In a typical game of poker, the dealer shuffles the deck and then deals out five cards to each player. The player’s hand contains two of his or her personal cards and five of the community cards. After the “flop,” players can analyze their cards to determine the best possible combination of cards. If necessary, a replacement card is drawn. This is usually done during or after a betting round. Professional games don’t require card exchange.
In a suited game, the cards are ordered according to their suit. When two players are dealt the same set, the higher player is favored. This is referred to as a “cooler” situation. In many situations, neither player should fold in such a situation. If the players are holding five cards in order, then they hold a “straight”.
There are many variations of poker. Three-Card Monte and Spit-in-the-Ocean are two such games, and all are described later in this chapter. For larger games, two separate games can be organized. The objective is to win the pot. As in real life, the game of poker requires a solid foundation. Knowing when to fold a hand is as important as knowing how much to bet. If you have a hand that is higher than the next, you have the best chance of winning the pot.
In most poker games, betting intervals occur at regular intervals. One player has the responsibility to bet first. The next player must place a bet equal to the total contribution of the players before him. This person is known as the “active player” in Poker. The next round of betting begins with a “showdown,” where the best hand wins the pot. The players in a ring game will then decide whether to call or fold after the third betting interval.