Typically, poker is played with a standard deck of 52 cards. Each hand is dealt to a player in a clockwise order. The first person to the left of the dealer button is the first to act. The first to the right of the dealer is the second to act, and so on.
The goal of poker is to create the best hand. The highest hand wins the pot. A hand can be a pair of aces, a royal flush, or something else. A straight is five cards in sequential order. When there are more than one high hand, the winner is the hand that has the highest card. If there is a tie, the high card breaks the tie. Generally, the high card is a king, queen, or jack.
A pair of aces is a good hand, but it’s not the best off the deal. A pair of kings isn’t great either, but a pair of queens is much better. There are other cards in the same suit that make a good pair, but it’s better to have two of the same rank than a single card of a different suit. A flush is five cards of the same suit in any order. The highest straight is the 8-9 straight. The lowest straight is the 5-4-3-2. The “backdoor flush” is achieved by hitting the required cards on the turn and river.
When a straight and a flush are tied, the higher one wins. The higher a pair is, the better it is. A pair of jacks beats a pair of tens. The straight is a five-card sequence, but it may not wrap around. The top card of a straight is usually the ace, but it can be anything.
A pair of aces can be a pair of aces or a pair of aces and a jack. If it’s a pair of aces and jacks, it’s a full house. A pair of aces and a king is an over card. The low ace is considered a low card. A straight can have a high or a low ace, but it’s not valid. If there’s a pair of aces, kings, and a jack, it’s a straight flush.
In poker, each player gets seven cards. The first player to the left of the dealer button is the one who is “first to act” and must post a small or big blind. The small blind is the small bet, and the big blind is the larger bet. The blinds are forced bets. Players can discard up to three cards, but they can only use one from their own hand. They can also choose to call or fold.
When a player’s hand is revealed, he can bet, fold, or check. He can also bet a fixed amount (called an ante), which gives the pot a value before he’s even dealt the cards. Some games have wild cards, which allow a player to make any suit. These are sometimes called jokers.