The Basics of Poker


In the poker game, bad luck is the opposite of good luck. An overcard is a card that is higher than any other card on the board. In the example below, an overcard would be 10-9. The flop is 6-4-2, which means that there is no flush possible. In this situation, the player is said to be “overplaying,” i.e. discarding the top card face down. Likewise, a calling station is a player who calls often.

The house rules permit a player to double his stake as long as the number of raises is small. But after three to four raises, the stake becomes too large, and the player will be forced out of the game because of lack of funds. However, a player who wants to raise his stakes can do so only until he reaches the amount of the pot. This is called the “pot limit” in poker. It limits the amount of money that players can bet, while a player who raises his or her bet can win a lot.

After 1875, the full 52-card deck was introduced. The game of poker evolved into several different forms. Three-Card Monte and Spit-in-the-Ocean are a couple of popular games for fewer than five cards. All variations of the game are described later in this chapter. For more than ten players, two separate games may be organized. However, it is generally not recommended to play the same hand twice in one sitting.