on to any variation of the game you choose, including playing with the sharks in Vegas or on TV with Hollywood stars.

Remember the old story about how the great Notre Dame coach, Knute Rockne, opened his first team meeting of the season? He gathered all the players around, held up a football, and said, “This is a football.” Assuming you’re an absolute beginner, I’ll do the same with draw poker. It is played with a regular deck of 52 cards, consisting of 13 each of four suites (designs) including spades (black), clubs (black), diamonds (red) and hearts (red). The numbers on the cards go from one (ace) to ten, then picture cards, jack, queen and king.

On draw poker, usually with up to six players at the table, the deck of cards is shuffled thoroughly and five cards are dealt to each player by one of the players, or by a non-player who is the game’s permanent dealer. Each player then picks up his/her five cards, and while keeping them hidden from all others, examines them. This is called his/her hand.

Here is where I reveal that all poker games of all kinds have basic values in common. The most valuable hand in any form of poker is a royal flush, which consists of five cards of the same suite in sequence from a ten, a jack, a queen, a king and an ace. The next highest valuehand is a straight flush, consisting of five cards of the same suite in sequence, but with the highest card a king or lower. The next best hand is four of a kind, and the highest of that value would be four aces.

The next best hand is a full house, which consists of three cards of the same number and two of a different number, such as the highest possible in this situation, three aces and two kings or others. The next best hand is a flush, which includes cards all of the same suite, but not in sequence. The next best is three of a kind, such as three aces and two of different numbers.

The next best is two pair, which is two sets of two matching cards, such as a pair of aces and a pair of kings. The next best is one pair. The lowest possible hand with any value, which seldom wins when there are as many as six players, is ace high. That’s when none of the players has any of the above combinations, so the player who has an ace can win.

In draw poker, the original five-card hand may be improved because there are two deals. Players are given the option of discarding as many as three cards that have no value and draw new cards. I won’t go into what happens next, because that is beyond the beginning of your career as a poker player.

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