Poker is a popular strategy game that is played in most casinos. Since you are betting against the other players in the hand and not the casino, you pay a fee out of each pot called the rake. There are many variations of poker games available. The most popular is Texas Hold’em.
Basic Rules – Texas Hold’em
The overall goal of the game is to make the best five card poker hand. The dealer will deal two cards to each player face down, called hole cards that are used only by that player. The dealer will also deal five community cards after each betting round that can be used by the player in conjunction with their hole cards to make the best poker hand. The play moves clockwise around the table, starting with action to the left of the dealer button which moves around the table one position each hand. The button determines which player at the table is the acting dealer. In Texas Hold’em, the player on the button, or last active player closest to the button, is the last player to action on all betting rounds. The first two players to the left of the dealer’s button are required to post a small blind and a large blind before the initial betting round takes place. The player directly to the left of the button posts the small blind, and the player to his or her direct left posts the big blind. The small blind is generally half the amount of the big blind. The dealer starts dealing cards around the table starting with the small blind.
Each player takes an action at their turn by folding, calling, or raising:
Fold – Not to play in this hand
Call – Match the amount of the big blind
Raise – Betting higher than the big blind. Minimum bet is double the big blind.
The dealer removes cards not in play and gathers the bets (called the pot.) The dealer then deals three community cards in the centre (called the flop,) and the next action or betting round takes place. The betting round is repeated on the fourth community card dealt (called the turn or fourth street) and the fifth and final community card dealt (called the river or fifth street.)
These five cards are visible for every player. Once all five cards are dealt, players have to make the best five-card combination from the seven cards. This can be done using both hole cards in combination with three community cards, one hole card in combination with four community cards or no hole cards and playing all five community cards as a hand. The player with the best combination of cards wins the pot, which is the sum of all bets that have been placed during that hand.
Once all the betting or action rounds are completed and the river card has been dealt, the remaining players open their hole cards, and with the assistance of the dealer, a winning hand is determined. The player with the best combination of five cards will win the pot and the hand is finished.