There are many different types of poker game. Some players will move from game to game depending on who they play with and which game they prefer. Others may stick to one or two variations. In general terms, although each game of poker may have its own rules and game play structure, there are some basic poker rules that will apply to any game.
Any game of poker involves the players being dealt a hand of cards, usually five. According to the specific poker rules of the actual game being played some of these cards may be seen by all players and some will be hidden. In some games all of the cards dealt to a player will be hidden from the view of his/her opponents.
Poker revolves around one player putting together the best available hand from the cards they are given and those they draw from the dealer. The winner of any poker game, according to poker rules, wins the pot. This may be made up of anything from matchsticks to money depending on how the players want the game to go.
The pot may be started off with a buy-in bet and will be added to during the game, as its poker rules dictate, by the players if they want to stay in the game. Those who don’t think they have a good enough hand to win or who can’t see a way of building one have options to give up or fold. The remaining players then compete to see who is there until the end and/or has the strongest hand to win.
According to poker rules the cards that are dealt from a pack rank in order from Ace (the highest) down through the royal cards (i.e. King, Queen and Jack) to the lower numbers. Aces can also often be used as the lowest ranking card as well. The suits in a pack of card are all used here and are all given the same value.
The hands that a player puts together in games will have various values according to poker rules. In order of ranking in most cases these will be:
- Royal Flush - Ace, King, Queen, Jack and Ten all of the same suit.
- Straight Flush - five cards that rank in order (i.e. 3, 4, 5, 6, 7) all of the same suit.
- Four of a Kind - four cards of the same rank (i.e. four fours or four Kings).
- Full House - three cards that are the same (i.e. three tens) plus two cards that are the same (i.e. two Queens).
- Flush - five cards of the same suit (i.e. five clubs or five hearts).
- Straight - five cards in number order but not of the same suit.
- Three of a Kind - three cards of the same rank (i.e. three Aces).
- Two Pairs - two sets of two cards of the same value (i.e. two threes and two fives).
- Pair - one set of two cards of the same value (i.e. two sevens or two nines).
- High Card - if no player has a ranked card then the highest card will win.
The actual poker rules for any given game may vary slightly but most will contain these basic rules.