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What you need to know on How to play Poker

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Learn how to play Poker in this informative article. Widely known as one of the most recognisable and certainly iconic card games in existence, poker is a game with a number of variants. Played with a standard 52 card deck and based on various rounds of betting between players, the outright objective of the game is to win the collective wagers or ‘pot’ by compiling the strongest hand or lasting as the only player left who has yet to resign their cards back to the dealer, a move most commonly known as a ‘fold’.

An image of Men playing poker

Variants of Online Poker

Poker is a game which has a number of different variants, so many in fact that it is best to separate them into four distinct families. Whilst all of them do follow a similar set of rules and grading in terms of hands and card values, there are some key differences in the way that play is conducted. The chief four styles are as follows.

  • Standard Five Card or ‘Straight’ Format: The oldest and most original form of poker, straight poker is perhaps the least flamboyant forms of the game available to play in casinos today. A full hand of five cards is dealt to each player following a shuffle and pack cut. Following this, there is just one round of betting during which raising and indeed re-raising is permitted. Players are able only to form their hand by using the cards dealt to them at the start of each hand; and it is this which gives the straight format more of a rigid and less strategic nature – perhaps owing to its decline in popularity over the course of the last century or so.
  • Draw Format:A full hand of five cards is dealt to each of the players face down, after which a round of betting commences. After this, players are allowed to draw various cards from the deck in an attempt to improve their eventual hand. The discrepancies involved vary from version to version, though in five card draw, the most popular game of the draw family, players are permitted to exchange all five of their cards if they should choose to.
  • Stud Format: Another very old variation of poker, stud involves the mixing of face-up and face-down rounds. Cards are dealt one at a time, with a round of betting bridging each. Perhaps the most popular variant of this kind today is seven card stud, which is highly unique in that it allows players seven cards (three face down, four up) with which to craft their five-card hand!
  • Community Card Poker: Easily the most commonly enjoyed form of poker, owing to the fact that it is home to the iconic Texas Hold ‘em variant, community card poker incorporates both face down and face up cards – technically making it a variation of stud.  What makes this different is the inclusion of a number of ‘community cards’, which are dealt face-up in the middle of the table and may be utilised by any player in order to complete their hand.

Online Poker Hand Values

How to play Poker- Regardless of the variation being played, the value of each of the five-card hands does not change. These must be committed to memory if you ever hope to excel in poker of any kind! In order from least valuable to most valuable, they are as follows:

  • High Card:In the event that you hold no other hand, the card of the highest value will spearhead your hand. Ace being the highest, 2 the lowest.
  • One Pair: Two cards of the same value – for example a 5 of clubs and a 5 of hearts.
  • Two Pairs: Two sets of pairs – for example a 5 of clubs and 5 of hearts, as well as a 10 of clubs and a 10 of hearts.
  • Three of a Kind: Three cards of the same value – for example a 5 of clubs, 5 of hearts and a 5 of spades.
  • Straight: Any five cards in a sequence of values – for example 2,3,4,5,6.
  • Flush: Five cards of the same suit.
  • Full House: One pair and one three of a kind.
  • Four of a Kind: Four cards of the same value – I’m sure you get the picture by now!
  • Straight Flush: Five cards in a sequence of value and of a matching suit – for example 2,3,4,5,6 of hearts.
  • Royal Fush: The 10, Jack, Queen, King and Ace of one suit.