Game Rules - Poker

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The objective of poker is to win the pot. You can do this by having the best hand or by convincing the other players that you have the best hand and force them to drop out.  

Poker Hands
A poker hand is made from the best arrangement of five cards and are ranked as follows, highest first:

Royal Flush
Straight Flush
Full House
Two Pair
No Pair
A-K-Q-J-10, all same suit
Any five consecutive cards, all same suit
Four cards, same value (eg. four 7's)
Three-of-a-Kind and a Pair
Any five cards of the same suit
Any five consecutive cards
Three cards, same value
Two Pairs
A Pair
Five dissimilar cards, mixed suit

Seven Card Stud
Seven card stud is one of the most detailed and complicated of all poker games because of the sheer number of hands that can be made from seven cards. In addition to its complexity, it can be a very expensive game, having five betting rounds, each involving potential raises and reraises. Because three cards are hidden, the other players' hands are difficult to compute. This adds to the game's volatility and the roller-coaster effects on your bankroll.

The game begins with each player being dealt two cards face down. These are called hole cards. A third card is dealt face up. In games with antes, the person with the highest face-up card starts the betting. He can make a wager or he can check (indicate he won't make a wager but will remain to see if anyone else bets) or he can fold. All players will have the opportunity to match or raise the total bet as the play goes around the table. Or they can fold.

When the betting finishes, a second round is dealt face up. Now, the best two-card hand initiates the betting. Another round of raises and reraises ensues.

A third round is dealt face up with the same procedure as before.

Now, a fourth round is dealt face-up with the same procedure as before.

On the fifth round of play, the card is dealt face down. The final round of betting begins. Al the remaining players now have four cards face up and three cards in the hole. The player has to make the best five-card poker hand out of his seven cards.

Texas Hold'Em
Like seven card stud, Texas hold'em is a game where you have to make the best five-card poker hand out of seven cards, However, the similarity ends there because in hold'em all players share five face-up cards.

The round begins with one player designated as the dealer and the two players to his left putting up blinds of a predetermined amount. The cards are dealt beginning with the player to the immediate left of the designated dealer (the big blind). Every player is given two cards face down. The player to the left of the blind now decides whether to see the blind, raise, or fold. All players take turns doing so in a clockwise fashion.

When the betting is over, the dealer will "flop" three cards face up in the center of the table. Now another betting round ensues. Next, the dealer will turn over a single card face up with another betting round following. Finally, the dealer will turn over a seventh card and the final round of betting takes place

The player who has the best five-card hand using his cards and the board cards wins.

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Author; Frank Scoblete
Content provided by Frank Scoblete, the number one best-selling casino gaming writer in the world. His books and tapes have sold over a million copies. His website is at RGT Online gaming. His books and tapes are available through our book store,, or by mail. For a free catalog write to: Paone Press, Box 610, Lynbrook, NY, USA 11563.