Introduction: Learn How to Play Poker!

About: I'm in high school and I enjoy hunting and fishing. I enjoy photography. I like fixing things, salvaging things I can't fix, and destroying the things I can't salvage. I enjoy cycling and hope to expand my k…

Since I'm amazed that a lot of people don't know how to play poker, though I've played since I was like, 10, I figured I'd help y'all learn how to play so you can go to casinos and lose your money. Sounds good, eh? Alright, I'm going to teach you how to play: 5 Card Draw, 5 Card Stud, Texas Hold 'Em, and Blackjack, which some people consider a kind of poker.

Note: I wouldn't try to cheat anyone out of money at betting games like these, they can get mad. Very mad. Don't try it, be truthful and play nice, cheating spoils the game.

Note: Where I say to bet/post blinds/ante, if you aren't betting, don't. Ok? Get ready to learn!

Step 1: What You'll Need:

To play most types of poker, you are going to need:

1 Deck of Cards, brand doesn't matter, though I prefer Bicycles. Note: You may need more than one deck if you are playing with a lot of people.

At least 3 friends, if you are playing for money; if not, it is possible to play by yourself, but not very fun. 1 friend should do, but the more, the merrier.

Optional: Card table, but regular tables work, and you need somewhere to put your cards.

Optional: Money, if you are betting.

Step 2: The Lingo of Poker

There are many different words, and words that mean the same thing. Here are a few that are important:

Ante - the first, usually small, amount of money put up in a game, all players must put it up if they wish to be dealt in.
Fold - to get out of a hand. You just throw your cards away, and that's it. You can do this at any point in the game.
Check - Not always possible, but if it is, and you don't have a good hand, you can get by another round for free (you don't have to bet)
Call - if someone bets, you can say call to put up the same amount as him and go to the next round.
Raise - If someone bets an amount, and you think you have an outstanding hand, you can put up as much as he did, and then some.
Capped betting - This means you can't bet anymore, you can only call. This happens after about 4 raises, or when the limit is met.
Bluff - This is when a player doesn't have a very good hand, but bets like crazy so it seems like he does. Be warned - This does not alway work!!! Some people work of this when they DO have a good hand but want

Step 3: Hands (What You Can Win On)

Here are the hands, ranging from worst to best:

Nothing! (If every player has nothing, then the player with the highest card wins)
Pair (Like two 2s, two 5s, two Aces, etc.)
Two Pair (like having a pair of 2s and a pair of 7s)
Three of a Kind (like three 6s, etc.)
Straight (all of your cards are in order, like 3-4-5-6-7 Note: Aces can be play high or low)
Flush (all of your cards are of the same suit, like all hearts)
Full House (like three 8s and two , you would say, 8s full of )
Four of a Kind (four 5s, four Aces (ideal!))
Straight Flush (a combination of a straight and a flush, so, like, 7-8-9-10-J, all of clubs)
Royal Flush (A-K-Q-J-10 all of the same suit, this is the hardest hand to get in regular poker)

When playing with wild cards, 5 of a kind would be the highest ranking hand.

When two hands come up, it is whoever has the highest numbered card, but not when the hands are full houses. Say the match-up was this:

J-J-J-4-4 against 4-4-4-J-J which, in case you didn't notice, is only possible in games played with more than one standard deck. Though technically the hands both have the same high card, you go by what the value of the tripled cards are. So, the first hand would win because Jacks are higher than 4s.

Step 4: Blackjack, a Very Easy Game.

We'll start out with an easy game. Blackjack, also known as 21, is fun game which, when at casinos, you have your best chance at winning. Note: There are, like many other games, other variants and small house rules, which may cause this to be slightly off from what you may have learned. This is how I have always played it, and how most people around me play.

The object of the game is to get the total value of your cards as close to 21 without going over, or busting. This is how the game is played out:

Say there is you and 3 of your friends, and a dealer. First, everyone antes, the amount depends on the place and limit of the casino (or your friend's house). The dealer will then deal left to right, himself being last, 1 card face down on the table. After, he will deal 1 face up card in the same manner. The face up card stays up, and vice-versa, but you can look at the down card. In the deck, the cards range from Ace to King. The number cards' value is whatever the number is, i.e; a 3 of clubs would be counted as 3, an 8 of hearts would be counted as 8, etc. Face cards equal 10. And the Ace, it's special. It can be counted as 1 or 11. So a 10 or face card with an Ace is a winning hand, equaling 21.

Ok, so say you are the first person to the left of the dealer. After the 2 cards are dealt, everyone checks for blackjack, including the dealer. If the dealer has blackjack, then the pot goes to the dealer. If not, betting starts with you. Everyone bets, then it is your chance to hit, stay, or double up. If you believe your hand is too low in value, then you would say hit. The dealer will give you another card. If you like your value, then say stay. If your original 2 cards were the same number, like two 3s, then you would say you want to double up, flip your down card up, and point to a card and say hit me. Each of the cards is a new hand for you. You will get hit individually on each card if you want it, and when you are satisfied, say hit me, and you can do the above on your other card. This might seem confusing, but it really is pretty easy and is a great way to make more money, if you are lucky enough to get double cards. Note: Some casinos may make you pay double your last bet if you double up. If you happen to bust all of your hands, then the cards are put into the discard pile and you are out of the running for the money. If you hit 21 (a blackjack), then flip your cards over and say so.

After everyone gets hit (this sounds pretty violent, huh?) and they are ready, you bet one final time, and then you flip over your hands. The person with the best hand wins the pot. If there is a tie between players, the pot is split. If there a is a tie between a player and the dealer, the dealer wins. Dealers always win on ties, or if everyone busts.

This is a very addicting and fun game. Have fun!

Step 5: Texas Hold 'Em

Texas Hold 'Em, usually just called Hold 'Em, is what some might know as, "That show on TV!". That would be correct. It is the type play in the World Series of Poker (WSOP) and various other shows. This is also a fun game, but it isn't as interactive as Blackjack or other games. Alright, here's how to play.

1) Everyone antes up.
2 ) And since I don't go into casinos (probably because I am 8 years underage) I can't explain really well on how the blinds go, so I'll regretfully let Wikipedia explain for me. A dealer button is used to represent the player in the dealer position; the dealer button rotates clockwise after each hand, changing the position of the dealer and blinds. The small blind is posted by the player to the left of the dealer and is usually equal to half of the big blind. The big blind, posted by the player to the left of the small blind, is equal to the minimum bet. -- Note: This is only done at casinos, if you and your friends are getting together, forget this step, it just consumes more money.
3) The dealer will deal a card face down, starting with the first player on his left, and going in a clockwise motion. Then he will deal another face down card to the players. Unlike Blackjack, in casinos, the dealer does not play.
4) Everyone looks at their cards, and based on what kind of hand the player thinks he can make out them, he can either check, call, bet, raise, or fold. If you read step 1, you know what that means. If not go read step one.
5) The dealer will now "burn" the top card of the deck, which means he takes and sets it aside. This is to keep players from tracking cards that they may have marked. Anyway, after he burns the top card, he will lay down the "flop", or the first three "community cards". The community cards are cards located in the middle of the table shared by all of the players, so everyone can use them. Use them with your cards to create the best possible hand (5 cards total). You have to use at least 1 card from the cards in your hand (your body part).
6) After the flop has been, um, flopped, betting will start again.
7) Dealer burns another card, and this time only lays down one card, called the turn or 4th Street.
8) Yay! Another round of betting!
9) Dealer burns another card, lays the down the last and final card. It is called the River by some, 5th Street by others, and $@&# card!!! by lots.
10) Last round of betting, then you flip over your cards and say what your hand consists of. Whoever has the best hand, takes the pot!

Step 6: 5 Card Draw

This is the type of poker I first learned how to play. It's fun, and when I'm really bored I (after I get on Instructables) play it by myself. Not as much fun as with my friends though. Now, some people post blinds and stuff, we'll just ante. It is much simpler. Ok, here we go:

1) Ante up, house states the amount.
2) The dealer (dealing in the same method in the previous 2 games, clockwise) deals 5 cards one by one.
3) Everybody bets, starting in the same manner as before.
4) The players decide which cards they want to get rid of. Most people play that you can't throw away more than 3. The dealer burns a card, and then deals back the cards you have thrown away. Say you threw away 3 and Bob, sitting next to you threw 2 away. The dealer deals 3 cards to you, then deals Bob's. What I'm trying to say is, the cards now aren't dealt one by one.
5) Another round of betting.
6)Cards are flipped up and shown, the player with the best hand wins the pot!

Step 7: 5 Card Stud

5 Card Stud is barely different from 5 Card Draw, but is, in turn, a bit harder. I'll go through the process real quick.

1) Ante up, house states the amount.
2) The dealer (dealing in the same method in the previous 3 games, clockwise) deals 5 cards one by one.
3) You check your cards, so you know how much to bet or if to fold.
4) Everybody bets, starting in the same manner as the cards are dealt.
5) Cards are flipped up and shown, the player with the best hand wins the pot!

That's it! It really is simple. Note: Any time a game has Stud in the name, it means you don't get to draw cards.

Step 8: Last Words...

Poker can be very fun and very challenging. It takes great brain power, great strategy, and a lot of luck. It can be a fun game played monthly amongst your friends with dimes and quarters and the like, or in a casino with the small blind being $1000. All I really have to say is, don't blow all your money on gambling, you most likely will NOT win. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, you or your friend should go to Gamblers Anonymous.

If you have any different methods of playing the previous games or a game you would like to add, just add a comment or PM me, I can set you up as a collaborator or you can just tell me what you would like to write, and I'll add it that way. I do realize that there are a lot of games and house rules for those games, feel free to tell me any. That's what Instructables is all about.