The Basics of Poker
Poker is a game of skill that involves cards and chips. It is played socially for pennies or matchsticks and professionally for thousands of dollars. It can be a fun, entertaining hobby or an enlightening and empowering challenge for professional players.
In Poker, each player receives one card facedown–his hole card–and one card faceup. The deal is interrupted for a betting interval and the players take turns revealing their cards, attempting to create the best five-card hand. After the last betting interval, all the players reveal their hands and the winner is the person who holds the best hand.
There are many different versions of Poker, each with varying rules and structures. Most have a betting system in which players bet a certain amount of money on each hand. Some variations have an ante (an initial amount of money in the pot before the cards are dealt) and/or blinds (a set of small bets placed in advance of the cards).
The Ante & Play
In stud poker, the players each make an ante and a play bet. The ante bet wins if the dealer’s hand qualifies, and the play bet pays even money if the dealer doesn’t open.
In most stud poker games, the highest hand is a mini-royal flush or straight flush. The next highest hands are three of a kind, two pair, one pair and high card. The lowest hands are jacks or lower.