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History of Poker

Poker 101
Poker Terms

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Poker 101

Poker is played with a standard 52 card deck.

When dealing out the cards, you always deal to the left.

In no-limit unlimited raising is allowed.

Unlimited raising is allowed in heads-up play unless the raising is capped on a betting round.  In that case, it cannot be uncapped by a subsequent fold that leaves two players heads-up.

Any wager must be at least the size of the previous bet or raise in that round, unless a player is going all-in.

A person who is all in can only win the amount of the pot into which they have invested. Any additional bet above the amount of the all in bet starts a new "side pot" and can only be won by players contributing to that pot.

A verbal statement denotes your action and is binding.

Rapping the table with your hand is considered a pass.

A player who bets or calls by releasing chips into the pot is bound by that action.

In limit poker, if you make a forward motion with chips and thus cause another player to act, you may be forced to complete your action.

If you put a single chip in the pot that is larger than the bet, but fail to announce a raise, it is assumed to be a call bet and change will be provided by the dealer.

A player must show all cards in the hand face-up on the table to be eligible win the pot.

Players are responsible for holding onto their cards until the winner is declared.

If you show cards to another player during or after a deal, any player at the table has the right to see those exposed cards.

If everyone checks (or is all-in) on the final betting round, the player who acted first is the first to show the hand.

If there is a side pot, players involved in the side pot should show their hands before anyone involved in the main pot.

All ties equal a split pot.

Suits are all considered equal, so there is not ranking of the suits. If two or more people have a flush, the winning hand is determined by the highest card i.e. a flush to the K is beaten by a flush to the Ace.

If two players both have two pair, the player with the highest pair wins. A pair of aces beats a pair of kings.

If both players have the same pair, the winner is determined by whoever has the higher kicker. A pair of aces with a king kicker beats a pair of aces with a queen kicker.

When two people have full houses, the player with the higher three of a kind wins.  Aces over kings beats kings over aces.

What constitutes a misdeal?

2 or more cards have been exposed when being dealt.

2 or more boxed cards (improperly faced cards) are found.

2 or more extra cards have been dealt in the starting hands of a game.

An incorrect number of cards have been dealt to a player

Any card has been dealt out of the proper sequence.

The first card was dealt to the wrong position.

Cards have been dealt to an empty seat or a player not entitled to a hand.

A joker card has been dealt in a game where the joker is not playable.

What constitutes a dead hand?

You announce that you are folding when facing a bet or a raise.

You throw your hand away in a forward motion causing another player to act behind you.

You have the clock on you when facing a bet or raise and exceed the specified time limit.

Whether they are face-up or facedown, cards thrown into the muck area are dead

Playing Texas Hold’em

The player to the left of the button is required to post a small blind.

The small blind is equal to half the lower limit bet rounded down to the nearest dollar.  In the case of a $5-10 game, the small blind is $2. 

The player to the left of the small blind is required to post the big blind.

The big blind is equal to the lower limit bet. These bets are referred to as blinds because players must post them before the dealer deals any cards to the players.

Each player is then dealt two cards face down. (Hole Cards).  Only the players that hold these cards can play them – they are now community cards.

Each bet of the first two rounds of betting is set at the lower limit of the stakes structure. For example in a $5 - 10 game, all bets and raises are $5 for the first two rounds (after hole cards are dealt and once the flop is spread in center of table).

The last two rounds of betting (turn card and river) are set at the higher limit of the stakes structure. For example in a $5 - 10 game, all bets and raises are $10 for the last two rounds.

One bet plus three raises (four total bets) are the maximum amount of bets allowed per betting round. This would consist of (1) a bet, (2) a raise, (3) a re-raise, and (4) a cap.

The term cap is used to describe the 3rd raise in a round since betting cannot be raised anymore. Once any player has made the third raise (capped the pot), then players will have only the option of calling or folding.

The player to the left of the 'big blind' is the first player to act.  This player can see the big blind bet and ‘call’, raise the big blind or fold.

If the player decides to raise, the player must raise at least the same amount of the big blind.  In the case of the $5 - 10 game, the player must raise at least $5. 

The rest of the players act in the same fashion until all raises have been called.

When the first round of betting is over, the dealer then ‘burns’ or sets aside the top card.  This card is not live and will not be used by any of the players.

The dealer deals the next three cards in the center of the table.  These are community cards called ‘the flop’

After the second round of betting is over, the dealer burns one card and then deals ‘the turn’

After the third round of betting is complete, the dealer burns one card and then deals the final community card which is called ‘the river’.

After the final round of betting, players show their hands. This is commonly called "the showdown".

At the showdown, players may use a combination of both, one, or none of their hole cards to make their best five card hand:

If a player uses both of their hole cards, they will use three of the community board cards; or one hole card and four of the five board cards; or all five board cards, which is commonly called "playing the board" betting

The winner is now determined and the pot awarded accordingly.

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