|Poker is the name given
to a number of card games where players wager on the
strength of the cards they hold. Poker is a game that
involves a communal "pot" consisting of the players'
wagers which is awarded to the poker player who either
holds the highest ranking hand or makes a wager which
goes unmatched by his or her opponents.
Poker is played from 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, but is usually high). There are
four suits (spades, hearts, diamonds and clubs);
however, no suit is higher than another. All poker hands
contain five cards, the highest hand wins.
There are many varieties of poker games but they all
follow the same basic format:
- Players contribute toward a central 'pot' that
contains play chips or chips representing actual money
- Players are dealt cards (a 'hand'), some or all of
which are concealed
- Wagers are made on the strength of the cards in rounds
- After the betting rounds are over, the player with the
strongest hand - or the last player left standing after
the others have folded - wins!
Basic Poker Play
Basic poker play is typically played "table stakes",
meaning only the chips in play at the beginning of each
hand may be used throughout the hand. The table stakes
rule has an application called the "All-In" rule, which
states that a player cannot be forced to forfeit a poker
hand because the player does not have enough chips to
call a bet. A player who does not have enough chips to
call a bet is declared All-In. The player is eligible
for the portion of the pot to the point of his final
wager. All further action involving other players takes
place in a "side pot", which is ineligible to the All-In