Introduction: Cards: Five Card Poker
This game is part luck and part skill, and requires intelligence to not throw away all of your earnings. This is the easiest form of Poker, and from this you can learn other forms as well. I must warn you at the utmost degree that this is a dangerous game to play with strangers (i.e. Vegas). I suggest playing this with your friends with candy for bets before moving on to things of more importance. At this, I now give you: Five Card Poker.
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Step 1: Sets
This is probably the only strenuous issue in the game (Well, minus the fact that you are betting your life away). You must memorize the value of these hands in order to play smartly. The best hand you can get is the Royal Flush -- Ace, King, Queen, Jack, Ten, all in the same suit. There are odds of 650,000/1 to be dealt against this hand, so you're pretty well off if you ever get this.
Next is the straight flush -- 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, all in the same suit. The odds against this is 72,000/1
Four of a kind -- Odds are 4,000/1
The Full House -- Three of a kind and a pair. Odds 700/1
Flush -- All cards of the same suit, but of mixed ranks. Odds 500/1
Straight -- Five cards in a sequence, but with different suits. Odds 250/1
Three of a kind -- Speaks for itself. Odds 50/1
Two pairs -- In the realm of possibility of 20/1
One pair -- Odds 2.5/1
High card or no pair -- Odds 2/1
Step 2: Begin the Game
After the deck master -- I'm sorry -- Dealer (Deck master sounds so much cooler) Shuffles the cards, it is common practice to hand over the deck to the person to the right of him/her, thus making the person to the right the new dealer. However, you don't have to do this, and I highly doubt that will happen in a professional game for fear of cheating.
Anyway, deal out the cards one by one in rapid succession to each of the players -- in this case, a clay Arakune, a bonsai bearing a fedora, and a finger-puppet hummingbird. Look at your cards and judge the value of your hand. If it is not good, you may trade up to three cards in hopes of a better hand to the dealer. At that, the dealer must hand out the given number of cards to the player.
Step 3: The Betting Is On
When everyone is ready, betting begins. Put in some money on what you think your hand is worth and what you think the others will pass in for (In terms of money). Depending on who goes first, the next person around must see that bet (Usually given with the infamous word "Call"). If the next player is devoid of cash, he still may enter the round with an item worth the same amount or more of the bet. If you have no more earnings or cannot see the bet, you must fold. If you do not think your hand can best the others, you should fold.
Step 4: Win the Pot
Those remaining must show their cards. I choose to show only the cards that are worth something rather than the entire thing, but that's just personal superstition. I topped the others with a flush, with the Bonsai below me with two pairs, and Arakune below the bonsai with only one pair.
Had we all had the same hand -- say we each had a pair -- we would judge the winner by the rank of the cards. If those are the same, we would have to judge the winner by the suit of the cards. If somebody will kindly tell me what the suit ladder goes up to, I shall put it up here.
Once the winner is declared, he or she will take all the money/candy/stuff from the middle of the table (Well, floor in this case).
Step 5: A Few Quick Tips
Never show anything on your face, for that may give yourself away. Unless, of course, you plan on bluffing -- but many experienced players are too good for that. A blank, calm face is given the title "Poker Face".
Take care with your betting. If you bet too much at the same time, you will most certainly lose the betting goods from the other players. Put in modest amounts every time its your turn if your hand is good enough. Once the others realize how much they have already put in the center, they will not be willing to part with it. If they are willing, however, you pretty much earned all of their stuff for free -- which is a pretty good ethic. The only issue is that if they DO have a better hand than yours, well. . . That sucks.
And whatever you do, NEVER play a computerized poker game. You must realize that it is a computer you are dealing with, and it has basic instructions to let you win a few times and then make you lose as much as possible.
That is all. Goodnight -- and big balls.