Poker is any of the many card games where players wager between one to five, often with the possibility of calling, raises and bets after each hand. These games are played by people from all walks of life, from the most timid to the most cunning, and every player at some point in his or her life has probably played poker. Poker is a fast growing sport in North America, with over nine million people playing right now. The game is very simple: Two people sit down in a room, each holding a hand made up of three cards. One person chips in, and if your hand wins, the person to your left takes his or her hand, and the chips are turned over to the other person.
If your hand wins, the person to your left must return all the chips to the pot and take his or her hand, and the chips are turned over to the person who just dealt out the last five cards, usually known as the “low card.” Players may call or raise, or simply wait for the other person to call. After a few hands, both players will have had a chance to evaluate their hand, and the round is over. Then, another round of betting begins. Sometimes there is a draw, and sometimes the dealer will bet out, depending on the draw.
Texas Hold’em rules are the same as those used in Omaha or seven cards stud. When you bet, your stake is equal to the amount of the bet. You may call or raise, but your stake is not increased unless you have seven cards or better than anyone else. In Hold’em, the first round usually deals four cards face down, followed by a fifth and final card before the players fold. A small called raise may be made against a full house, and the player with the best hand may call and add one to the pot before folding if there is no raise. However, this rule is rarely followed, because it usually results in a split pot.
In stud poker, all cards are dealt face up. Stud poker starts with two of each face up, which means that the second player can only view the top two cards. The dealer may expose one of the exposed cards if she has not yet folded. Starting hands are dealt faceup, too, but rarely in the same order as in Texas Hold’em.
Texas Hold’em starts with the two lowest cards dealt face up, then the “hand” (the hand that the player is dealt two cards face down with), the banker (the person who stands opposite the dealer), and the last remaining “card” – the “poker card.” If there is a match, the highest valued player – called the “ace” – is usually the player with the highest ante. The ante goes up each time a player makes a bet and each time the last player in the game makes a bet before the ante is raised. The last player usually has the option to raise before the ante is raised, so it’s important to watch for opportunities to raise before the last player in the game makes a bet.
In full ring poker, all the low cards must bet, and the high cards have to stay in the deck. The low card must bet before the high card is raised, and the high card must stay in the hand. When both players have an ante higher than the starting hand’s high card limit, a “full ring” is called and the betting rota is changed to the active player’s ring. This type of poker is referred to as a “ring game” since all the action occurs in a ring, with bets ongoing between all players at the same time.