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Introduction
Development
Introducing Poker
Ranking Hands
Chips
The sequence of play
Shuffling
Dealing
Betting Interval
Betting Small and Big Blinds
Table stakes
Using wild cards
Probability of holding
First betting interval
Strategy-1
Strategy-2
Seven-Card Stud
Other forms of poker
Texas Hold'em Basic Hand
Five - Six card Omaha
Poker Sense
Slow Playing
Other Gambling Card Game
Blackjack
Brag
Seven-card Brag
Gin Rummy
Glossary

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First Betting Interval

Between deals, players have the opportunity to bet in ‘betting intervals’, which may be divided into ‘betting rounds’.  The first opportunity to bet lies with the player to dealer’s left.  He has three choices at this stage: to fold, to check or to bet.  If he checks, the second player has the same option, and so on.  But as soon as one player has bet, the option to check ends from then on players must either call, raise or fold.
            If every player, including the dealer, checks on the first round, the deal comes to an end.  The cards are collected, reshuffled and cut, and dealt by the next dealer, who puts in another ante of six chips, making the pot twelve chips for the next deal.

The draw

The betting interval ends when the bets of all the players who remain in the game are equalized.  The draw then takes place.

  1. The dealer takes up the undealt portion of the pack, and deals in turn with each player who remains in the game, i.e. those who haven’t folded, beginning with the player nearest to his left.
  2. This player announces how many cards he wishes to discard.  If he dos not wish to change his poker hand, he is said to ‘stand pat’.  This is usually done by announcing ‘none’ and tapping on the table.  Otherwise he may discard between one and three cards.  (If there were fewer than six players, he could discard up to four cards.)
  3. The player passes the discards face down to the dealer who lays them to one side to make a discard pile.  He then gives the player an equal number of cards to restore his hand to five cards.
  4. The dealer then deals similarly with the next player.  No player need announce how many he wishes to discard until the previous player has been dealt with.
  5. The dealer draws his own cards last, taking care to announce how many cards he is discarding and replacing.

During the draw, before the first bet has been made, any player may enquire of another how many cards he drew.

Second betting interval

When the draw is completed, and all players have their final hands of five cards each, the second betting interval takes place.  The first player to speak is the first player who bet on the first betting interval.  If he has subsequently folded, then the first active player to his left has the same opportunity, and so on.  The first options are to check, fold or bet, as before, but once a bet has been made, and then subsequently the options are to fold, call or raise.  Again the betting round continues until all active players have contributed the same amount to the pot, when the betting stops and the showdown takes place.

The showdown

Starting with the last player to raise, and continuing clockwise, each active player shows and announces his hand.  The player who holds the best poker hand takes the pot.

EXAMPLE A BASIC HAND

There are six players, Player 1 puts in an ante of six chips and deals five cards to each player.

First betting interval

FIRST BETTING ROUND

  1. Player 2, with a pair of 7s, checks.
  2. Player 3, with a chance of a straight, checks,
  3. Player 4, with a pair of Kings, bets one chip.
  4. Player 5, with two pairs 6s and 5s, calls and raises two (i.e. he puts in three chips).
  5. Player 6, without a pair, folds.
  6. Player 1, with a pair of Jacks, calls.


1ST BETTING ROUND Players 2 and 3 check and player 6’s bad gives him no choice but to fold.

SECOND BETTING ROUND

  1. Player 2, with two players having staked three chips, doesn’t fancy his small pair and folds.
  2. Player 3, however, calls with three chips.
  3. Player 4, who already has one chip in the pot, calls by putting in another two chips.

Players 3, 4, 5 and 1 have now equalized their stakes by putting in three chips, so the first betting interval ends.  The pot holds 18 chips.

The draw

  1. Player 3 discards his 4, hoping to draw a Queen on 7, and draws 7, giving him a straight.
  2. Player 4 keeps his two kings and discards his other cards.  He draws ♠ 10, ♥ 10, and 8, so now holds two pairs, Kings and 10s.
  3. Player 5 draws one, discarding ♥ 3, and hoping for a 6 or a 5, but unluckily he gets ♠ 7.  Player 1 announces that he is drawing two cards.  He discards ♥ 4 and ♠ 2, and receives Q and ♠ 5, so does not significantly improve his hand.


THE DRAW Player 3 and 4 benefit from the draw, while players 5 and 1 do not.

Second betting interval

FIRST BETTING ROUND

  1. The first player to bet in the first betting interval, player 4, is the first to speak.  He bets one chip on his two pairs, making his total stake four chips.
  2. Player 5, with his two pairs, calls by adding a chip to his stake.
  3. Player 1, with a solitary pair of Jacks, decides to fold.
  4. Player 3, who has a straight, calls for one chip and raises by two, bringing his stake in the pot to six chips.


1ST BETTING ROUND Player 1 did not improve his hand in the draw, so his best option is to fold.

SECOND BETTING ROUND

  1. Player 4, who thinks it, is quite likely that player 3, like himself, has two pairs, thinks it is worth staying in with his Kings and 10s, and calls, putting in two chips.
  2. Player 5, who also has two pairs, but with the higher pair only 6s, thinks he is beaten and folds.


2 BETTING ROUDN AND SHOWDOWN Player 5 didn’t improve his hand in the draw, so his best option is to fold.  Player 3’s straight beats player 4’s two pairs.

Showdown

The stakes are now equal so the showdown takes place, player 3, with his straight beating player 4, with his two pairs.
            Player 3 therefore takes the pot, which totals 25 chips.  As he put in six, plus one (in theory) for the ante, he wins 18 chips.  Including their antes, player 2 loses one, player 4 loses seven, player 5 loses five, player 6 loses one and player 1, the dealer, loses four.