Game of cards in which some or all cards are hidden from players who wager against each other, the winner being determined by the rank and value of the cards held, or psychologically by convincing opponents that one holds the strongest or highest combination of cards.
The origins of the game are cloudy, having evolved from or combined with earlier games into its modern variants. It is thought to have appeared in a recognizable 20-card form in New Orleans in the the early 19th century, and well-established by 1829. From there, riverboats spread the game up the Mississippi River and from there, eventually across the country. As the game spread, the full 52-card deck was incorporated, introducing the flush. By 1850, the draw came into being and during the Civil War, stud poker and the straight evolved. In the mid-1870s, the concept of wild cards emerged.
The general game of poker, the dealer is determined in the first hand by drawing the highest card. From there, the deal is passes to the right with each subsequent hand. The dealer calls any variants of the game and the play begins with an ante. The dealer shuffles to cards to ensure their random order and deals the cards one at a time in a clockwise manner. The game proceeds in rounds as players wishing to remain in the hand wager in accordance to their confidence in their hand or in their perception of opponents' hands. The winner is ultimately determined by the strongest or highest five-card hand.
The rules, ranks, values and variants of poker described here reflect the game as it was played in the time of Maverick, and does not represent the evolution of the game into the twentieth century.
THE RANKS AND VALUES OF HANDS, from lowest to highest, are:
High card: From deuce (lowest), in sequence through the numbered cards to the face cards (jack, queen, king) to the highest value of ace. The highest rank determines the win against the high card of any other player.
Pair: Two cards of a matching rank. The highest rank determines the win of against a pair or high card of any other player.
Two pair: Two cards of a matching rank, plus two cards of another matching rank. The highest rank of either pair in a hand determines the win against two pair or lower hand held by other players.
Three of a kind: Three cards of a matching rank. The higher the rank, the stronger the hand is against three of a kind held by another player.
Straight: Five cards in an unbroken sequential run. An ace may be used as the lowest card in sequence followed by a deuce, or the highest card in sequence preceded by a king. The highest rank of card determines the win against straights or lower hands held by other players. In case of a tie, the pot is split.
Flush: Five cards of the same suit. The highest rank of card determines the win against flushes or lower hands held by other players. In case of a tie, the pot is split.
Full house: Three cards of matching rank plus two cards of another matching rank. The highest rank of the three of a kind determines the win against the next highest of rank of three of a kind in the full house or lower hands held by other players.
Four of a kind: Four cards of a matching rank. The highest rank determines the win against a four of a kind or lower hand held by other players.
Straight flush: Five cards in an unbroken sequential run of the same suit. An ace may be used as the lowest card in sequence followed by a deuce, or the highest card in sequence preceded by a king. The highest rank of card determines the win against straight flushes or lower hands held by other players. In case of a tie, the pot is split.
Royal flush: The highest possible hand in poker. The ten, jack, queen, king and ace of the same suit.
Variants of poker generally follow the same pattern of play, ranks of cards and values of hands, but differ in the protocols of dealing and betting:
Straight poker: Five cards are dealt to each player, face down, in a single round of betting.
Draw poker: Five cards are dealt to each player, face down. After betting, players are allowed to try to improve their hand by discarding up to three cards (sometimes four) and being dealt replacements.
Stud poker: Once card is dealt — face down — to each player, followed by one card dealt — face up — to each player. After betting, another card is dealt, face up, to each player. After another round of betting, another card is dealt, face up, to each player. Another round of betting ensues and a final card is dealt, face down, to each player, to complete the hand. A showdown round is played, if necessary, following the ranks and values of general poker to determine the winner.
01. Poker According to Maverick (1959), Dell Publishing Company
02. Maverick, Two Beggars on Horseback (1959), Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
03. PokerNews, Poker Terms — Poker Dictionary
POKER TERMS in Maverick:
ace: Highest or lowest valued card in the deck depending on the rules of the poker game being played.
ante: Money placed in the pot before the hand is begun.
bet: Place money, or its equivalent, into the pot.
bluff: To make other players believe that one has a better hand than they might otherwise have by betting or raising when they do not have the best hand.
board: Playing surface.
bottom-dealing: Illegally dealing from the bottom of the deck to cheat.
buck: Challenge or overcome another player's hand.
buy in: Minimum amount of money required by a player to sit down in a particular poker game.
call: Match a bet.
cash in: Exchange chips for money and quit the game (same as cash out).
cash out: Exchange chips for money and quit the game (same as cash in).
check: Not to bet in a round of poker, with an option to raise or call in the betting round.
clubs: One of the four playing card suits, represented by a black three-leafed clover shape.
cut: Divide the deck into two sections in such a manner as to change the order of the cards.
deal: Give each player cards, or put cards on the board.
deal out: Leave a game of poker.
dealer: Player that deals the cards to other players in a hand.
deck: Set of 52 playing cards.
deuce: Card ranking of two of any suit.
deuces: Pair of twos.
diamonds: One of the four playing card suits, represented by a red rhombus.
discard: Remove cards from a hand to accommodate replacements.
draw: Receiving a new card to replace a discard.
face card: King, queen or jack.
fill: Draw a card that makes a five-card hand.
full: Ranking card of the three of a kind in a full house.
fold: Drop out of a hand rather than continue betting.
foul: A hand that has been compromised in some fashion and may not be played.
four flush: An incomplete flush of only four cards of the same suit.
hand: Player's five best cards.
hearts: One of the four playing card suits, represented by a red heart-shaped mark.
high card: The highest ranked card in a deal, hand or round.
hold. Keep a card or cards in one's hand between draws.
holdout: Card illegally taken from the deck and hidden, to be used later.
hole card: Card turned down in front of a player.
house: Establishment hosting a game.
house rules: Special or common rules determined by the house and agreed upon by all players.
in: Remain in the pot.
inside straight: Four cards requiring another between the top and the bottom card to complete a straight.
jack: Lowest ranked face card.
jacks or better: A pair of jacks or any higher combination of cards required to open.
joker: Card in a deck beyond the standard 52, considered wild.
kibitz: Commenting spectator.
kicker: Highest unpaired side card in a player's hand.
king: Highest ranked face card.
ladies: Slang for queens.
limit: Maximum bet allowed.
low card: The lowest ranked card in a deal, hand or round.
marked: Card or deck illegally altered to be read from the back.
misdeal: Error in the dealing causing the cards to be reshuffled and a new hand dealt.
odds: Probability of making a hand versus the probability of not making a hand.
open: The first bet.
open game: Game in which anyone may play.
opener: Player to make the first voluntary bet.
openers: Cards qualifying a hand to be opened.
pat: Dealt hand that probably cannot be improved by drawing new cards, such as a straight, flush or full house.
pot: Money or chips in the center of a table that players try to win.
queen: Second-ranked of the three face cards.
raise: Increase the previous bet.
rank: Value of each card and hand.
round: Stage in a hand of poker when betting takes place.
run one: To bluff.
second-dealing: Illegally dealing the second rather than top card to cheat.
see: Match a bet.
show: Expose one's cards.
shuffle: Mixing the cards to ensure their random order before a deal.
spades: One of the four playing card suits, represented by a black inverted heart shape with stem.
stacked: Illegally pre-arranged cards giving the dealer or another player an advantage.
stake: Amount of a player's buy-in.
stay: Remain in a game by calling rather than raising.
streak: Run of several winning or losing hands.
suit: Family of ranked cards in a deck; clubs, diamonds, hearts or spades.
table rules: Rules agreed upon by all players at the beginning of a game.
table stakes: Allowing only the money or chips visible on the table.
tap: To wager all of one's money in a single bet.
tapped out: To be out of betting money.
tell: Action or mannerism that gives clues about the cards someone is holding.
trey: Card ranking of three of any suit
up: The higher value of two pair
whipsaw: Bet and raise aggressively on both sides of a calling player.
wild card: Card that may be played as any rank or value.
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