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Standard Poker Rules @ Online-Poker.com
While there are many different types and styles of poker, when you know the rules of poker, you are referring to a standard set of guidelines and commonalities between variations.

First of all Poker uses a standard deck of 52 playing cards (for most variations). Cards are ranked in a systematic fashion. 2 is the lowest card, Ace is the highest. The deck is split into four suits, no suit is of more value than another. A poker hand contains five cards. The highest hand at the table wins. Some variations utilize wild cards, but to gain a proper sense of the game, you should learn the hand ranks as they exist without the possibility of wild cards first.

The number of cards you are dealt depends on the variation of poker you're playing. Again, to stick with the basics five cards is most common.

At this point it is advisable that we look over the ranking of poker hands. As each hand is capable of beating another but the reasoning is not always clear cut, it is probable that more arguments have been made over this topic than any other around the poker table. Poker rules state the following as being the appropriate ranking of the hands:

Poker Hands

1 Straight Flush - A straight flush is the ultimate natural hand (meaning no wild-cards are involved). It is a combination of a flush and a straight. So all the cards are of the same suit, and all are consecutive. Ranking between straights is determined by the value of the high end of the straight. A royal flush is a straight flush that has a high card value of Ace.

2 Four of a kind - Four cards of the same value (such as four jacks or four 7s) represent the second strongest hand in the game of poker. It beats everything except a straight flush.

3 Full house - a full house is a combination of three of a kind and a pair. Meaning all five of your cards are part of a set of either two or three of the same value. An example hand would be 3 7's and 2 Kings. Ties on a full house are broken by the three of a kind, as you cannot have two equal sets of three of a kind in a single deck.

4 Flush - A flush is a hand where all the cards are of the same suit. If each card you have is all one suit, such as 2 of clubs, 4 of clubs, 5 of clubs, 8 of clubs, King of Clubs, then you have a flush. Don't be fooled into thinking a flush is all five cards of the same color. The high card determines the winner when two people have a flush.

5 Straight - A straight is a hand in which all of the cards are consecutive. There is no continuative quality to this poker hand a straight cannot wrap around (meaning it is not a straight if you have Queen, King, Ace, Two, Three). Standard poker rules state that in the case of more than one straight, the higher straight wins. In the case of straights that tie, the pot is split.

6 Three of a Kind - Any three cards with the same value (ie, a 6 of clubs, a six of spades, and a six of diamonds) is considered three of a kind. The highest set of three cards wins.

7 Two Pair - two sets of two cards of equal value constitute a hand that has two pairs. As usual the pair with the higher value is used to determine the winner of a tie.

8 Pair - One pair of two equal value cards constitutes a pair.

High Card - When the hand you are left with has no pairs, and is not a straight or a flush, its relative value is determined by the highest value card. When two players have no pairs, straight, or flush the winner of the tie is determined by the highest value card in the hand. If the highest cards tie, the tie is broken by the second highest card. Suits are not used to break ties.

Now that you know how the hands are ranked, all you need to learn to be familiar with game-play and standard poker rules is the process by which you bet. In most poker games you begin by placing an ante bet of some relatively small amount. All of the money is placed collectively in the middle, creating what is called the pot. The player holding the best hand at the end of the betting wins the pot

Poker betting terminology

Check - a bet of zero that does not forfeit interest in the pot
Bet (or Raise) - a non-zero bet greater than the preceding bet that all later players must at least match to not forfeit interest in the pot
Call - a non-zero bet equal to the preceding bet that maintains a player's interest in the pot
Fold - a surrender of interest in the pot in response to another player's bet, ante and all bets are immediately lost and player is out of the hand

Betting usually proceeds in a circle until each player has either called all bets or folded. Different poker games have various numbers of betting rounds interspersed with the receipt or replacement of cards.

The above explanation has excluded talk of wild cards for the most part because they are rarely used in casinos or online casinos. Wild cards are often used in home poker games though, and they impart an extra hand to the game: the five of a kind. Most games rank five of a kind above a straight flush, others choose to place it between four of a kind and a straight flush. Of course the wild cards also carry confusion when two players hold the same hand made up of different wild cards. The standard rules of poker do not distinguish between these hands, its up to you. Most players feel it rightful to rank whichever hand is closest to the natural version, or uses less wild cards.