The game of Poker has many variations, such as Three-Card Monte, Spit-in-the-Ocean, and Five-Card Draw. All of these are described later in this chapter. For groups of more than ten players, two separate games can be organized. In addition to the many variations of Poker, there are also several specialized variations. This chapter will provide an overview of these variations. However, before tackling the most important ones, you should first familiarize yourself with the rules of the game. Pre-flop betting phase The pre-flop betting phase in poker is a crucial part of the game. During this phase, players receive two cards each – their starting hand, also known as the hole cards. After they receive the cards, players must decide whether they will raise their bets or fold. They may choose to continue betting the same amount as the big blind, raise their bets, or sit out the game. The pre-flop betting phase begins with the player to the left of the big blind. Ante If you’ve never heard of ante to poker, then you might be wondering what it is. In poker, a player is forced to make an ante, which is half of the minimum bet. This is a strategic move that increases the pot value and encourages mandatory bet-stealing. It also reduces pressure on opponents and is used by many professional players. To learn how to use ante to poker, you need to first understand what it is and when it might occur. Big blind Until recently, the concept of a “big blind” in poker was considered, but later became the standard. Though it might put players at a disadvantage, the new strategy has no significant effect on the game’s long-term strategy. While the blinds’ value is the same, the conditions for the pot differ from post-flop to pre-flop. The big blind is able to call, raise, and fold, as well as check. Five-card draw The basic strategy in Five-card draw poker is to make the best five-card hand possible with seven cards. This means that the highest hand is a straight, a flush, or three of a kind. If you have more than one of these kinds of hands, the higher card will win. You can start out by learning how to play 5 card draw poker. But, if you don’t have much experience in poker, you can start by playing this simple poker variation. Limits in poker In poker, betting limits refer to the minimum and maximum amounts a player can bet or raise. Obviously, the amount a player can bet and the timing at which they can raise their bets can vary widely, but generally, a player cannot bet more than he or she can afford to lose. Moreover, betting limits can be tricky to master, especially for newcomers, who may feel like a fish in a barrel. Raise If you are in a game where only two players are betting per round, then you have the right to raise, as long as it is not the last one to do so. In no-limit and pot-limit games, raising is unlimited. It all depends on how the situation develops. The following scenario demonstrates how you can use the raise to your advantage. Let’s say you are up to a hundred dollars. You need to raise the amount by ten dollars in order to make a call. Highest possible hand in poker Ace: The ace is the highest possible hand in poker, and is the best starting hand in most situations. It is a suited straight, and can usually beat any other hand, with the exception of two pairs. Pairs are weak compared to a pair of aces. The fours are also a high starting hand, and can beat a full house, but only when it is the lowest hand in the game.