The Basics of Online Poker
Whether you play poker in a local bar, or on a computer, you will be able to find hundreds of different variations of the game. Using a standard 52-card deck, players make bets on their hands. The hand that best matches the bet is said to be the best. The highest possible hand is a flush, a straight, or a five of a kind.
A bluff is the act of making a false statement or attempt to win a hand by presenting a false assumption. A player may bluff to win a hand if he is confident that his opponents do not know his true hand. For example, if the player is not sure if he has a royal flush, he might bet that he does. If the opponent calls the bet, then he wins. If he folds, he loses the pot.
A flush is a straight of five consecutive cards of the same suit. A straight flush beats a straight. Similarly, a pair of aces beats a pair of kings. A five of a kind beats a four of a kind. Likewise, a straight is a pair of jacks or higher. There is no relative rank to suits in poker. The ace is sometimes treated as the lowest card.
The first bettor in each round is the first to bet. This is often called the big blind. The first player to act is the one to the left of the big blind. If there are several players, each player can choose to bet a fixed amount, or a certain percentage of the pot. In a fixed limit game, betting more than the limit is prohibited. The goal is to be the most profitable.
A flop is the process of a hand being dealt by a dealer. The dealer is the person in the center of the table who is responsible for the actual deal. The dealer “burns” or removes one card from the top of the deck. The card is then passed on to the next player, and the action begins with the next player. Depending on the rules, this could be a blind, a check, or a raise. In a fixed-limit game, the maximum bet for a flop is usually twice as much as the minimum.
A showdown is the final phase of a poker game. A dealer is given one more chance to shuffle. He is then obligated to offer his shuffled pack to the next opponent for cut. This is also the most complicated and confusing phase of the game, as there are many variations.
A hand is the best combination of cards that can be drawn and played to make a winning hand. For instance, a pair of aces beats any single card. The ace may be a high card in some games, but in other games it is a low card. Likewise, the ace is the best poker card if paired with the jack, queen, or king.