Without question, Poker is the most common card game in Las Vegas and Internet casinos. Learning how to play Poker is essential for anyone looking to have fun and make some money at casinos. Once you learn the basics of how to play Poker, you can practice online and play for fun. The basic rules for most variations of Poker are the same, so learning how to play Poker will allow you to change your game and get more enjoyment from your play time. Many people learn how to play Poker by participating in home games, visiting internet casinos or watching live Poker tournaments like the World Series of Poker. A few basic rules will get you on your way.
The first step in learning how to play Poker is to memorize the hand ranking. The object of Poker in just about every variation is to form the highest possible five-card hand. From highest to lowest, the order of Poker hands is Royal Flush, Straight Flush, Four of a Kind, Full House, Flush, Straight, Three of a Kind, Two Pair, One Pair, and High Card. Before you figure out any other rules of how to play Poker, you should know the hand ranking off the top of your head so you can concentrate on the game.
There is more to learning how to play Poker than hand ranking. You should also familiarize yourself with the various types of Poker that are commonly played in casinos. Stud Poker, which is usually some variation of five-card or seven-card stud, is a Poker game where you try to make the best possible hands from the cards you are dealt. Variations of seven-card stud, such as Omaha and Texas Hold Em, are more common than five-card stud because with seven cards, the game relies more on skill than luck.
Draw Poker is another type of game you should investigate in learning how to play Poker. Most casinos dont offer draw Poker because the odds are excellent for players, but you can find draw Poker games in many for-credit Internet casinos. In draw Poker, depending on the game variation, you can discard a certain number of cards after the initial deal and get that many new cards to make the best possible hand.
Knowing how to play Poker will let you participate in the most exciting card game around. After you learn how to play Poker, you can work on your bluffing skills (actions you can use against live opponents to make them think your cards are better than theirs so they will fold, or withdraw from the game) and maybe even find yourself with a seat at the World Series of Poker. Practice your Poker skills online or with friends so you can learn all the tricks about how to play Poker.
THESE ARE THE BEST HANDS IN RANK ORDER
1. Royal Flush
This is the highest poker hand. It consists of ace, king, queen, jack, ten, all in the same suit. As all suits are equal, all royal flushes are equal.
2. Straight Flush
Five cards of the same suit in sequence – such asJ-10-9-8-7. Between two straight flushes, the one containing the higher top card is higher. An ace can be counted as low, so 5-4-3-2-A is a straight flush, but its top card is the five, not the ace, so it is the lowest type of straight flush.
3. Four of a kind
Four cards of the same rank – such as four queens. The fifth card can be anything. This combination is sometimes known as “quads”, and in some parts of Europe it is called a “poker”, though this term for it is unknown in English. Between two fours of a kind, the one with the higher set of four cards is higher – so 3-3-3-3-A is beaten by 4-4-4-4-2. It can’t happen in standard poker, but if in some other game you need to compare two fours of a kind where the sets of four cards are of the same rank, then the one with the higher fifth card is better.
4. Full House
This consists of three cards of one rank and two cards of another rank – for example three sevens and two tens (colloquially known as “sevens full” or more specifically “sevens on tens”). When comparing full houses, the rank of the three cards determines which is higher. For example 9-9-9-4-4 beats 8-8-8-A-A. If the threes of a kind were equal, the rank of the pairs would decide.
Five cards of the same suit. When comparing two flushes, the highest card determines which is higher. If the highest cards are equal then the second highest card is compared; if those are equal too, then the third highest card, and so on. For example K-J-9-3-2 beats K-J-7-6-5 because the nine beats the seven.
Five cards of mixed suits in sequence – for example Q-J-10-9-8. When comparing two sequences, the one with the higher ranking top card is better. Ace can count high or low in a straight, but not both at once, so A-K-Q-J-10 and 5-4-3-2-A are valid straights, but 2-A-K-Q-J is not. 5-4-3-2-A is the lowest kind of straight, the top card being the five.
7. Three of a Kind
When comparing two threes of a kind the hand in which the three equal cards are of higher rank is better. So for example 5-5-5-3-2 beats 4-4-4-K-Q. If you have to compare two threes of a kind where the sets of three are of equal rank, then the higher of the two remaining cards in each hand are compared, and if those are equal, the lower odd card is compared.
8. Two Pairs
A pair is two cards of equal rank. In a hand with two pairs, the two pairs are of different ranks (otherwise you would have four of a kind), and there is an odd card to make the hand up to five cards. When comparing hands with two pairs, the hand with the highest pair wins, irrespective of the rank of the other cards – so J-J-2-2-4 beats 10-10-9-9-8 because the jacks beat the tens. If the higher pairs are equal, the lower pairs are compared, so that for example 8-8-6-6-3 beats 8-8-5-5-K. Finally, if both pairs are the same, the odd cards are compared, so Q-Q-5-5-8 beats Q-Q-5-5-4.
A hand with two cards of equal rank and three other cards which do not match these or each other. When comparing two such hands, the hand with the higher pair is better – so for example 6-6-4-3-2 beats 5-5-A-K-Q. If the pairs are equal, compare the highest ranking odd cards from each hand; if these are equal compare the second highest odd card, and if these are equal too compare the lowest odd cards. So J-J-A-9-3 beats J-J-A-7-6 because the 9 beats the 7.
10. High Card
Five cards which do not form any of the combinations listed above. When comparing two such hands, the one with the better highest card wins. If the highest cards are equal the second cards are compared; if they are equal too the third cards are compared, and so on. So A-J-9-5-3 beats A-10-9-5-4 because the jack beats the ten.