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So here is a quick introduction to some of the basics for poker.


The ranking of hands

High Card: when no one has any of the other hands listed, the highest card wins.
Aces are usually considered high for this. This is also used to break ties for other hands.

One Pair: one matched set of cards. So two 4's or 9's or Kings.
In the event of a tied pair the highest card wins.

Two Pair: two matched sets of cards, ie. two 5's and two Jacks.
The highest pair wins. If those are tied, the second highest pair wins.

Three of a Kind: a matched set of three cards, ie. three 7's or three Queens.

Straight: five cards in sequential order. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 or 9, 10, Jack, Queen, King
Aces may be high or low for a straight, however, straights cannot wrap around - King, Ace, 2, 3, 4.

Flush: five cards all of the same suit. So five hearts, clubs, diamonds, spades.
in the event of a tied flush, the highest card determines the winner.

Full House: three of a kind and one pair in the same hand, ie. three 10's and two Aces.

Four of a Kind: a matched set of four cards, ie. four 2's or four 8's

Straight Flush: five cards in sequential order all from the same suit.

Royal Flush: a specific kind of straight flush. A royal flush is the highest natural hand in poker.
This is an Ace, King, Queen, Jack, and 10 of the same suit. Also called an Ace High straight flush.

***Five of a Kind***: though not a natural hand, when playing with wilds it is possible to get five of a kind.
This would be four matched cards and a wild card or three matched cards and a wild card.
Aces are high for this hand and this is considered the highest possible hand.

Time to Bet
You have four options when the betting starts:

Check: if you are the first person to bet and do not want to raise the amount you can say check.
This is usually done verbally or by deliberately knocking on the table.
As a note to beginners, never fold when you can check.

Call: if someone has bet and you want to stay in the game with them you must call
This is done by betting the same amount as what was already on the table.

Raise: if you think your hand is better than the persons already in, or you want to try to bluff you can raise.
This is done by matching the bet already on the table and then increasing it.

Fold: if the betting has gone higher than you are comfortable with, you can fold.
This is done by handing your cards, facedown, back to the dealer.

A few other terms
There are some other terms that you might like to know, although you're not as likely to have them come up in a home game.

Flop: in Texas Hold'em games, this is the first three cards that are dealt to the table.

Turn: in Texas Hold'em games, this is the card dealt to the table after the flop

River: in Texas Hold'em games, this is the final card dealt to the table.
River Rat: this is someone who wins a hand of Texas Hold'em based on the river card.

Bounty: this is a chip that a player receives for taking another player out. This chip is usually able to be cashed out at the end of the tournament separately from the main pot.

Rabbit Hunting: this happens when players have the rest of the hand dealt to see how they would have done.
So if a player has won a hand at the flop, other may ask to see the turn and the river just to find out how they would've done.

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