The Basics of Poker


Poker is a card game in which players try to obtain the best five-card hand. The best five-card hand is called the “nuts.” Other possible hands are trip sevens, eight-to-nine straights, and a hand with different suits. In addition, the game has several variations. These variations will be discussed later in this chapter. For instance, one table can be used to play two different games: one for the nuts and one for the more complex poker variants.

The lowest five-card hand is known as a straight flush. The higher card in that hand wins. If two or more people have a five-card hand, the second-highest hand is considered the high card. The high card is also used to break ties. For instance, in a two-person game, a second-high-card hand beats a five-card straight flush.

There are other poker hands, called “straights,” that require a higher hand. For example, if two people have four-card straights, the higher-ranking hand wins. Likewise, if two people have a full house with three of a kind and a pair, the high card outside of that hand breaks ties.

In the final betting phase, the best hand wins the pot. In this phase, players reveal their cards to each other.

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