So What’s the Procedure in a Game of Poker?
One of the most fascinating and versatile aspects of poker is the sheer number of ways that the game can be played. No matter what your preference – fast placed, slow paced, high stakes, lots of cards, or just a few – there’s a game for you.
While the different poker games have different specific procedures (for example, draw poker is vastly different in how the game is played than stud poker, and both differ from community card poker, like Texas Hold Em’), there are a few universal ones that we can discuss. The following is a general outline of basic poker procedures that are, more or less, universal for all poker games.
Ante or Blind Bid – All poker games start with money in the central pot. It’s either an ante (paid for by all the players, or a rotating player pays for everyone) or a Blind Bid (which is essentially the same thing – rotating players pay a fixed amount.)
The Deal – A number of cards are dealt. The amount and how they are dealt (face up or face down) depends on the game.
Betting – After the initial deal, there is usually a round of betting. It begins at the dealer’s left, and goes around the table clockwise. In the case of a fixed (non-rotating) dealer, a marker is used to keep track of which player is the “dealer” for purposes of keeping track of who bets first in any given round.
More rounds / cards – This is where the different games really begin to vary. In some games, more cards are dealt one at a time, with a round of betting for each. In games like five card draw, there is only one more round after the initial deal, which several cards being replaced. In Texas Hold em’, there’s a three card turnover (called the flop) then two more (called the turn and the river, respectively), followed by betting on each.
The showdown – While the different games branch off wildly, they all return to a final showdown. One last round of betting / raising / folding commences between the players who have not previously folded, and the best hand (or last person standing) wins the pot.
We left out the unofficial ones, such as “salty language after a bad card” or “throw your cards down in disgust”, because they go against good poker etiquette (although they are common in many games.)