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The Rules of Poker
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Poker is a game of chance. However, when you introduce the concept of betting, poker gains quite a bit of skill and psychology. (This isn't to say that there isn't skill at poker when nothing is at risk, there just isn't nearly as much). This is meant as a very basic primer into the rules of poker, for more information, get a book on the game (or start playing with a group of people who know how. It's more expensive than reading a book, but the group won't mind. *Snicker*).
This list is currently broken into several parts:

The Very Basics
How the Hands are Ranked
Descriptions of Hand Ranks
Betting
An Example 5-Card Draw Hand
The Very Basics
Poker is played from a standard pack of 52 cards. (Some variant games use multiple packs or add a few cards called jokers.) The cards are ranked (from high to low) Ace, King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, Ace. (Ace can be high or low, but is usually high). There are four suits (spades, hearts, diamonds and clubs); however, no suit is higher than another. All poker hands contain five cards, the highest hand wins.
Some games have Wild Cards, which can take on whatever suit and rank their possessor desires. Sometimes jokers will be used as wild cards, other times, the game will specify which cards are wild (dueces, one-eyed jacks, or whatever).

[Image: texas-holdem-poker-hand-rankings-combina...ATG8GP.jpg]

Descriptions of Hand Ranks
Five of a Kind
A five of a kind (which is only possible when using wild cards) is the highest possible hand. If more than one hand has five of a kind, the higher card wins (Five Aces beats five kings, which beat five queens, and so on).
Straight Flush
A straight flush is the best natural hand. A straight flush is a straight (5 cards in order, such as 5-6-7-8-9) that are all of the same suit. As in a regular straight, you can have an ace either high (A-K-Q-J-T) or low (5-4-3-2-1). However, a straight may not 'wraparound'. (Such as K-A-2-3-4, which is not a straight). An Ace high straight-flush is called a Royal Flush and is the highest natural hand.
Four of a Kind
Four of a kind is simply four cards of the same rank. If there are two or more hands that qualify, the hand with the higher-rank four of a kind wins. If, in some bizarre game with many wild cards, there are two four of a kinds with the same rank, then the one with the high card outside the four of the kind wins. General Rule: When hands tie on the rank of a pair, three of a kind, etc, the cards outside break ties following the High Card rules.
Full House
A full house is a three of a kind and a pair, such as K-K-K-5-5. Ties are broken first by the three of a kind, then pair. So K-K-K-2-2 beats Q-Q-Q-A-A, which beats Q-Q-Q-J-J. (Obviously, the three of a kind can only be similiar if wild cards are used.)
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