Poker is an ancient family of card games where players wager between one to five, inclusive, on the outcome of a set of hands. Players may use either a fixed or a floating card deck, and may also use chips, such as pennies, as currency. In most variations of poker, a single player controls the proceedings, with the goal being for the person with the most chips to be the winner. Poker is played in the same way as holdem, baccarat, roulette and many other card games. The main difference lies in the cards: in holdem, the players are betting against each other, whereas in poker, they are betting for each other.
A standard poker game has a pre-determined arrangement in which the players sit around a pre-designated table, each having two chairs facing each other. Once the players sit down, a blindfold is put on the table and the “blinds” are called, when a chip from either player is revealed. If the player with the most chips at the end wins, then the blind is removed and the player with the most chips becomes the new top hand, or “ace”, in the poker table.
There are different types of poker, but the basic rules of play remain the same. The four suits of poker are spades, hearts, diamonds and clubs. Deuce is the second highest suit, next to the Ace. There are two types of bets in poker: loose bets and forced bets. In a loose bet, players may collectively make an investment in hopes of gaining more money than they put into the pot; loose bets are usually made by the more aggressive poker players.
A forced bet consists of one whole bet plus any number of individual bets, all coming together, totaling to a single “force” bet. For instance, a player may place a total of five dollars into the pot, and then fold, leaving his partner with three. At this point, if the player who has folded still has an amount left in the pot, he must call. Otherwise, the player who has called will receive no money for his folded card. Forced bets are used less frequently than the others.
Poker is not controlled by any central authority; therefore, there is no “table judge” to decide the outcome of a game. Instead, each player makes their own decisions based on their interpretation of the actions of the other players. When a player bets, that action is not covered up by any rule. It is up to the discretion of each individual player as to how much money he wants to put into the pot. The betting action is covered up only by the presence of other players in the game. However, all bets made by the dealer are considered to be a binding contract between both players.
After the betting period is over, the pot is split between the players, and the player may then commence playing. There are no rules that dictate when a player may call a bluff, so players can engage in as many games as they wish. However, the player may only bluff once per game. In most Texas Holdem games, after the ante is raised to a certain amount, the game usually assumes that you have raised the ante, and you may begin the betting process. After the betting period, the dealer will count the number of chips still in the pot and hand them out to the players.