Poker is a family of card games in which players bet over which hand is best according to the rules of the particular game. Some variations use multiple decks or a few cards called jokers, and some have wild cards (dueces, one-eyed jacks), but all are based on the same core principles.


In most games, each player must ‘ante’ a certain amount of money before being dealt a hand. This is typically a nickel or less, but varies by game.

The dealer deals the cards and begins betting. Betting continues until all players call or fold.

How to Play:

In a regular game, each player is dealt a complete hand of five cards. Each player must make the highest hand out of these five.

A hand of five cards can be a pair, two pairs, three of a kind or a straight. A straight is when all the cards are the same suit.

High card: A hand that has one or more of the highest cards in any suit wins. A hand that has a high card in two or more suits breaks ties.

Pair of cards: A hand that has two identical pairs, like two 5s and two 9s, wins.

Flush: A hand that has five cards of the same suit in sequential order, like J-8-5-3-2, wins.

The most common hand in poker is a “five of a kind”; this hand beats a pair of aces, a pair of kings, etc. However, a four of a kind (two aces and two queens) is also a legitimate hand.