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The Basics of Poker


Players in a game of poker almost always play using poker chips. Games of seven or more players should provide the chips. The lower-value chip is a white chip, and the highest-valued chips are the red and blue chips. Each chip represents one unit of value: a white chip is worth five units of value, a red chip is worth ten units of value, and a blue chip is worth two, four, or five units of currency. Players “buy in” by buying chips worth the same amount as the player before them.

There are several different variations of poker. Three-Card Monte, “Spit in the Ocean,” and others are examples of games with fewer than five cards. These variations are described later in this chapter. For games with more than ten players, two separate games may be organized. In addition to Texas hold ’em, there are other variations of the game that are based on poker rules. Those who are new to the game should know the basic rules of the game.

In a game of poker, players make a hand by combining cards of the same rank. Their cards are valued inversely to the frequency of the lowest card. Players may bet on the best hand, or they may bluff and make an ill-conceived bet, hoping to trick the other players into thinking they have the highest hand. This strategy may lead to a winning hand. But it’s not always possible to make a winning hand.