To learn how to play poker it's necessary to learn the simplest and most widely played variation of the game: five-card draw. This is a beginner's guide to the game.
At this point each player should already have placed a bet in the pot. This is called the ante.
Each player is dealt five cards by the dealer, one at a time starting with the player to the dealer's left. These are called 'hole' cards and should be kept hidden from all the other players.
The players now check their hand to see what cards they have been dealt.
Starting with the player to the left, each player places a bet. The first player chooses between folding their cards or making an opening bet. The players who follow may fold, call, or raise the bet.
After the first round of betting, the players who remain in the game may exchange a certain number of cards for that same number from the dealer's deck. The standard number of exchange cards is one to three but this varies depending on the house rules of the casino, and may be as high as five.
When each player has decided on whether or not to exchange the cards in their hand, the betting continues.
The remaining players reveal their hands and the person with the best hand according to standard rankings is the winner.
The five-card draw hands that rank from lowest to highest are as follows: one pair, two pairs, three of a kind, straight, flush, full house, four of a kind, straight flush and royal flush.