The Horror of Poker


You’ve probably seen horror movies and wondered if poker has the same ‘horror’ element. The hero is outnumbered, running out of options, and the final card is mathematically unlikely. Eventually, the hero is yanked from the light, dragged screaming to the ground, or chomped to death by zombies. Poker is a lot like those movies, but there’s a difference. Sucking out is when you’re not as lucky or as good as your opponents.

When players are dealt their hands, they first put in a nickel into the pot. The dealer then deals 5 cards to each player. A pair of kings, for example, isn’t considered a bad hand, and a pair of aces isn’t a bad hand. The betting interval then begins. The player in the first-to-act position sits immediately to the left of the big blind. The player who raised last is considered the “button.”

Generally, the dealer button rotates amongst the players. The dealer button, also known as the buck, is a white plastic disk that indicates the nominal dealer. Each player bets according to the order the dealer deals the cards. If a player has two identical pairs, the winning hands are decided by the ranking of the next card. However, there are variations to this rule. A player may make a cut of the dealer’s hand if it is not in his or her suit.

A player with an overcard has the best hand at the moment. For example, a player with pocket cards of 5 and 6 is a “rock” if he or she has an overcard of 10. If the flop contains 3 different suits, a person with a 7-high hand is considered to have an open-ended straight. An overplay, on the other hand, is the opposite of a rock. This is an important strategy in a single-player tournament.