Official Poker Rules
To know the official poker rules, you need to know a lot of terminology. Below is a listing of poker slang and instructions on what to do when it’s your turn.
- Hand. These are the cards in your hand dealt to you at the beginning of each play.
- Play. Another way of saying “round,” a play is the action that takes place between each shuffle.
- Pot. This is the money thrown into the center of the playing area. The pot is won by the highest hand in each play.
- Ante. It is a bet all players must make before cards are dealt. Antes are optional but are most often used to speed up game play.
- Call. This is used to place a bet into the pot equal to the bet being called. Example: To call a bet of $10 means you will put $10 into the pot.
- Raise. This is to place a greater amount into the pot than the bet being raised. Raises must be at least double the original bet. Example: To raise a bet of $10 means to place at least $20 into the pot.
- Fold. This is to forfeit your turn during a play. You do this by laying down your cards.
- Check. If there haven’t been any previous bets in a play, a player may check. To check according to official poker rules means to pass your turn without placing a bet of any kind. When you check, the next player must place a bet or check.
- Kicker. In the event two players lay down the same type of hand (see below) or hands of equal value, the next highest card in each hand is compared until a winner is determined. This next highest card is called the “kicker.”
- One pair. Two cards of equal value in a five-card hand are one pair. Example: 3-3-A-Q-7 is one pair of three.
- Two pair. These are wo separate one pairs in a single hand. Example: A-A-3-3-7 is a two pair. In the event two players have identical two pairs, the fifth card acts as kicker.
- Three of a kind. In official poker rules, three cards of equal value in a hand constitute three of a kind. Example: 3-3-3-A-Q is three of a kind. The fourth and fifth cards are kickers.
- Straight. This is five cards of different suits in sequential order. Straights are named after their highest card. Example: 10-9-8-7-6 is a 10-high straight.
- Flush. This is five cards of the same suit in non-sequential order. Flushes are named after their highest card according to official poker rules. Example: A-10-6-3-2 is an ace high flush.
- Full house. A full house is a combination of three of a kind and two pair. Example: K-K-K-5-5 is a full house. With official poker rules, the kicker in a full house is the higher valued two pair, ex. K-K-K-5-5 beats K-K-K-4-4.
- Four of a kind. This is like three of a kind except with four cards of equal value. Example: K-K-K-K-2 is four of a kind.
- Straight flush. This is five cards of the same suit in sequential order. Straight flushes are named after their highest value card. Example: 10-9-8-7-6 is a 10-high straight flush.
- Royal flush. According to official poker rules, when your hand consists of A-K-Q-J-10 of the same suit, you have a royal flush. A royal flush is the highest valued hand and beats any other hand on the table.
Posted on: Sep. 11, 2010