Probably the most classic form of poker known, and one of the oldest, Classic Poker is played with players who are dealt five cards directly into their hand. There are still betting and bidding phases as in Texas Hold’em, but this form of poker is less complicated.
All you need is a set of regular cards, someone to deal the cards (the dealer), and chips (if you are a bettor).
If you are playing with friends, you may decide not to make any bets or to bet sweets or marbles.
The dealer will then shuffle the cards and deal five cards to each player. Each player can then see the cards they have received and keep them in their hand. The game can start!
How the game goes on
Let’s stay with a 5 card poker game with betting.
One player is designated to make the basic bet: the blind. Each player then has to bet an equivalent amount of the blind to be in the game.
Next comes the betting. Depending on their hands, players can decide to bet, and therefore raise the stakes. If a player decides to make a bet, the other players have 3 choices
- call the bet, and therefore bet the same amount as the player announced
- fold, so not to call the bet and be ejected from the round
- call the bet and raise the bet.
Once the betting is resolved, each player has the option, if they choose, to exchange one to four cards from their hand with the remaining cards in the dealer’s pile. The objective is to improve the combinations in their hand.
After the players have exchanged (or not) their cards, a new bidding phase begins. The bidding rules apply in the same manner (call, fold, or raise).
Once the bidding is over, the players reveal their hands. The player with the best hand wins the round and all the bets on the table.
Poker hands are still classic, and are, from the lowest to the highest:
- High card: a card of high value (e.g. King)
- Pair: Two identical cards (e.g. two 6s)
- Two Pairs: Two pairs
- Three of a Kind: Three identical cards (e.g. three Kings)
- Straight: 5 cards in sequence
- Flush: All cards of the same suit (e.g. 5 hearts)
- Full House: Three of a kind + a pair
- Four of a Kind: 4 cards of the same rank
- Straight Flush: 5 cards of the same suit in sequence
- Royal Flush: 5 cards of the same suit in sequence with the highest card being the Ace.
- The round ends, and all players can start a new round.
End of the game
The game ends when all players except one are “cleaned out”, i.e. they have no more bets to make.