Before the poker game begins each player has to bet a minimum amount just to play in the game. Each player is then dealt five cards. They can raise, call, fold or all-in depending on how good their cards are.
Generally there are two deals in poker. The first five cards are dealt and you choose which ones you think will lead you to the best hand. For example, if you have a Pair of Jacks and three cards under 10, then you may choose to hold the jacks and hit for three new cards.
After the second deal the betting is either raised, called or folded. When the round is finally called all remaining players have to show their hands and generally the dealer will announce who has won. When playing poker on the computer the game will announce who has won and how much was in the pot.
Basic Poker Actions
To Call is to basically place the same bet as the person before you. For example if they put down $2000 and you call, then you also have to play $2000 to keep in the game.
If you think your hand is really good and believe you have a chance at winning the round then you can Raise the previous persons bet by whatever amount you choose. For example, if the person before you put down $2000 and you want to put down another $1000 then you are raising them $1000 to $3000.
All In occurs when you are dealt an excellent hand and feel that you have an extremely high chance at winning! This action means that if someone puts down $2000 before you and you have $8500 then you would put the whole amount down. After you have done this your opponents have no choice but to match you or to fold if they want to remain in the game.
To Fold means that you are not interested in betting any more money on the cards that you have in your hand and your decide to pull out of the game, thereby losing the amount that you have bet already.
Poker Scoring Rules
Poker can be a lot of fun and also played at a professional level. The rules change a little depending on what game you are playing but the principles are the same. Sometimes people choose to bluff their way through a game and win the round with very average cards, others play all the way to the end and have a Royal Flush!
Below is an outline of what each of the scoring hands mean, listed in order from the highest to lowest. It is important to know this ranking as you might have a Three of a Kind, however if someone has a Full-House then they will win that game.
While this is the officially accepted ranking of poker hands, some poker games do not pay out for anything lower than Three of a Kind, so make sure you know the rules of the game variation you are playing!
Learn The Rules By Playing Free Poker Games
The best way to learn the rules of poker is by getting as much practice as you can. Learning how to play poker is like learning any other skill - once you have mastered the rules you will be well on your way to competing with the best...or competing with your friends at least!
To get you started, here is a list of poker card games that you can download and play for free.