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The Game of Poker

Poker aficionados have started a campaign to have poker recognised as an Olympic sport. If curling and badminton can be considered, they argue, then why not poker. If you thought that the chance of Olympic glory had passed you by it’s time to get in training. To kick off your quest, we've provided the rules to a couple of poker games.

Host a night of Poker

Poker isn’t a game of strategy it’s a game of bluff so the important things are to create the right atmosphere and prevent anyone having an unfair advantage. Here are some tips to make everyone a little keyed up before play starts.

Some people like to keep all food and drink away from the table. This is partly to prevent the cards getting sticky or being marked with a greasy thumbprint. However some people can’t play without a tumbler of whisky in front of them.

  • Cover up any mirrors in the room. Some clever people can work out the cards from the reflection and it adds to the atmosphere.
  • Change your money into chips first and keep the money separately. It will help make the chips feel like real money if you’ve already spent it.
  • Agree the minimum and maximum bets as you change up the money. That way you won’t argue when you sit down and being seated will feel more like the beginning of something serious.
  • No-one may leave the table during a round, no matter how early they fold.

You might also like to stick to some of these old British card playing traditions that work for any game.

  • Cut the cards to decide the order of seating. This is a superstition that prevents players from fighting over lucky seats. If you play poker regularly with the same group of people it will also prevent players from choosing to sit next to or opposite players they know well.
  • Cut the cards to determine who deals first.
  • Shuffle and cut. The pack should always be shuffled and cut between deals. Any player may ask to shuffle and cut at this time, but the dealer reserves the right to shuffle last.
  • Never touch the cards before the deal is complete and the dealer allows you to pick up.
  • The right to call for cards. This is an old tradition that prevents the cards being marked or doctored before or during play. Between rounds any player may call for more cards to be brought to the table and a fresh pack must be opened in front of everybody. By tradition the player who calls for fresh cards must pay for them but it helps to have a couple of unopened packs in the house.
  • Play deliberately; avoid touching the cards in your hand and then changing your mind and disgarding or touching another. The first touch could be seen as a signal to someone else at the table. This kind of good practice helps if you ever go to a casino, they are jumpy about that kind of thing.
  • Do not talk unnecessarily once the game is play.

    Chips and betting

    When playing poker you will want to see what each player has bet throughout the game, so don’t throw your chips randomly into the middle. Keep chips you have not bet immediately in front of you. Make a pile of chips you have bet further away from you, on the other side of your cards. Throw them in to the centre when someone wins the game.

    Chips are worth different amounts of money. Typically three are colours are used to signify 1,2,5 or for higher stakes 1,5,10 or 1,5,20. You can use more colours for varying stakes.

    Make sure everyone knows, and remembers, how much each colour is worth. If you think people might argue, write it down.







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Last updated: Feb/2016 phone: 07930 997155 email: