Rules of Poker

Poker is played by using a single deck of 52 cards. The deck has four suits: clubs §, diamonds ¨, hearts ©, and spades ª. Each suit has 13 cards ranked two through ten, jack, queen, king, and ace (the ace can be the highest or lowest card).

Poker games always begin with a shuffle to randomly sort the deck. A brand new deck always has the 52 cards in suit and rank order.

Hand Rankings

The following examples are in ranking order, meaning the best hand has a ranking of one and the worst hand is of rank ten.

Rank

Hand Name

Description of Hand

Example

1

Royal Flush

A, K, Q, J, 10 of same suit

10ª, Jª, Qª, Kª, Aª

2

Straight Flush

Five same-suit consecutive cards

4¨, 5¨, 6¨, 7¨, 8¨

3

Four of a Kind

Four cards of the same rank

7ª, 7§, 7¨, 7©, 6©

4

Full House

Three of a kind plus a pair

3¨, 3ª, 3§, Kª, K©

5

Flush

Five cards of the same suit

3©, 7©, 10©, Q©, A©

6

Straight

Five cards in sequence

5§, 6¨, 7§, 8©, 9ª

7

Three of a Kind

Three cards of the same rank

J©, Jª, J¨, 8©, 9ª

8

Two Pair

Two pairs of different rank

5©, 5ª, 9§, 9ª, 8©

9

One Pair

Two cards of the same rank

Aª, A¨, 2©, 4¨, 8ª

10

High Card

None of the other rankings

Kª, 2¨, 4ª, 6©, 8¨

Poker Variations

Poker has many variations with each variation having its own rules. The more popular poker variations are Draw Poker, Five Card Stud, Seven Card Stud, Chicago Hi, Chicago Lo, Texas Hold ’Em, and Omaha. Most poker variations can be played with two to eight players. The cards are shuffled and distributed by a player called the dealer. In all variations, the first card is given to the player to the left of the dealer. A round of betting consists of each player deciding whether he should bet (or raise after the first bet was made) an amount from the group’s agreed-to minimum to maximum, fold (quit this round of play), or check (agree to cover the current amount due to the pot). When three raises to the original bet have been made or all players have checked, the betting round is completed.

In Draw Poker, all players make a small blind bet or ante before receiving any cards. Then the players, starting with the player left of the dealer, receive cards until each player has five cards. Players carefully look at their cards and determine which cards to keep and which cards to discard. Players can discard up to three cards (or four cards if they are keeping an ace). Before discarding, each player may bet or raise, fold (quit this round of play), or accept the current bet amount (check). Then the remaining players discard their cards. Another round of betting occurs where each player can bet, fold, or check. After all players have checked or three raises have occurred, the players must show their cards; the player with the highest hand wins the pot (all bets made). If only one player remains (no showdown), he wins and his cards can remain unexposed.

One variation of Draw Poker that is commonly played is Draw Poker Jacks or Better, where to open the first round of betting the player needs a pair of jacks or better (a better ranking like three of a kind) to bet. This lets the other players know the player has a hand with a pair of jacks or better. If no player can bet (no hand has at least a pair of jacks), the cards are reshuffled and a new round begins (ante and all). This variation can make the pot quite large with antes and the bets of players with bad hands who fold earlier.

Five Card Stud is a variation where each player receives their first card face down (called the “hole”), the next three cards are dealt face up, and the last card is dealt face down. The player to the left of the dealer receives the first card. The player with the lowest first card must bet the minimum. Some variations have all players at the start ante up (a small bet). After all players have received their up cards (cards three and four), a round of betting occurs. Then after the fifth card (a down card) has been received by all players, the last round of betting occurs. In each betting round after the first, the player with the highest-ranking hand showing (only the up cards) starts the betting process. If only one player remains, he wins the pot and his cards can remain unexposed. Otherwise, the remaining players show all five cards and the player with the highest ranking hand wins the pot.

Seven Card Stud is a variation where the first two cards are dealt face down (the “hole”) and the third card is dealt face up. On the first card up, the player with the lowest up card must make the minimum bet. Each player must either bet (raise), fold, or check. After the first round of betting, the player with the highest ranking hand of shown cards opens the betting round. The cards four through six are dealt face up, and after all players have received that round’s card, betting occurs. The last card (the seventh card) is dealt face down unless in an eight-player game all eight players remain, and then the last card is dealt as a community card (shared by all players). If only one player remains, he wins (no showdown) and his cards may be left unexposed. Otherwise, all remaining players must show their cards, and the player with the highest-ranking hand wins the pot. If more than one player has the highest-ranking hand, they split the pot or the player with the highest suit wins. The suit order is usually spades (the highest), hearts, diamonds, and clubs (the lowest).

Chicago Hi plays exactly like Seven Card Stud, except the player with the highest spade in the “hole” splits the pot. The ace of spades is the highest card. If the last card (seventh card) is a community card, it cannot be used as a “hole” card.

Chicago Lo plays exactly like Seven Card Stud, except the player with the lowest spade in the “hole” splits the pot. Players must decide whether the ace of spaces is the lowest card or the two (deuce) of spades is the lowest. If the last card (seventh card) is a community card, it cannot be used as the “hole” card.

Over the last few years, Texas Hold ’Em and Omaha have become popular variations.

Many of the top poker players consider Texas Hold ’Em to be the most challenging and sublime of all the poker games. Texas Hold ’Em is the game played to determine the undisputed champion at the World Series of Poker at Binion’s Horseshoe in downtown Las Vegas.

Texas Hold ’Em is a seven-card poker game where each player receives two down cards and the remaining five cards are called “community cards,” which are shared by all of the players. Each player must make his best five-card poker hand using five out of the seven cards (his two cards plus the five community cards). After the two down cards have been dealt to all of the players, the player to the left of the dealer must make a small blind bet. Then a round of betting occurs where each player must bet (raise), fold, or check. Then five cards are placed face down in the center as community cards. The middle three community cards (the “flop”) are turned over (face up) and another round of betting occurs. Then the first community card (the “turn” card) is flipped over (face up) and another betting round occurs. Finally, the fifth community card (the “river”) is turned over (face up) and the final round of betting occurs.

If more than one player remains, the player with the highest ranking hand wins the pot. Any combination of the player’s own two down cards and the five community cards can be used to make the best five-card poker hand. The pot is split if a tie occurs.

Omaha is a form of Texas Hold ’Em that is very popular in casinos and on “poker night.” Omaha is a nine-card poker variation where each player is dealt four down cards and the remaining five cards are dealt face down as community cards (for all players to use). Each player must create the best ranking poker hand by using two of his four cards plus three of the five community cards (Omaha players often say “Two from the hand, three from the board”). Just like in Texas Hold ’Em, after the first four cards are dealt, the player to the left of the dealer must make a small blind bet. Then the players must bet (raise), fold, or check. The middle three community cards are turned face up, and another round of betting occurs. The first community card is flipped, and another round of betting occurs. The last, fifth, community card is turned over, and the last round of betting occurs. The players remaining show their cards, and the player with the best ranking poker hand wins the pot.



Game Design Foundations
Game Design Foundations (Wordware Game and Graphics Library)
ISBN: 1556229739
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2003
Pages: 179

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