Imagine poker and you may conjure up images of smoky saloons or huge tournaments where players can earn millions and coveted titles like the winner of the World Poker series. Thousands of poker tournaments are played each year, often with hundreds of players to begin with. Some are played by amateurs, others by professionals and some a mixture of both.
In the past they would have used actual money when playing, but now poker chips are used. These have different monetary values. Players have a ‘buy-in’ where they will put down money for a certain amount of chips. When they have run out of chips, they are out of the game. The winner is the one at the end with all of the chips.
There are several variants of poker with probably the most well-known being Texas Hold ’em. There are many rules and gameplays possible. Games are made up of rounds or ‘hands’. Players compete for the ‘pot’ which is the amount of money on the table at the end of each hand. Each are dealt two cards which no one else sees. Depending on their cards they will either put money in or fold, which means dropping out of that hand. Three cards are dealt face up which are community cards for everyone, known as the flop. Betting happens again. A fourth card, the turn, is dealt, followed by betting. A final card known as the river is dealt with a final round of betting. The highest hand will then win the pot.