Who is the Winner?The final round of each game defines the winner. Usually it’s the player who posses the highest hand during the last phase. This situation is called “showdown” – all participants are obliged to show the two cards they have. The ranking defines the winner – if there’s a happy owner of Royal Flush, he beats everyone at the table. Can’t recall what Full House is? Don’t remember how to make a Straight? Is Four of the Kind better than Flush? This information should be imprinted on the back of your mind if you plan to win the pot! Luckily, no need to go anywhere – we provide you with this sacred knowledge. Another situation when a participant can win without reaching showdown phase is to place the last uncalled bet.
First Phase of the GameThe game starts with mandatory bets (blinds). There can be two or one such rates. In Texas Hold'em and Omaha, they differ in size and have two names: Small Blind and Big Blind. There are also bets called "antes", which are equal to each other - in addition to the blinds, all participants contribute the same amount to the pot before the start of the hand.
Dealing and BettingThe standard card pack is used for playing poker. Initially, two cards are given to each participant. They stay with the player until the end of the game. The game begins from the person sitting on the left from the dealer and goes in a clockwise fashion.A player can perform one of the following actions during his turn: Check – skip the turn or make a zero bet/raise. This action is possible only if there were no bets done during the current round. When a player checks, the next person is playing his turn. Bet – the action in which the player adds chips to the pot first in the current betting round is called Bet. Call can be performed by a player if there’s already an open bet. To call means to match the highest bet in this round (it can be an opening bet or a raise). Each player needs to keep calling if he wants to keep fighting for the pot. Raise means to increase the size of a previous announcement. This is a non-obligatory option as each player only has to match the current bet to continue competing for the pot. When raising, a player doesn’t only match the highest bet but also makes a bigger one (which other players have to match if they want to keep playing). Moreover, within one round another raise can be done: it’s called re-raise. Each game of poker consists of several phases (rounds). For example, two most popular variations we’ve already mentioned feature identical stages: pre-flop flop turn river The pre-flop stage begins immediately after players get their initial cards; at this moment, no other cards are displayed. At the second round (the flop) the three community cards are shown; then comes the turn – right after the appearance of the fourth community card; and the last phase (the river) when the fifth card is revealed.Each of these rounds requires players make an action. When all players perform their activity, the round is considered to be complete. If no bets (all participants check), the round ends with the last person’s action and the prize remains unchanged. The end of every stage marks the opening of a new community card.Here’s how it works. Players have to use the cards they are given to create the best possible combination with any of the open community cards. The final hand consists of two player’s cards and three community cards.
ShowdownShowdown is a truly exciting moment. A moment later, one of the players wins the pot. It occurs at the end of the final phase. All active players (who didn’t fold during the previous stages) must reveal their two cards. The combinations are being compared, and the best one get the prize.In order to boost the tension, players normally reveal their cards one after another (and not at the same time). At some point, it may happen that several players will share the winnings. It all depends on the rules of a specific game and the outcomes.
Betting LimitsThe limits in poker refer to a certain amount of chips/money that participants can use for betting. There are 3 main variations:
No Limit – as it may be clear from the name, games with No Limit allow players bet or raise by any sum they have (including the entire stack of chips they have in possession).
Pot Limit – this kind of poker is rarely played nowadays, yet still exists. Again, easy to guess from the name, in the games with Pot Limit structure, it’s impossible to bet or raise by any amount that is bigger than the sum of the current pot at the moment.
Fixed Limit – the games of this kind have a certain limit for bets and raises that cannot be exceeded. As a rule, these limitations are set in advance before the beginning of the game.