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Kharisma
01-19-2007, 01:44 AM
Hi! I have a scene where there is a poker game. Can anyone helpme out just a bit on the following questions?

1) what is the best number of players: 4, 5 or 6?
2) if this was a typical 'Thursday night basement game at Doug's" what would the stacks be for the typical guy and his friends. $50 a night? etc.
3) Is there any good websits I can maybe get some lingo? Or do you know any terms/lingo to use?

thanks. It's the opening scene of the novel so I want it to read well but not read too techincal.

Thanks

alaskamatt17
01-19-2007, 02:19 AM
1) I like playing with 6. It's not as easy to bluff, but boy is it fun when it works.

2) I don't play for money, but I have a lot of friends who do. A typical weekly game here in Fairbanks, Alaska has a $20 buy-in. To make it more exciting, going up to $40-50 USD seems good.

3) They should play Texas Hold 'Em. The rules tend to get distorted in most casual groups, but I think a general guideline is that you start with the person to the dealer's left contributing a "small blind" of 50 cents to a dollar, and the next person to the left contributes a "big blind" to the pot. Then the dealer deals out 2 cards, face down, to each player, after which betting commences with the player to the left of the one who contributed the big blind. This player can choose to "check," meaning they postpone betting to see how everyone else bets, or they can raise (make a bet), or--if their hand is terrible, like a 2 and a seven in different suits--they can fold, although people shouldn't usually fold before the first few cards are flipped up by the dealer.

Betting progresses clockwise around the table, and after the first player bets no one else is allowed to check. Any player who checked prior to the first bet gets the option to meet the high bet and stay in. If a player does not want to meet the high bet, they fold.

After the round is done, the dealer "burns" one card (puts it face-down beside the deck), then flips up three cards in the middle of the table that count as part of everyone's hand (this is the "flop"). Players bet again, following the same rules as before. When this round of betting ends, the dealer burns another card and then flips up one more (the "turn"). After another round of betting, the dealer burns again and flips up the final card, called the "river." There's one last round of betting, then all remaining players either show their hand or fold, going clockwise starting at the dealer's left. The pot goes to the player with the highest valued five-card hand, with those five cards being selected from what's on the table and what's in hand (in the pocket).

Somebody should win off of "pocket aces."

Another thing to know is that's a bad idea to try to "fill the inside straight." This is where you would have a straight if you got one card to put in the middle of four cards you already have.

Sometimes people might try to buy the pot if they're bluffing, throwing in enough money that nobody else considers it worth meeting their bet.

poetinahat
01-19-2007, 02:34 AM
I agree -- six is best. With four, it's not nearly as exciting.

These are my own observations:

Texas Hold 'Em is very popular now, but at least where I come from (not Texas), that's a very recent development. If your story is set more than a few years ago, I'd have them playing five-card draw, especially if the stakes are smallish (the money you bring to the table is your stake). Stud poker and Texas Hold 'Em involve several rounds of betting per hand, while draw poker only has two. Hence, the betting and the antes don't wipe out the small players as quickly.

Wild cards are at the poker table what umbrella drinks are at the bar: fun once in a while, but regular players only have them for a laugh now and then; serious players won't have 'em at all.

My semi-regular, friendly game always involves an agreed stake, and a gentlemen's agreement (which is non-gender-specific; it applies to the ladies at the table as well): You don't raise another player out of the game. Example: You and I are still betting; everyone else has dropped out. It's your bet. You have $5 left, and I have $10. You bet all of your $5. In a professional game, I could raise you and force you out (or to find other means). In a friendly game, I won't do that; I'll either see your $5 and call you, or fold.

Of course, that would be if we actually played for money... Your Honor.

More than you wanted to hear, I'm sure, but it's a fun topic. Good luck with your scene!

For more info on Texas Hold 'Em, I think the World Poker Tour site has a lot of info; for other games like draw and stud poker, try googling 'poker rules' or 'Hoyle'.

Rabe
01-20-2007, 12:47 AM
My semi-regular, friendly game always involves an agreed stake, and a gentlemen's agreement (which is non-gender-specific; it applies to the ladies at the table as well): You don't raise another player out of the game. Example: You and I are still betting; everyone else has dropped out. It's your bet. You have $5 left, and I have $10. You bet all of your $5. In a professional game, I could raise you and force you out (or to find other means). In a friendly game, I won't do that; I'll either see your $5 and call you, or fold.

It's actually an old convention that's been around in legal gambling called 'all in'. Which has become popular now that 'poker' has become popular 'entertainment' (don't understand it myself, playing is fun, watching it is less fun than watching paint dry - and I've been on both sides with both, living in Nevada). The idea of 'all in' protects the players from just such a scenario as you've described - a player with a good hand being forced out by some shmuck with much more money.

In a multiple setting, if one player only has $5 left and everyone else is sitting prettier, the pot then becomes split at that point. The 'all in' pot includes the first $5 and any matching and then a second pot is created for those who go beyond the 'all in' pot. If the first 'all in' player has the best hand out of the table, he wins the big pot, but the second pot is reserved for those who were in it and goes to the best hand of that pot. So someone could lose the main pot but win the smaller pot or win the whole shebang....or lose it all. But at least they've had their fair chance.

The 'I raise and either you match or fold' is popularized because of bad entertainment. But casinos and legalized gambling joints? They *want* to lure people back because that's how they make their money. They allow such shark games to go on and they don't lure back any but that type of clientele and that doesn't work for them at all.

Rabe...