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Poker Basics

Poker, one of the widely played card games has its origin in the French community at the beginning of the 19th century. The term poker was derived from the French term "Poque". Poker is a game of chance and involves certain skills.


Poker game differs in how the cards are dealt, how hands can be formed, limits on bets and how many rounds of betting are allowed. In most poker games, the first round of betting begins with a forced bet. Each player in turn must match the maximum previous bet or choose to fold. A player who matches a bet can also choose to raise. If more than one player remains after the final betting, the hands are shown and the winning hand takes the pot.


The odds of winning are very high because the players can win at least the money they betted if they have at least one pair. The better the hand the higher the amount one can win. The best hand one can have is the Royal Flush and in online poker games one can win even 100 times the waging amount.


Poker Hand Rankings


Royal Flush: It is the highest poker hands that consist of an Ace, King, Queen, Jack and Ten, all of the same suit.


Straight Flush: It is a poker hand with five cards forming a straight and flush, but not an Ace high.


Four of a Kind: A hand having four cards of the same rank. When two players have four of a kind, the highest ranked hand wins.


Full House: A hand having three cards of one rank and two of other rank form a full house.


Flush: A hand with all five cards of the same suit.


Straight: A hand with five cards in numerical sequence form a straight.


Three of a kind: A hand with three cards of the same rank. When two players have three of a kind hand, the highest ranked wins.


Two pair: A hand with two cards of the same rank, with two other cards of the same rank, like two threes and two sevens.


Poker Betting: All poker games offer the player some betting options such as checking, betting, folding, calling, and raising.


Checking is the option to stay in the hand without betting. Another option offered to player when no one has bet before him, is to Bet. Folding means giving up the chance of winning, but also the player does not add any money. Calling a bet is to put enough money to match the bettor's bet. Raising a bet means to put more money, so that the original bettor has to add more money to stay in the hand. When all the betting rounds are complete, and still there are multiple players left, then there is a "showdown", where the remaining players show their hands to each other and the player with the best hand wins the game.


There are numerous poker variations that are played worldwide. The most popular poker games are Texas Holdem, Seven Card Stud, Five card stud, Omaha games, Razz and HORSE. Each variation of poker has its own rules, but the betting basics are the same.


Betting Limits in Poker: Each poker game variation, whether Texas holdem, Omaha or 7 Card Stud, is structured by an amount of money that may be bet on each round of play. These are referred to as "limits". There are two types of betting limits, called limit and no limit.


Limit Poker
The most common form of poker betting is limit poker, usually referred with numbers, like 2 / 4 Texas holdem or 5 / 10 Omaha. The numbers represent the size that bets must be on betting rounds. In Texas holdem and Omaha poker, the bets in the first two rounds are the first number and the bets in the last two rounds are the second number. In 7 Card Stud, the first number is the betting limit for the first two rounds and the second number is the limit for the last three rounds.


No Limit Poker
No limit poker is the betting limit for poker tournaments and is popular in individual poker rooms. In a no limit poker game, any player can bet any amount including the amount of chips he has on the table. No higher limit is available, other than the players’ credits and no maximum number of raises exists in this game.

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