Poker is a family of card games that share betting rules and usually hand rankings. Poker games differ in how the cards are dealt, how hands may be formed, whether the high or low hand wins the pot in a showdown (in some games, the pot is split between the high and low hands), limits on bet sizes, and how many rounds of betting are allowed.
In most modern poker games, the first round of betting begins with some form of forced bet by one of the players, with an optional forced bet by another player following. In standard poker, each player bets according to the rank they believe their hand is worth as compared to the other players. The action then proceeds clockwise as each player in turn must either match or “call” the maximum previous bet, or fold, losing any interest they have in the pot. A player who matches a bet may also “raise” (increase) the bet.
The betting round ends when all players have either called the last bet or folded. If all but one player folds on any round, the remaining player collects the pot without being required to reveal their hand. If more than one player remains in contention after the final betting round, a showdown takes place where the hands are revealed, and the player with the winning hand takes the pot.
Withdrawing from a poker game before all of the betting rounds are over is referred to as “folding.” A player who folds gives up any interest they have in the pot and cannot win it.
There are many variations of poker, which can broadly be divided into two categories: draw poker and stud poker. In draw poker games, players take turns being dealt cards from a deck of face-down cards; after all players have received their starting hands, each player gets a chance to improve their hand by discarding some or all of their cards and being dealt replacements from the deck. Stud poker games are typically played with either five-card or seven-card stud rules; in five-card stud, each player is dealt two downcards (hole cards) and one upcard (face up), while in seven-card stud each player is dealt three downcards and four upcards. After all players have their initial hands, further rounds of cards are dealt face up to each player in turn; these rounds are called “streets.
” Players can use any combination from their hole cards and/or streets to make their best possible hand; for example, if three of a kind is showing on fourth street (the turn), but a player holds a pocket pair in his hole cards, he has four of a kind (also known as “a boat”). Once all betting rounds on a street are completed, another card or street is dealt until all players have two downcards and three or four upcards respectively (depending on game type). After all remaining players have made their best possible hands using any combination from their hole cards and/or streets, there is a final showdown where each remaining player reveals his hand; whoever has made the best hand using any combination from his hole cards and/or streets wins that particular pot.
There are many variations of poker that share these basic features:
* Five-card draw: The simplest form of poker; each player is dealt five cards face down; after an initial round of betting, each player may discard zero to five cards and receive replacement cards from the deck; another round of betting ensues and then there is a final showdown where each remaining player reveals his hand; whoever has made the best five-card hand using any combination from his hole cards and/or drawing wins that particular pot.
* Seven-card stud: Each player is dealt two downcards (hole cards) and one upcard (face up); after an initial round of betting where each remaining player must at least call an ante if present or else fold, further rounds of face-up cards are dealt to each remaining player in turn until all players have seven cards; another round of betting ensues followed by a final showdown where each remaining player reveals his hand; whoever has made the best five-card hand using any combination from his hole cards and/or streets wins that particular pot. There are variations on this game such as Hi/Lo Stud where half of the pot goes to whoever has made the best high hand using traditional poker rankings while also making a low hand using different rankings (Ace through Five), Omaha Stud which uses similar rules except that each player starts with four hole cards instead of two, Five Card Stud which uses similar rules except that only three face-up cards are dealt instead of four etc.
* Texas hold ’em: Each player is dealt two downcards (hole cards) followed by an initial round of betting where each remaining player must at least call an ante if present or else fold; then three face-up community Cards (“the flop”) are deal followed by another round fo Betting; then a fourth community card (“the turn”) is dealt followed by another round Of Betting; then finally fifth community card (“the river”) Is Dealt Followed By A Final Round Of Betting Where Each Remaining Player Must Call A Bet Or Raise Or Else Fold; Whoever Has Made The Best Five Card Hand Using Any Combination From His Hole Cards And/Or Community Cards Wins That Particular Pot – There Are Variations On This Game Such As Omaha Hold ‘Em Which Uses Similar Rules Except That Each Player Starts With Four Hole Cards Instead Of Two Etc.
* Community card games: These variations of poker use face-up community Cards That All Players May Use In Combination With Their Hole Cards To Make Their Best Possible Hands – The Most Popular Variation Of This Type Of Poker Is Texas Hold ‘Em But There Are Many Others Such As Omaha Hold ‘Em And Seven Card Stud – In These Games There Will Be An Initial Round Or Rounds Of Betting Followed By A Flop Of Three Community Cards Then Another Round Or Rounds Of Betting Followed By The Turn – A Fourth Community Card – And Another Round Or Rounds Or Betting Followed By The River – A Fifth Community Card – And Finally A Final Round Of Betting Where Each Remaining Player Must Call A Bet Or Raise Or Else Fold – Whoever Has Made The Best Five Card Hand Using Any Combination From His Hole Cards And/Or Community Cards Wins That Particular Pot.
* Lowball games: These variations oF Poker Use Traditional Poker Rankings To Determine Who Has Won But The Pot Is Given To Whoever Has Made The Lowest Possible Hand Instead Of The Highest Possible Hand – For Example In Ace To Five Lowball Also Known As California Lowball Each Player Is Dealt Five Cards And Then There Is An Initial Round Or Rounds OF Betting Followed By The Draw Where Each Player May Discard Up To Three Cards And Receive Replacement Cards From The Deck Then There Is A Final Round OF Betting Followed By A Showdown Where Each Remaining Player Reveals His Hand And Whoever Has Made Ace High Straight OR Lower Wins That Particular Pot – There Are Variations On This Game Such As Deuce To Seven Lowball Which Uses Traditional Poker Rankings Except That Straights And Flushes Count Against You Instead OF For You So The Best Possible Hand Is 75432A Not AKQJT Etc. .
Poker is a family of card games with many different variations. The most popular variations include five-card draw, seven-card stud, Texas hold ’em, Omaha hold ’em, and community card games like Texas hold ’em and Omaha hold ’em.
Lowball games like Ace to Five lowball use traditional poker rankings to determine who has won but award the pot to whoever has made the Lowest possible hand instead of highest possible hand.