The Rules of Poker – The Basic Principles
If you want to play poker at a real table, you probably already know about the rules of poker. But if you are just beginning to learn how to play poker or if you are a beginner poker player, you may not be sure what the basic rules of poker are. Poker is essentially a game of skill. But when you introduce the idea of betting, poker takes a lot of psychology and knowledge. This is intended as a basic introduction to the rules of poker; for more detailed information, download a poker e-book on the subject (or begin playing with a team of individuals who already know how).
The most important rule of poker: never, ever, flip the cards before the dealer turns them over. No matter how many times a player wants to “flip”, he or she should wait until the last card is turned over before trying to do it. Forcing a hand or trying to win by matching cards is strictly prohibited, no matter how appealing it may seem to the novice player.
Another rule of poker is the best high hand. The best high hand refers to a hand where all five cards are recognized, headed in the same direction, and straight (for Ace/King or Queen) or flush (for Jack/Ten or Ace/10). This rule also applies if there are two high hands – one marked with an Ace and the other with an Ace. A straight flush occurs when all five cards are together in the same column and on the same rank. The best high hand in holdem, according to the Texas Holdem rules, is made when there is at least a pair of aces, kings, queens, jacks, tens, nines, and one ten-tone card in the same column and rank.
A second rule of holdem tells us that after the initial flop, the player with the best hand usually ends up betting the pot. This rule applies whether the flop was a turn or a straight. So if your opponent has the option of making a straight, and you have the choice of making a three-card stud, the best hand will be the three-card stud, followed by the two-card stud, the one-card stud, the two-card flush, and finally the one-card monograph, which is the worst hand for most tables. After the second round of betting has ended in a straight, the person with the best hand usually makes the call.
The third rule of poker says that a player who raises before the flop has an excellent chance of winning the pot because the opponents are usually all raising. However, if the flop is not a straight, then a player can raise prior to the turn and still have a reasonable shot at winning. After the turn, however, a full bet is mandatory. If you are raising before the turn, you should remember that you have the option of a full bet after the turn as well. The same applies if you are holding a good hand and simply want to raise before the turn.
The last basic principle, the check-raise, simply means that you cannot bet when you do not have a specific and known type of hand. You will see explanations of this rule, such as a blind draw, in other articles. It is often very difficult to correctly identify draws, so this rule is often abused. For more information on this rule, check-raise is the rule to stay away from.