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Introducing Poker
Ranking Hands
The sequence of play
Betting Interval
Betting Small and Big Blinds
Table stakes
Using wild cards
Probability of holding
First betting interval
seven card stud
Other forms of poker
Texas Hold'em Basic Hand
Five - Six card Omaha
Poker Sense
Slow Playing
Other Gambling Card Game
Seven-card Brag
Gin Rummy

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TABLE 2: Probability of holding
Certain hands


Probability without
 wild cards

Probability with
 deuces wild

One pair

1 in 2.4

1 in 2.1

Two pairs

1 in 21

1 in 27

Three of a kind

1 in 47

1 in 7


1 in 255

1 in 39


1 in 509

1 in 197

Full house

1 in 694

1 in 205

Four of a kind

1 in 4,165

1 in 84

Straight flush

1 in 69,974

1 in 638

Five of a kind


1 in 3868

Royal flush

1 in 69,974

1 in 5370


There is another ‘false’ hand to consider when wild cards are used, i.e. the double-Ace flush.  If a player holds ♥ A, ♥ 9, ♥ 8, ♥ 3, W, then the wild card could be classed as the ♥ A and a double- Ace flush appears.  This would beat a flush consisting of A, K, Q, J, 9.  If you had two wild cards, a treble-Ace flush would be possible, of course.  There are some players who will recognize five of a kind but not a double-Ace flush, which is illogical.  Couple the question of whether double-Ace flushes are allowable with the question of whether between two flushes a hand with fewer wild cards beats a hand with more, and one can see that the use of wild cards is not straightforward. 

Draw poker

In early poker games, players were dealt five cards upon which they bet.  There was no provision for a player to change any of his cards it was a game of deal, bet, showdown.  When the concept was introduced of allowing players, after what now became the first netting interval, to improve their hands by discarding some cards and drawing others to replace them, before a second round of betting took place, the game became called ‘Draw Poker ’ to distinguish it from the earlier game, which is now not widely played at all.  Nowadays the name ‘Draw Poker ’ is retained to distinguish it from forms of Stud Poker.  It remains the most common form of poker played at home and beginners are advised to master it before attempting Stud, Hold’Em, etc.
            The version described first is the basic game, which might be called ‘Straight Draw Poker’ but in the USA a slight variation called ‘Jackpots’ is so popular that some American books will describe that as the main game, and this version as a variation, called something like ‘Anything opens’.  ‘Draw’ is a slight misnomer, since players do not ‘draw’ their replacement cards, which are dealt to them by the dealer.  The game is best for between five and seven players.

As described before in the general rules for poker games, players should agree a few things before they start playing:

  • A time limit for the game, and agree that when that time is reached the game ends as soon as all the players have dealt an equal number of times.
  • Which form of the game is being played (as will be seen, there are hundreds of variations, one of which is called Dealer ’s Choice, which allows the dealer to choose which variation will be played for that deal).
  • The stake limits.
  • How any irregularities are to be dealt with?
  • Who is to be banker if chips are being used?
  • Who is to be first dealer?
  • Seating arrangements.

For this description of a six-handed card game, we will assume the following have been agreed:

  • Chips of four colors, valued at one, two, five and 10 units, are being used.
  • Not bet or raise may be larger than two chips, and after the draw five chips.
  • Before the draw no raise may be larger than two chips, and after the draw five chips.
  • The maximum number of raises one player can make is three per betting interval.

The play

  • The dealer places six chips in the center of the table as an ante to start the pot.  This represents one chip for each player, but for convenience each dealer in turn may ante for all players.
  • The cards are shuffled and dealt as described in the general poker rules of the game above.
  • The dealer gives five cards to each player, one at a time, and including himself, beginning with the player to his left (sometimes called the eldest hand). The dealer then place the remainder of the pack face down in front of him.


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