The Basics of Poker


While playing Poker, a player’s decisions often determine whether he wins the pot or loses it. For instance, in one famous game, two deep-stacked players went all-in after the flop with AQJ. The turn revealed a third ace, and the player with aces and jacks howled, “ship it!” and the dealer brought out a case jack. But what if you only had an ace and a pair?

The high hand wins the pot, while the low hand loses its top-card. This means that the player with the best hand, regardless of the nut, is likely to win. However, if two players tie, the pot shall be split amongst them. The player with the highest card by suit gets the odd chip. If the player has a pair of kings or a pair of jacks, he wins.

Players may establish a special fund called a “kitty” to help pay for food and cards. The kitty is created by cutting low denomination chips from pots with more than one raise. This money belongs to all players and is used for new decks of cards and food. When the game ends, any player who still has chips in the kitty receives one-third of the kitty. Those who leave before the game ends are not entitled to it.

The game can be played with as many as ten players. The ideal number is between six and eight people. The pot is a collective amount of bets placed by all players in a single deal. The highest poker hand wins the pot. If no player calls, the pot is won. If a player makes the best hand, the winner gets the pot. While the game can be played with any number of players, it is advisable to limit the number of people playing at one time.

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