Poker is a family of card games that are played around the world. They all share certain rules and are typically played with a standard deck of cards. However, the number of cards in each deck, the number of players and the rules governing each game differ. The aim of the game is to make the best hand possible from the cards in play.
There are a few essential features shared by all of the major poker families: 1. A complete hand is dealt to each player, and bets are made in one round (with raising and re-raising allowed). The best five-card hand is then revealed, and the winner takes the pot.
The hand ranks in inverse proportion to its mathematical frequency, so the more unusual a hand is, the higher it is. The highest possible hand is 7-5-4-3-2 in two or more suits, but some games may award the pot to a low-ranking hand instead.
The best natural hand is a straight flush, which is a hand of five cards in consecutive order that all have the same suit. This can have an ace either high or low, but it must have a high card in the fifth position to break ties.
A four-of-a-kind is a hand of four cards of the same rank. This hand is usually considered the highest natural hand, and in some games it is also ranked as the most valuable hand.
Three-of-a-kinds are a hand of three cards of the same rank and one card of the same value. This can be a pair, or two pairs of the same rank.
Full Houses are a hand of three cards of one rank and two cards of another rank. This is the best of any hand, and in some games it is also the most valuable.
Flushes are a hand of five cards of the same suit, with the highest card in the five-card hand being the high card.
Royal Flush is a hand of five cards of the same rank, with an ace being the high card.
Straights are a hand of five cards in sequential order, with the highest card in the hand being the highest card in the straight.
There are several ways to win a poker hand, but the most common ones are:
A pair of a kind is a hand of two different sets of cards. A pair of kings is a good pair, and a pair of queens is a better pair than a pair of jacks or tens.
Depending on the variant of the game, there are many more ways to win. For example, in a game of Texas Hold ‘Em, the player holding a high-ranking straight is automatically the winner; this is called “runner” and is an important skill to learn for this type of game.
Other hands include a flush, which is a hand of five consecutive cards of the same suit, and a four-of-a-kind, which is four cards of the same rank. There are a few other hands, but these are the most basic and are usually the most popular.