The game of poker has many facets, from betting to bluffing and pot equity. There are even different types of poker games, with each having its own set of rules. However, no matter which game you play, there is one fundamental aspect that all players must understand – the official poker hand rankings.
Whether you are new to the game or an old pro, learning the official poker hand rankings is crucial in order to make sense of the rules and strategies that will lead to success. Understanding poker hand rankings will allow you to play your cards correctly, and will help you in determining what is the best possible hand in any situation.
While there are many variations of poker, most share the basic structure of a betting round. One or more players must make forced bets, called the ante and the blind, and the dealer then shuffles and deals cards to each player in turn, starting with the person to their left (the button). Usually, each player is dealt two cards face down, which are known as their hole cards. Once everyone has their hole cards, the first of several betting rounds begins.
When a player folds their hand, they should not reveal anything about it to the table. This is because revealing information can unintentionally give other players an indication of the strength of a hand, and could also cause them to miscall their hand or even muck it up when they have it. If this is done intentionally, it can be a violation of poker rules and could result in the player being kicked out of the tournament.
In addition to these unwritten poker rules, there are some specific terms that should be understood when playing the game. These include:
ACTION: Any move made by a player during a hand, such as folding, checking, calling or raising. This includes verbal actions such as saying “check” or “raise.” ANGLE SHOOTING: An unethical move by a player to take advantage of another player or the situation at the poker table. This can come in many forms and is considered bad form at all levels of poker.
INSURANCE: An agreement by a player in the pot to put up money that guarantees a payoff of a set amount in case the opponent wins the pot. This is used to protect against large losses or to prevent a re-raise on an all-in bet.