Poker School

Cards

Texas Holdem uses the most common deck of fifty-two playing cards (no jokers). The deck includes thirteen ranks of each of the four suits:  Spades (♠), Clubs (♣), Hearts (♥), and Diamonds (♦).

Hand Ranking

​​ROYAL FLUSH

A royal flush is an ace-high straight flush. It is the highest-ranking poker hand in Texas Hold ’em. There are 4 different possibilities for a royal flush: one for each suit.

STRAIGHT FLUSH

A straight flush is a poker hand that contains five cards in sequence, all of the same suit (a hand that meets the requirements of both a straight, and a flush). Two such hands are compared by their card that is ranked highest.

FOUR OF A KIND

Four of a kind, also known as quads, is a poker hand that contains all four cards of one rank and any other card. Quads with higher-ranking cards defeat lower-ranking ones. In Texas Hold 'em it is possible for two or more players to obtain the same quad; in this instance, the unmatched card acts as a kicker. If two hands have the same kicker, they tie and the pot is split.

FULL HOUSE

A full house, also known as a full boat, is a poker hand that contains three matching cards of one rank and two matching cards of another rank. Between two full houses, the one with the higher-ranking three cards wins. If two hands have the same three cards, the hand with the higher pair wins.​



FLUSH

A flush is a poker hand where all five cards are of the same suit, but not in sequence. Two flushes are compared as if they were high card hands; the highest-ranking card of each is compared to determine the winner. If both hands have the same highest card, then the second highest-ranking card is compared, and so on until a difference is found. If the two flushes contain the same five ranks of cards, they are tied and split the pot. Flushes are described by their highest card.

STRAIGHT

A straight is a poker hand that contains five cards of sequential rank in at least two different suits. Two straights are ranked by comparing the highest card of each. Two straights with the same high card are of equal value, suits are not used to separate them. The ace may also be played as a low card (having a value of "1") in a five-high straight which is known as a "wheel". However, the ace may not "wrap around", or play both high and low.

 

THREE OF A KIND

Three of a kind, also called trips or a set, is a poker hand that contains three cards of the same rank, plus two cards which are not of this rank nor the same as each other. A higher-valued three-of-a-kind defeats a lower-valued three-of-kind. If two hands contain three of a kind of the same value, the kickers are compared to break the tie.
 

TWO PAIRS

Two pair is a poker hand that contains two cards of the same rank, plus two cards of another rank (that match each other but not the first pair), plus any card not of either rank. To rank two hands both containing two pair, the higher-ranking pair of each is first compared, and the higher pair wins. If both hands have the same top pair, then the second pair of each is compared. If both hands have the same two pairs, the kicker determines the winner.

ONE PAIR

One pair is a poker hand that contains two cards of one rank, plus three cards which are not of this rank nor the same as each other. Higher-ranking pairs defeat lower-ranking pairs; if two hands have the same pair, the non-paired cards (the kickers) are compared in descending order to determine the winner.


 

5280 Poker Club Basic House Rules

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The Objective of Texas Hold 'em

In Texas Hold 'em, individuals compete for an amount of chips contributed by the players themselves (called the pot). Because the cards are dealt randomly and outside the control of the players, each player attempts to control the amount of chips in the pot based either on the hand they are holding, or on their prediction as to what their opponents may be holding.

 

The game is divided into a series of hands or deals; at the conclusion of each hand, the pot is typically awarded to one player. A hand may end at the showdown, in which case the remaining players compare their hands and the highest hand is awarded the pot; that highest hand is usually held by only one player, but can be held by more in the case of a tie. The other possibility for the conclusion of a hand occurs when all but one player has folded and thereby abandoned any claim to the pot, in which case the pot is awarded to the remaining player.

 

The objective of winning players is not to win every individual hand, but rather to make sound mathematical and psychological decisions regarding when and how much to bet, raise, call or fold. By making such decisions, winning poker players can maximize their expected gain on each round of betting, thereby increasing their long-term winnings.

Betting Structures, Play of the hand and The Showdown

Betting Structures
Texas Hold 'em is normally played using small and big blind bets – forced bets by two players. Antes (forced contributions by all players) may be used in addition to blinds, particularly in later stages of tournament play. A dealer button is used to represent the player in the dealer position; the dealer button rotates clockwise after each hand, changing the position of the dealer and blinds. The small blind is posted by the player to the left of the dealer and is usually equal to half of the big blind. The big blind, posted by the player to the left of the small blind, is equal to the minimum bet. In tournament poker, the blind/ante structure periodically increases as the tournament progresses. After one round of betting is done, the next betting round will start by the person after the big blind and small blind.
 
When only two players remain, special 'head-to-head' or 'heads up' rules are enforced and the blinds are posted differently. In this case, the person with the dealer button posts the small blind, while the opponent posts the big blind. The dealer acts first before the flop. After the flop, the dealer acts last and continues to do so for the remainder of the hand.

In no-limit hold 'em, players may bet or raise any amount over the minimum raise, up to all chips the player has at the table (called an "all-in" bet). The minimum raise is equal to the size of the previous bet or raise. If a raise or re-raise is all-in and it does not equal the size of the previous raise, the initial raiser cannot re-raise again. This only matters if there were a call before the re-raise.


Play of the hand
Play begins with each player being dealt two cards face down, with the player in the small blind receiving the first card and the player in the button seat receiving the last card dealt.  These cards are the players' hole or "pocket cards". These are the only cards each player will receive individually, and they will only (possibly) be revealed at the showdown.
 
The hand begins with a "pre-flop" betting round, beginning with the player to the left of the big blind and continuing clockwise. A round of betting continues until every player has folded, put in all of their chips, or matched the amount put in by all other active players. Note that the blinds are considered "live" in the pre-flop betting round, meaning that they are counted toward the amount that the blind player must contribute. If all players call around to the player in the big blind position, that player may either check or raise.
 
After the pre-flop betting round, assuming there remain at least two players taking part in the hand, the dealer deals a flop, three face-up community cards. The flop is followed by a second betting round. This and all subsequent betting rounds begin with the player to the dealer's left and continue clockwise.
 
After the flop betting round ends, a single community card (called the turn or fourth street) is dealt, followed by a third betting round. A final single community card (called the river or fifth street) is then dealt, followed by a fourth betting round and the showdown, if necessary.
 
The dealer will “burn” (or discard) a card before the flop, turn, and river. Because of this burn, players who are betting cannot see the back of the next community card to come. This is done for historical/traditional reasons, to avoid any possibility of a player knowing in advance the next card to be dealt due to its being marked.


The Showdown
If a player bets and all other players fold, then the remaining player is awarded the pot and is not required to show his hole cards. If two or more players remain after the final betting round, a showdown occurs. On the showdown, each player plays the best poker hand they can make from the seven cards comprising his two hole cards and the five community cards. A player may use both of his own two hole cards, only one, or none at all, to form his final five-card hand. If the five community cards form the player's best hand, then the player is said to be playing the board and can only hope to split the pot, because each other player can also use the same five cards to construct the same hand.
 
If the best hand is shared by more than one player, then the pot is split equally among them, with any extra chips going to the first players after the button in clockwise order. Note that the card's numerical rank is of sole importance; suit values are irrelevant in Texas Hold 'em. The last player to bet is the first player to show their hand.

The Lingo

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