Poker

POKER is a popular game throughout the -world. It combines principles of card games known hundreds of years ago in Europe and probably long before that in the Orient, but In its present form it is distinctly of American migin. There are hundreds of farms of Poker, but they differ only in details and all follow the same basic principles) so a person who has learned these principles can say without difficulty in any game, The main divsions of poker are: CLOSED POKER, in which all of a player’s cards are unknown to his opponents; and OPEN POKER, or STUD POKER, in which some of a player’s cards are face up and others face down, Closed Poker is now usually encountered in the form of DRAW POKER, Subdivisions of these basic forms are; LOW POKER, or LOWBALL, in which the worst hand wins; HiGH-Low POKER, in which the best and worst hands split; and Freak or “Dealer’s Choice” Games;

PLAYERS. Two to tea; best for five to eight More than eight can play only Stud Poker. In all forms of Poker, each plays for himself.

CARDS. A regular pack of 52, occasionally with the addition of the joker. The cards rank: A (high), K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2. The ace also ranks low in the sequence 5-4-3-2-A. The joker, when used, is a wild card (see below). Suits are ignored.

Poker is almost invariably played with poker chips of various colors, each color having a different value.

THE DEAL. In every form of Poker the cards are dealt one at a time, in clockwise rotation, beginning with the player at the dealer’s left. Usually each player receives five cards, but in various forms of the game more cards are dealt, and often some are dealt face up and some face down. These will be described under the separate forms of Poker.

The first dealer is determined when one player takes a pack of cards and deals it around, face up, until a jack falls to one player, who becomes the first dealer. Thereafter the deal rotates from player tb player to the left.

THE PLAY. Poker is a game of betting as to which player holds the best hand. All bets made by all players go in a pile of chips called the pot) in the center of the table. The object of the game is to win the pot. The pot may be won in either of two ways: (a) After all players have had full opportunity to bet, there is a showdown in which the hands are shown and the best hand wins, (b) If a player makes a bet that no other player is willing to meet, that player wins the pot without showing his hand; for no one may compete for a pot unless he is willing to meet the highest bet made by any other player. This introduces the factor of bluffing, betting on a weak hand in the hopc’that all other players will drop out.

RANK OP POKER HANDS. The following combinations of cards have value in every form of Poker. They are listed in order from highest to lowest.

1. Straight flushfive cards in sequence in the same suit.
As between two straight flushes, the one headed by the highest-
ranking card wins: A-K-Q-J-10 (called a royal flush) beats
K-Q-J-10-9, and 6-5-4-3-2 beats 5-4-3-2-A. The royal flush
is the highest standard hand, but when wild cards are used
“five of a kind” is the highest.

2. Four of a kind-*any four cards of the same rank. As
between two such hands, the four liigher cards win. Four of
a kind beats a full house or any lower hand.

3. Full house three of a kind and a pair. As between
two full hotises, the one wins whose three of a kind are com-
posed of the higher-ranking cards. A full house beats a flush
or any lower hand.

4. A flushany hand of five cards all of the same suit. As
between two flushes, the one containing the highest-ranking card wins. If these two cards tie, the next-Mghest*ranking card decides; if these two cards tie, the third-highest-ranking card, and so ton down to the last card, so that 0 A-Q-10-9-3 beats 0 A-Q-10-3-2. A flush beats a straight or any lower hand.

5. A straight-way five cards in sequence but not all of the same suit. As between two straights, the one with the highest-ranldng card at the head of the sequence is the winner, the highest possible straight being A-K-Q-J-10 and the lowest possible straight being 5-4-3-2-A. A straight beats three of a Mnd or anything lower.

6* Three of a kind, such as three sixes, with two unmatched cards. If two players each hold three of a kind, the higher-ranking three of a kind wins* This hand beats two pairs or anything lower.

7. Two pairs-two cards of any one rank and two cards of
any other rank, with an unmatched card. As between two such
hands, the one containing the highest-ranking pair is the
winner; if these pairs are the same, the hand with the higher
of the two other pairs is the winner; if the two hands contain
the identical two pairs, then the higher-ranking unmatched
Card determines the winner. Two pairs beat any hand with
only one pair or with no pair.

8. One pairany two cards of the same rank. A pair is
dealt to a player about twice in every five hands he holds. As
between two hands that have one pair each, the pair com-
posed of the higher-ranking cards wins. If both hands have
the same pair, the highest of the three unmatched cards deter-
mines thewinner!rif they are the same, the next highest; and
if they are the same, the higher as between the third un-
matched cards in the two hands. A hand with only one pair
beats any hand which contains no pah* and no one of the
combinations described in the preceding paragraphs.

9. Sigh card. About one out of two hands that a Poker
player itolds wil consist merely of five unmatched cards. As
between two hands of this nature, rank is decided by the rank
of the highest card, and if necessary by the next-highest, and
so on, as described in paragraph 4 above,

Optional hand. A four^ftush is a hand with any four cards of tile same suit In Stud Poker, it is occasionally ruled that a four-flush beats a pair, though it loses to two pairs. In Draw Poker, it is of ten rule on a four-flusfa, but if he does not improve it; it is simply ranked as a hand with no pair. Hands identical in all respects tie; the suits of which the hands are composed never make any difference.

 

WELD CARDS. A joker added to a pack, or any rank or group of cards (usually deuces), may be designated in advance to be wild. The holder of a wild card may cause it to stand for any other card he wishes. Except by special house rules: (a) A wild card ranks exactly the same as the natural card it replaces; and (b) a wild card cannot stand for a card the player already holds, so that there cannot be, for example, a “double-ace-highi” flush.

The bug is the joker given restricted wild-card use: It may represent an ace, and it may be used to fill a straight flush, flush, of straight. Therefore two aces and the bug are three aces, but two kings and the bug are merely a pair of kings with an ace.

When wild cards are used, five of a kind are the highest-ranking band. Ties become possible between Identical fours of a kind, full houses, or threes of a kind. In such cases the rank of the other cards in the hand determines the winner,.

ROTATION. In Poker the turn to do everything passes from player to player to the left. The cards are dealt in this way; the turn to bet goes from player to player in rotation. No player should do anything until the player on his right has acted.