From men in suits to locals honing their skills, Poker has always had a debonair feel to it. In fact, some of the best casino movie scenes take place at the Poker table. However, as much as the game might interest you, making that first step can be intimidating, especially with all of that terminology to master. Don’t be concerned, though; Poker has its complexities, but once you’re armed with a few key words, you will be ready to hit the floor.
The first step to mastering Poker is learning the hand rankings. From high to low, they are:
• Royal Flush: An ace high hand of the same suit in sequence (i.e. 10-jack-queen-king-ace, spades).
• Straight Flush: Five cards in sequence of the same suit.
• Four of a Kind: Any four cards of the same rank.
• Full House: When you have three of a kind and a pair of the same rank (i.e. three kings and two queens).
• Flush: Five non-consecutive cards of the same suit.
• Straight: Five cards in order of rank.
• Three of a Kind: Any three cards of the same rank. Also known as a “trip.”
• Two Pair: A pair of two cards of the same rank, coupled with another pair of the same rank (i.e. two queens and two aces).
• Pair: One pair of cards of the same rank.
• High Card: Any hand that does not fit into the above categories.
Once the game gets started, here are a few terms you may hear at the table:
• All-In: To place all of the chips you have on the table into the pot.
• Ante: A fixed amount that must be contributed before each hand.
• Bet: To place money into the pot.
• Blind: Bet that must be made before the cards are dealt.
• Button: A token that represents the dealer position (the last to act in most games after the first round).
• Call: To place an amount of money equal to a previous opponent's bet.
• Check: To decline to bet or to pass when it is your turn to act.
• Community Cards: Cards placed in the middle of the table and shared by all players.
• Flop: The first three community cards in Texas Hold'em and Omaha.
• Hand: The cards in a player's hand or one game of poker in which a pot is won.
• Muck: To discard a hand.
• Position: Your place in the order of betting action. If you act first, you are in first position.
• Raise: To place a higher bet than an opponent has already placed.
• Tell: An action that a player makes that gives away the strength of their hand.
With these terms in your back pocket, you are ready to give the Poker tables a spin! If you would like a few more details about the rules of the game, or the lowdown of Spirit Mountain’s scene, check out our Poker FAQ or “Like” the Spirit Mountain Poker Room on Facebook.
Whether alone or with friends at your side, you can’t go wrong with the game of Poker, and there’s no better place to get started than at Spirit Mountain Casino. The people are friendly, the atmosphere never disappoints, and you might even feel for a moment like a sly character in your favorite film.