Players: 2-10

Goal: Outbid your opponents or hold the best hand to win


  • Prepare the game by dealing out poker chips or a substitute. Let the group decide how many and much value they hold. Also, let the group familiarize themselves with the ranking of hands here.

  • There are two versions of basic poker. That is 'Stud Poker' and 'Draw Poker'. The rules for these games are quite similar.

  • In Stud Poker, all players are dealt five cards (or seven for some games). The players then assess the relative strength of their hands then making wager using their chips. The player who bids the most chips wins unless someone else is willing to match the player's bet. In that scenario, the two (or more) players remaining will show their cards. The best hand wins all the chips.

  • In Draw Poker, all players are dealt five cards, followed by a round of betting. The remaining players then may attempt to improve their hands by trading as many as three cards for three new cards from the deck. Players with an Ace may trade the other four of their cards.

  • As for the betting rounds, starting with the player to the left of the dealer, each player has four options:

  1. Raise — Players who think they have a good hand (or at least want the other players to think so) may increase the wager required to continue playing.

  2. Fold — Players who do not want to take the risk of playing with the cards they have can lay down their cards. It is then not possible to win the hand but will not lose any more chips that round.

  3. Call — Once a player has raised the stakes, all participating players must decide whether to raise the stakes again to match the highest bet or to fold.

  4. Check — A player may check if no one has increased the wager required to continue. The player then continues further in the game, but the bids aren't raised.

  • While there are many varieties of poker games, the same basic rules apply to almost all of them. Typically, five or seven cards are dealt to each player. Players attempt to form the best five-card poker hand possible, see here. For every poker game, the same hierarchy of hands exists, and the better hands are rarer and more difficult to achieve than the less valuable hands.

  • The last player to have any chips left is the winner of the poker game.

  • Whenever a player wins a game, either by having the best hand at the end of a round or outbidding your opponents, the winner may ask one question from one of the cards of the winning hand. The dealer has to answer the question. If the dealer won, or the dealer is not participating in the game, the big blind has to answer the question.