Whether you are playing a five-card poker game or seven-card stud, the aim is to form the best hand possible. You can play with a group of 5-7 players or with a single player. In the case of a single player, he will be the dealer and will deal cards face up in rotation to the left of him.
The ante is a small bet, usually $1 or $5, that each player makes before the cards are dealt. The ante is the “buy-in bet” for the round. The amount of the ante depends on the game type. The ante can be a single bet or a multiple bet, depending on the type of poker being played. The player who puts the first bet is said to be the “player to bet.”
If the player raises the ante, he must match the amount of the bet in front of him. If he doesn’t raise the ante, he can choose to check or fold. He is said to stay in if he checks, but he is said to fold if he raises. He can also opt to call, which increases his stake to match the previous bet.
After the first round of betting, the cards are reshuffled. The player to the dealer’s left will bet the second blind, which is usually equal to the double blind. Normally, the player who is dealt the jack will become the first dealer. If the dealer has a pair of jacks, he has the option of cutting the cards to the player to his left.
During the second round of betting, each player is dealt two more cards. After the cards are dealt, the players must decide whether to bet or to fold. The player to the dealer’s left is said to be the “active player” if he puts down a bet or raises. During the last betting interval, the player with the highest ranking hand wins the pot.
A straight is five cards in sequential order, starting with the highest card. The straight starts with a king, followed by a queen, a jack, a ten, and a nine. If the flop contains three different suits, it is not possible to create a straight. If the flop contains two pairs, the pair with the highest rank wins. In the case of a straight, the ace can count high or low, but cannot count both.
A flush is five cards of the same suit in any order. The flush starts with the highest value card, followed by two other cards of the same suit in sequential order. If the flop contains three pairs, it is possible to create a flush. However, the second highest card determines the winner. If the player has a pair of kings and a pair of jacks, a flush would be a six-high flush.
A four of a kind is a hand containing four cards of the same rank. These are sometimes referred to as quads. The highest four-card hand beats the highest three-card hand. A pair of fours is a better hand than a pair of threes.