Poker Rules

Poker Rules Contents
Chapter 1: Poker Cards
Chapter 2: Poker Hand Rankings
Chapter 3: Poker Hand Odds

Poker Rules Introduction

Before stepping into the world of Texas Hold’em you need to learn the standard poker rules. This involves the number and type of cards present in a standard poker deck, the hands rankings and the basic hand odds. This is the very first part of the poker school and it is nothing more than a quick discourse on the shallow topic of poker rules. Although simple, the poker rules can create very complex games as you will discover later on in the school when we step up the pace.

Poker Trivia
Poker Rules History

Poker as we know it today – with a five card hand dealt face down and a betting round allowing for betting, raising, re-raising, folding, and calling for as much money as the player currently carries – came about in the US during the early or mid-1700’s. By 1800 it had spread throughout the Mississippi region. The entire Mississippi region was French territory until 1803 and it is widely acknowledged that poker stems directly from the game of Poque which was brought to the US by the French. Poque, in turn, belongs to the same family of games as the German Pochspiel and they are both believed to have evolved from the renaissance game Primero.

Playing Poker at Egan’s Saloon in Burns, Oregon, 1882.

Whether poker shares any ancestry with the french game of Brelan and its english deriviate Brag or not is unclear. There is also the Persian game of As Nas which is believed by some to be the ancestor of poker. However, given the late appearance of As Nas in historical records, this is likely not the case. Poker and As Nas may stem from the same ancestor though.

Playing cards are deemed to first have been invented in China seeing as that is where paper was invented. According to the American historian Stuart Culin, playing cards showed up in China before 1200 AD. It seems that these early playing cards were developed from paper money. The first paper currency was issued by the Sung dynasty in 1023 AD and thus the cards must have materialized somewhere between 1023 and 1200 AD. There were two primary types of Chinese playing cards: Kwan P’ai and Lut Chi. In Kwan P’ai there were 3 types of suits: coins, strings of coins, and myriads of strings of coins. With 9 cards of each suit plus an honor card, the total number of cards were 30. In Lut Chi there was a 4th suit continuing the Kwan P’ai series: tens of myriads of coins.

It is believed that Lut Chi formed the basis for European playing cards but there is no direct evidence linking them together. The oldest known evidence of playing cards on the European continent dates back to 1371 AD. The most tenable theory is that the Mamelukes of Egypt introduced their cards to Europe around that time. The Mameluke cards had 4 types of suits: polo sticks, coins, swords, and cups. The deck itself had 52 cards, 13 of each suit, which is precisely the same setup as that of modern playing cards dealt in games like
Poker and Blackjack.

All the origins aside, the game of poker has left deep imprints on english and american culture with a plethora of idioms, phrases and cliches and it is now spreading throughout the world giving birth to local phrases wherever it goes. This world wide process which we are caught up in of will likely give birth to many new poker games. The question is if the standard poker rules will stay the way they are or if they eventually will yield to the winds of change. But should they change, would it still be poker?