During poker, players receive five cards, group them into a hand, and compete with others to win the pot. Each hand contains a pair of cards, a straight or flush, a five-card combination, or a hand of Jacks or better. Some games also have a wild card. If there is a five-card flush, it is called a Full House. If there is a four-of-a-kind, it is called a Quad. Several other poker games use jokers, which are cards that add an extra suit or value to a hand. Some of these games, like the popular Texas Hold’em, use two decks of different colors or backs.
When a hand is made of two pairs of cards of the same rank, the higher pair wins. If there is a tie, the highest unmatched fifth card is the winner. When comparing two pairs of the same rank, the lower pair is compared first, unless the lower pairs are the same.
If a player’s two pairs of cards are of different ranks, the two pairs are compared by the second highest odd card. For example, if there are two pairs of kings, a king beats a ten, and a king beats a jack. This means that the best pair is the one that is higher than the ten.
The first step to playing a hand is to make a bet, which is usually the minimum amount. This bet can be raised or lowered as needed. Once the betting is complete, the player must show his cards to determine the winner. The winner will receive the pot as his winnings, if anyone else has a higher hand. A player who does not wish to show his cards can pass. If he is unsure, he can put all of his cards facedown on the table. Then he can check and wait to see if anyone else has a stronger hand.
If the other players do not call, the player must fold. He cannot raise the bet, however, unless the other players do. Alternatively, the player can show his cards and accept the bet, or can reject it and fold. If he calls, he is obligated to stay in the game until he can see what the other players have. Then he can make a new bet.
After the betting has concluded, the players can discard up to three cards. Usually, the chips used are white, red, or blue. Some games have Wild Cards, which are cards that can replace any other card in the hand. Several games, like Texas Hold’em, have specific rules for using Wild Cards.
A straight is five cards in order. The lowest straight is 5-4-3-2-A. The highest is a Royal Straight Flush, which has five cards of the same sequential value. A Royal Straight Flush is only possible if the cards are in the same suit. If there are two straights of the same value, the higher will split the pot.
A five-card straight is considered a full house if there are two cards without a pair. A mixed suit straight is a sequence of mixed suits. If the third highest card is a card that does not match the first two, the higher flush will be determined.