Poker is an American card game, although it´s origins seen to be in France. This game is one of the most popular ones in the entire world thanks to it´s simple mechanics. In it take an important place the mental faculties, but without complicated calculations; it is a game for two or more persons, in which each player plays on his own.
Objective of the game
To get together 5 cards forming a game of superior value to the one of the opponents. It is not necessary for the move to be better than the opposition, it will be enough to induce the rivals (with the actitude shown, aspect, gestures, bets) to believe it is, to make them to quit before seen the cards.
Number of Players
Any number, between a maximum of 7 and a minimum of 2, however, the most interesting games are the ones of 5 or 6 players.
Type of Cards
In the game of poker the English deck of 52 cards is used, in which can be included one or two jokers, according to the criterion of the players, although is more recomendable to play without them.. It is the custom to use two cards with the back of a different color, so that when one is being played, the other one remains Reddy, close to the next dealer.
Also called Joker, it´s a card that is useful to substitute or represent any other card needed to form a hand.
For instance, a joker together with three tens turns this trio into a poker,
The use of the joker is not commendable because it alters all the possible calculations of posibilities, and makes the chance have a greater intervention in the game, replacing the hability or the strategy.
It is useful to bear in mind that you can only use one joker per play.
Therefore, for example, the repoker, the highest play when using jokers, can only be done with 4 equal cards and a joker. In the excepcional case of receiving two jokers in the first dealing, one must be discarded. If the player that already has one receives another alter the discarding, he will only benefit from the use of one of them, the second remaining as a non combining card. Lastly, and in the case of there being two absolutely similar hands, the clean one or formed without jokers is more valuable.
To a do a poker game more interesting and competitive, it´s convenient to adapt the number of cards of the pack being played to the number of players participating in the game.
An incomplete pack it´s useful fundamentally to increase the frecuency of receiving high cards when there are few players in the game. Therefore, a good poker player always plays with a complete pack and without jokers. With 7 players, the full pack must be used, that is, 52 cards.
With 8 players, it´s convenient to discard the twos, the threes and the fours, thus remaining 40 cards in the pack.One can also discard the fives, and the pack will remain with 36 cards.
With 4 players or less it´s convenient to discard the fives and the sixes.Therefore only 32 cards will remain in the pack.
When the game is played with a discarded or incomplete pack, in the flushes the aces combine on an extreme after the king (K) and on the other with the lowest card remaining in the pack. (In poker, the ace can never be an intermediate card of a flush”).
Another way to calculate the discards that must be done in the pack in accordance to the number of players is the so called rule of 11: The number of the lowest card added to the number of players must give 11. Therefore, with six players, the lowest card will be a five, for the result of adding five and six is eleven.
Value of the Cards
The cards haven´t got an intrinsec value; they only have a relative value in relation to the others, in accordance with the following order, from bigger to smaller: ace, king (K), queen (Q), jack (J), ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three and two. That is, a hand with cards of the same number, eights for example, beats the same hand with whichever cards of inferior relative value, (twos, threes, tours, fives, sixes or sevens).
The suits have all the same value, without any preferente whatsoever, in any of the hands. Therefore, when one talks of similar cards, one referes to similar numbers (2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10) or letter (J, Q, K, A)
Each player can do with his five cards one of the following games, from bigger to smaller:
1) Repoker: Four equal cards and a joker. This hand, the highest value in poker, can only be obtained when playing with added jokers to the pack.
2) Color Flush: Five correlative cards of the same suit. It´s the greatest hand that can be obtained playing without jokers. There can be a tie, in which case the players distribuye the bets.
3) Poker: Four equal cards. In the case of having poker more that one player, the one with higher cards wins. In no case can there be a tie.
4) Full: Three equal cards combined with another two similar between them. The one with the higher threesome wins.
5) Color: Any five cars of the same suit. In the case of being two players with this throw, the one with the higher card wins, if they tie in this one, the following card will determine the winner, and so on. If the five cards of the two players were similar, there would be a tie, and the bets would be distributed.
6) Flush: Five correlative cards of different suits. In the case that more than one player completes a flush, the one that starts with the highr card wins. If the cards of the two players are similar, there will be a tie and the bets will be distributed.
7) Trio: Three equal cards and any other two that don´t combine between them. The trio with the higher cards wins.
8) Five Figures (or simply figures): Five figures, that is, all the cards with an index letter: J, Q, K, or A, as the ace is considered a figure for this hand. The player with the highest card wins; in the case of a tie, the following card and so on. There can be a tie; in this case, the bets are distributed.
9) Double pair (or double pair) Two pairs of cards of different value. If more than one player has had double pairs, the one with the pair of higher cards win; in the case of a tie, the one with the second pair of more value, and if the tie continues, the one with the highest fifth card, and finally, if this one also coincides, the players have tied and the bets are distributed.
10) Pair: Two similar cards and any three without combination. The pair formed with higher cards wins; in the case of a tie, the one with the cards of higher value amongst the loose ones, There can be a tie, in which case the players distribute the bets that are on the table.
11) Higher card or highest card. In none of the players have any of the previous combinations, the one with the higher card wins; in case of a tie, the next one will be considered, and so on, there can be a tie at the end, in which case the players will distribute the bets on the table.
REMARKS ON THE GAMES
FLUSH: The flush is usually called for it´s highest card: seven, eight, nine, ten, J (jack flush). It is called royal flush or flush to the ace at the one formed by the five highest cards: 10, J, Q, K, A. If they are of the same, the royal flush will be of color. The minimum flush is formed by the ace and the four lower cards.
THE ACE IN THE FLUSH: In a flush, the ace can be both the highest card in the series 10, J, Q, K, A (royal flush or to the ace), or the lowest (minimum flash), but it only goes alter the king (K) or befote the lowest card of the pàck (the 2 with the complete pack).
THE RELATIVE VALUE OF THE FULL AND THE COLOR: The full has more value than the color when the game is with a complete pack or with more that 40 cards. If the game is played with only 40 cards or less, the color is worth more than the full.
THE JOKER: When in the tied games, one has a joker and the other one no, the one without the joker wins.
FIGURES: Not all the players admit this possibility, not the value previously indicated. Others do, but playing with more than 40 cards, they consider that it has a higher value than the trio, while if the game is played with less than 40 or less, is worth less than a trio. In any case, it´s a subject about which all the players must agree on at the start of the game.
THE RELATIVE VALUE OF THE COLOR AND THE FLUSH: Another variation in the order of the level of the hands is the one existing between the different types of fulls and colors. Thus, some players consider that a flush with an ace (whether the royal flush of the minimum flush), is superior to the color, while any flush without ace (mimimum flush), is of inferior value to the color. At the start of the game, this must be agreed on too.
OTHER ASPECTS OF THE POKER GAME
DRAW OF THE PLACE IN THE TABLE: It´s frecuent to previously draw the place that each player will occupy around the table, also to do new draws alter a certain time (one hour, for example). The place can be drawn taking cards from the pack and placing them, according to the value of the card, in the following way: as many correlative cards as players there are taken, they are shuffled and distributed on the table, one card in front of each place; duplicate cards of similar value to the previous ones are taken, and alter shuffling, one is given to each player, who will sit in the place indicated by the card of similar value to the one that he has received.
BANKER: One player can be chosen to act as banker jotting the changes of chips or remains that each player goes taking, in order to do the final liquidation with more order.
REMANING SUM: Is the quantity that each player can have for the game The players have to agree at the beginning of the game concerning the value of the remaing sum.
At the start of the game, each player starts with the same remaing sum to bet, that he will have in front of him during the game. When winning or loosing, this remaing sum will increase or diminish according to his earnings or looses, but under no cirscunstances will he withdraw any part of it until he stops playing. Yes he will be able to restore his remaing sum, but never for a lower quantity at the one established at the start of the game, nor higher than the player does that have more. After starting the game, no player will be allowed to withdraw any ammount from his remaining sum, or leave winning before the determined hour for finishing the game, but he can retire from the game, if he has lost more than one remaing sum. The new remaing sum can only be solicited between game and game, and before having seen the cards. If a new player ocuppies a vacant place, he will have to start with a remaing sum similar to the average of the remaing sum of the other players.
BIDS: In the poker game one bets that their own cards are superior to the ones of the rest of the players. These bets are done through successive bids, that the other players must equal or surpass to oppose his hand to the one of the first player that has bidded. The bid is the quantity that in each moment of the game is bet and placed in the center of the table. At the start of the game the minimum and maximum limits of the value of the bids will be established.
IRREGULARITIES: Any player can demand that the cards be dealt again if:
- the pack is not offered to cut.
- when cutting, a card is uncovered.
- an uncovered card appears in the pack before starting the bids
- it´s discovered that the shuffling is faulty
- a player deals out of his turn, observed before finishing the dealing (if he finishes dealing before this irregularity is comented, the game will be valid).
- when dealing the cards, two are uncovered. If only one is uncovered, the player to whom the card was destined must accept it.
If more or less cards are dealt to some player, and he had already looked at some cards before complaining, he must quit the game, loosing all he might have xx up to that moment. If before looking at his cards he claims that he has less than five, he can complete his hand with the pack, and if he claims that he has more than five, he can ask the dealer to withdraw one card, that without being looked at, is placed under the pack of cards. If one placer has six cards, and another four, he can ask the dealer to give one of the six cards to the one who only has four, with the condition of doing so before having looked at the cards or done any bid at all.
However, in the mayority of the cases, if the irregularities have been seen before the players look at their cards, is prefereble to pick them all up and deal again.
Development of the Game
START OF THE GAME
A poker game starts, first, with the agreemente of the players regarding the rules that will be applied in the game, the valid plays, it´s relative value, the use of jokers, the amount of the remaing sum and of the bids, the number of cards to be played, etc.The reference of all the optional rules when a new player joins a game of usual players,is especially important, because those could have adopted special rules for the game.Then, the order of each player in the table will be established , and who is the first player that deals will be determined.
Before dealing the cards, the player that must do it shuffles them and gives them to cut to the player on his right The player that cuts won´t be able to take five or less cards, nor leave five or less cards. Five cards are dealt to each player, starting by the one who is on the left (as usual in the casino games). Each dealer can do it with his personal style when his turn comes, one by one, first three to each player and then two, etc. One can not change the way of dealing within the same round of dealing (one must deal the cards in the same way to all the players), and it must be done following some order, without irregularities. Once the cards are dealt, each player will examine his, to study the posibilities of his round, and by turn, starting by the player to the left of the dealer, will inform if he wants to play (bidding) or pass. After one player has opened the bets, the other players can not pass, they can only equal or increase the bids.
When all the players have had this option and all the bets have been equalled (the players that don´t must quit), the dealer will proceed to distribute the ones the players solicit in exchange for their discards (that can be up to the total of their five cards), with the object of improving their inicial round, although the discards and changes of cards are not obligatory (it is considered that the player that does not discard is served)
With the new game the final round of bids starts, each player been able to pass or bid until somebody opens the game. After balancing the bids, the cards are shown, and whoever has the highest hand, wins. If everybody passed and nobody opened the game, the cards would be shown and the one with the highest hand would win.
If a player does an xxxxx and nobody equal´s it, this player wins the round without need of showing his cards, for not equalising (at least) a bid is equivalent to quitting.
In summary, the poker game is composed of the following stages:
1: Start of the game in accordance to the nature adopted.
2. The dealing of five cards to each player.
3. Bids before the discard to be able to participate in the game.
4. Discards to improve the round.
5. Bids after the discard
6. Showing the cards to see who wins.
There are different ways to start the game. The most frequent one is with pot or jack pot, which consists in that each player puts a quantity to receive the five initial cards of the game. Some players establish that the quantity that the dealer must put must be double. Once the cards are dealt, the players can only open if they have, at least, a pair of jacks, without it being obligatory to open although having this minimum.
By turn, starting with the player that is to the left of the dealer (the one that deals for the last time), eaxh player has the option of entering the game bidding (he say I bid so much, indicating his bet) and place the bid in the center of the table, or pass, (he says I pass). When a player has started the betting, the following players can not pass, for they can only accept the bid puting the same quantity in the center of the table, increase the bid or quit. Never a bid can be lower than the bid made by the preceeding player or players.The following players accept the bids (come) or increase them (rise), until all the bids are equal or is left the one of one player which is not accepted by none of the others, in which case the player that has done this non accepted bid is (automatically) the winner of the game and collects all the winnings, without having to show the hand.
The players that remain in the game after the first round of bids can discard one, various or up to their five cards to improve their game, receiving, in exchange, the same number of cards.
The player that dealt the cards is the one that does this new distribution with the cards remaining in the pack, asking those who play, by order, as from his left, ¿how many? If there weren´t enough cards in the pack to complete the hand of those who discarded, the discards of all the players who are missing cards to replace, are shuffled, unless there is only one player missing, in which case his discard it put aside, completing his game with the discards of the rest of the players. In some cases, and especially when playing with a incomplete pack (but this must be established at the start of the game), the maximum discards can be limited to four cards or including three.
The last card of the pack can not be dealt; it must be shuffled with the discards. The discards are left on the table, face down, to avoid seeing what cards they are. It´s forbiden to look at the discarded cards, as much as those of the players that quit the game. The discard is not obligatory, whether having a combined play or not. When his turn comes, the player that doesn´t want to discard says: served. All the players must clearly solicit to the dealer the number of cards they want to change. When the dealer changes his, he must also say, in a loud voice, how many cards he is going to take. No player can discard before his turn.
Wins the game:
- The player that bids or overbids if none of the other players accept or equal his bid. He wins without having to show his cards.
- If two or more players match their bidsor overbids, they must show their cards, placing them over the table. The player that did the last bid, will be the first to show his cards, and the one with the best hand wins. If all the players pass, the bids that are on the table remain as a base for the nest game.
Specific vocabulary: “Cards”: Petition to change a certain number ofcards to improve the inicial hand.
“To Bid”: To bet a sum on one´s own hand.
“I Fold”: Indication that the player doesn’t match the bid the other players have made and retires from the round of biding, losing the bid he made.
“Pass”: Word with which the player cedes his turn to bid to the following player, but doesn´t quit the game.
“Served”: Declaration of the player who doesn´t want to change any of his cards.
“I rise”: Tacit approval of the bid the other palyer made raising the indicated amount. It Could also be I see and rise.
“I see”: Acceptation of the bid of another player equaling his bet.
“I go”: Word with which the bets are opened. The complete phrase is: I go with…….indicating the value of the bid.