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Now that your account is set up, you are able to start playing. Well, except for one small detail: the ranks of hands and the various actions a poker player is able to take while playing. If you know these things, then, by all means, skip this chapter. If not, read on! By the end of this chapter, you will know
- The ranking of poker hands.
- The purpose of antes and forced bets.
- The various actions available to you during the hand.
- The concept of “table stakes” and its application to poker.
Poker Hands’ Rankings
The good news is that you’ll be able to learn in the play money games until you have this and the other basics mastered to an appropriate comfort level. Please don’t play for real money until you know this and, preferably, more about the relative strength of your hand at the various stages of the hand. It’s not only about the strength of your starting poker cards; each new betting round brings a new opportunity to evaluate where you are relative to the remaining players and to decide which action is best (discussed later in this chapter). We’ll get to the Kenny Rogers “know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em” analysis later! As for what beats what, here it is in the next pages from high to low.
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