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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 Stakes

Each player buys an agreed equal amount of chips from the banker, let us say 100 chips.  This is called the take-out.  If a player wants more chips, he must buy them in the same amount of 100 chips, as often as he wishes.  He cannot buy additional chips in the middle of a deal, and if he runs out he must wait until after that deal has been won, when he may buy another 100.  he can only buy fewer than 100 chips if he cannot afford the full amount.  If he then loses these chips he must leave the game. The only limit in this form of poker sense is the amount of chips a player has before him. If a player runs out of chips during a deal, he must tap out.


One form of poker in which the overall amount of stakes that can be lost is limited is called freeze-out.  In this version all the players begin with an equal number of chips, which has been agreed in advance, and play until only one player is left, who of course wins the lot.  No-one can buy more chips during the game.  This is a popular form in casinos.  Such a game could last an extremely long time.

* Jargon-buster

tap out procedure that is forced on a player during a betting interval when he is unable to continue betting because he has insufficient chips to call the bet.

Freeze-out a game played to a finish, when only one player is left with all the stake money.

All-into have all one’s chips in the pot.

Side-pot a separate pot begun when a player has tapped out.

Check to stay in the game without adding to one’s total stake.  This is not possible once a player has bet at a that betting interval.

Equalize to make all players’ stakes equal.  A player who calls equalizes his stake with that of the previous better.

Take-out the agreed amount of chips that each player buys from the bank to begin a game table stakes.

Tapping out

One principle of poker is that a player cannot be bulldozed out of a game by heavy betters who increase the stakes beyond his capital.  If a player has insufficient chips to call, e.g. if he needs 12 chips to call but has only 10, he may put in all his remaining chips and call for that amount.  This is called tapping out.  He might say, ‘I call for 10 and am tapping out.’  Any excess that other players have already contributed is not withdrawn by them, but is moved into a side-pot, kept separate from the main pot, which is thus equalized.  The player who has tapped out continues in that deal and competes for the main pot, although he takes no further part in the betting itself.
            Players still active in the deal continue to bet in the side-pot until their bets are equalized.  Should one of them have insufficient chips to call in the side-not he can tap out of that and a second side-pot is formed.  At the showdown, every player who has not folded, including the player who tapped out competes for the main pot, while the final side-pot is contested only by those players who stayed in and contributed the full amount of chips.
            If a player folds in a side-pot, he does not compete for the main pot, even though he folded after the main pot was closed.
            The betting interval illustrated has ended with players 3, 4, 5 and 6 active players in the game, each having contributed 16 chips. Player 2 takes no further part in subsequent betting intervals, but retains his interest in the main pot, which is frozen at 77 chips  (players 2,3,4,5 and 6 each having put in 14 chips and the ante being seven chips).  Players 3, 4, 5 and 6 withdraw two chips from the main pot each and keep these in a separate pile as the basis for the side-pot.  They continue betting at subsequent betting intervals.  At the showdown, if player 2’s hand is the best remaining, he wins the main pot of 77 chips it not, he leaves the game.  If player 2 lakes the 77 chips, the player holding the best hand of those remaining in the side-pot at the showdown takes the side-pot.  If his poker hand is better than player 2’s, he takes the main pot and the side-pot.

IST BETTING ROUND Players 1 and 2 aren’t sure enough of their hands to bet so check, while the dealer folds

            A player can only tap out if all his chips are exhausted.  If he wins the main pot, he can continue in the game, but if he loses he must leave the poker game, unless table stakes are being played, when he can buy another set of chips.


1              2           3            4            5             6             7
                    Check     Check                 1             2           4             4          fold
                     Fold            4          7(8)      10(12)    8(12)      12(16)
                                    10*(14)    8(16)    4(16)     4(16)

* Player 2 taps out with his remaining 10 chips. 

2ND BETTING ROUND   Player 1 folds, while player 2 calls player 6’s four chips.  Player 3 raises the stake to eight chips, player 4 to 12, player 5 calls and player 6 raises to 16 chips.

3RD BETTING ROUND     Player 2, with only 10 chips left, taps out with a total of 14 chips, two fewer   than he needs to call.  Players 3,4 and 5 and sufficient chips to bring their contributions to the main pot to 14 chips and put two into a side-pot, while 6 takes two chip poker from his stake and puts those into a side-pot.


When the final betting interval has taken place, if more than one player is left, they show their hands by exposing them on the table, beginning with the last player to raise.  Usually a player announces what he has, e.g. ‘Full house, Kings’, but it is not necessary to do so, and if he makes a mistakes in what he says he is not bound by it – it is the cards that count.  The player with the highest ranking poker hand wins the pot.  A player should not begin to take the pot before it is agreed by the others that he has won it.
            All players, including those who have folded, are entitled to see the hands of those in the showdown.  However, some players, if beaten in the showdown, are reluctant to show their hands in case it provides clues to their strategy, and will say ‘You win’ or ‘Beats me’ and fold their cards with the intention of discarding them.  Many other players are fine with this, but they can insist on seeing the cards if they wish.  To avoid ill-feeling it is best to agree before play starts whether or not all active hands will be exposed at the showdown.


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