Poker may be played hundreds of different ways, but the basics are the same in most cases. There are 52 cards in a standard deck with no jokers. Four suits; clubs, diamonds, hearts, and spades have 13 cards each (A, K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1), the highest and lowest being the A and 2, respectively. One very simple version of the game is 5-card draw. The play and betting are pretty straightforward, and it is a good place to start for a novice player.
Each player receives five cards. Each hand dealt is a round, and several rounds are played until one player ends up with all the other players’ chips or valuables. The object of the game is to acquire all the chips or articles of value on the table. The object of the hand is to make the best combinations possible with five cards. Each player is allowed to replace unwanted cards once during each hand to improve the cards they were dealt. The acceptable combinations are listed below in order, from the lowest valued hand to the highest.
This hand contains literally nothing and holds the lowest ranking on the list of winning combinations. None of the cards make pairs, and there is no consecutive pattern or sequence to the numbers or the suits. In the case that all players left standing at the end of a round have a no-pair hand, the winner is determined by the highest card. The hierarchy of cards is as follows: A, K, Q, J, 10, 9, and so on until 2.
This is the most common combination that players will have throughout the game. Two of the five cards match (7, 7, 2, K, 5). If more than one player has one pair, the highest pair wins. If two players have the same pair, then the highest of the remaining cards determines the winning hand.
This combination consists of two sets of pairs that have different ranks. (A, A, 2, 5, 5) If more than one player has two pair, then the highest pair wins the hand. If the former hand is compared to (J, J, 3, 10, 10), then the former hand wins with the aces high.
The rest of the combinations are unlikely to be duplicated by more than one player in a single round, but this does occurs. In these instances, the hand with the combination that has or begins with the highest card is the winning hand.
Three of a Kind
Three of the five cards have the same rank (8, 8, 8, 2, A).
This combination is about sequence. It does not matter where it starts or that the suits do not match, as long as all five cards form a chain of numbers of consecutive rank (3♦, 4♣, 5♥, 6♠, 7♦) or (Q♣, J♠, 10♦, 9♣, 8♥). The highest card in the sequence determines the winning hand if more than one player has a straight.
This combination is all about suits, five cards of the same suit, no matter the sequence of rank (4♠, 8♠, 9♠, J♠, A♠).
Two combinations come together to make a full house, three of a kind (three cards of one rank) and a pair (two cards of another rank (Q, Q, Q, 10, 10).
Four of a Kind
This is a combination of four cards of the same rank (3, 3, 3, 3, 7).
This combination ranks the highest, without using wild cards, and it involves rank and suit of the cards. The hand must consist of five cards of the same suit in consecutive sequence of rank (7♥, 8♥, 9♥, 10♥, J♥). If the combination consists of the entire court (A♥, K♥, Q♥, J♥, 10♥), then it is a Royal Flush, the highest straight flush in the deck.
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