Poker is played with a standard deck of 52-cards, and sometimes Jokers are added as wild cards. The object of the game is to win the pot which contains all the bets the players have made in a deal. Players are dealt cards which are usually reduced to a Poker hand of five (5) cards. Betting and bluffing are used in rounds until all bets are squared up, or until all other players have conceded the pot (folded). If all bets have been squared up, the rounds are followed by a "showdown" in which all hands are fully revealed; the one with the best combination of a Poker hand of five (5) cards being the winner.
The following table describes and ranks the standard Poker hands:
Five of a Kind (Only if wild cards are in use): Four cards of the same rank and one wild card (eg: A, A, A, A, Joker).
Straight Flush: A straight with all cards of the same suit (eg: A, K, Q, J, 10: all spades). (The highest Straight Flush is nominally called a Royal Flush)
Four of a Kind: Four cards of the same rank (eg: A, A, A, A, K).
Full House: Three of a kind in one rank and a pair in a different rank (eg: A, A, A, K, K).
Flush: Five cards of the same suit (eg: A, K, Q, J, 9: all spades)
Straight: Five cards in sequence of rank (eg: A, K, Q, J, 10).
Three of a Kind: Three cards of the same rank (eg: A, A, A, K, Q).
Two Pair: Two pairs of different ranks (eg: A, A, K, K, Q).
One Pair: A pair of cards of the same rank (eg: A, A, K, Q, J).
High Card: High card without any other higher combination (eg: A, K, Q, J, 9).
Poker has many variants. The two main forms of Poker are: Stud Poker and Draw Poker.
In Draw Poker, all cards are dealt face down to each player. One of the most played versions of Draw Poker is Five (5) card Draw Poker (often shown in TV and Motion Pictures). Each player is dealt five (5) cards. There is a betting interval, and those left in the deal, may trade cards in their hand for new cards from the stock (IE: Discard two cards, and receive two new cards from the dealer). There is then a final betting interval before the showdown.
In Stud Poker, some of the cards are dealt face down, and some are exposed for all players to see. One of the most common games of Stud Poker is Seven (7) card Stud Poker. Each player is dealt two cards face down and one card face up. After the first betting interval, each remaining player is dealt another card face up. This continues two more times, with a betting interval before each deal, until all players that remain have two cards face down, and four cards face up. Each player then receives a final card face down, and there is a final betting interval before the showdown.
Currently, one of the most popular versions of Poker is a version of Stud Poker called Texas Hold'Em.
No-Limit Texas Hold'Em is the version used in The World Series of Poker each year. Each player is dealt two cards face down. After a betting interval, three community cards are dealt face up at the same time. There is another betting interval, and another community card is dealt face up; after another betting interval, another community card is dealt face up. There is then another betting interval before the showdown.
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