Thursday, February 6, 2020

Tao's Dealing School

Or how I learned to shove pots and shut up


by James "Tao" Murphy

At the upcoming Feast of Creathorne I will be holding a Poker Dealers class for anyone who wants to learn how to deal poker tournaments. The event starts at 11 AM but most things won’t get going for a while. I am thinking of holding this at 11:30 AM.  This will probably be useful to anyone who wants to get better at dealing poker tournaments as well. I will be covering good procedures, how to get more hands out, and most importantly how to get paid for doing it.

It’s not important to be a gambler, but it is important to at least know what hands beat what. So here is the list of hands strongest to weakest.

Royal straight flush: That is the the A, K, Q, J, and 10 of one suit. Zatarra at Feast of Leviathan actually won a pot with this hand! They happen approximately once in 649,739 hands. Nice job!

Straight Flush: that is any five sequential cards of the same suit. Their strength is judged by the highest card. 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 of the same suite would be a “eight high Straight flush” which would beat 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 of the same suit.

Four of a kind: four cards that are of the same rank 5, 5, 5, 5, x, the fifth card does not matter. The last stacked deck tournament had several of these which is pretty awesome.

Full House: also sometimes called a fullboat; three of a kind and a separate pair, so 6, 6, 6, 8, 8. They are judged by the three of a kind side so 8, 8, 8, 4, 4 would beat 7, 7, 7, 9, 9. Suites do not matter. One home game I play in if you get three of these in one night you get to wear the captain’s hat!

Flush: five cards all of the same suit, Spades, Hearts, Diamonds, Clubs. They are judged by their highest card, if two or more players have flush’s with equal high cards then it goes to the next highest, etc….

Straight: five cards that are sequential 8, 9, 10, J, Q. suits do not matter (unless they are all the same and then it’s a much stronger hand the straight flush). Straights are judged by their highest card. A, 2, 3, 4, 5 is possible as is 10, J, Q, K A, but K, A, 2, 3, 4 is not.

Three of a kind: three cards of the same rank, 5, 5, 5, x, x. the other two cards do not matter to having three of a kind (unless it’s a pair and then it’s a full house)

Two pair: two cards of one rank and two cards of another, 3, 3, 6, 6, x. they are judged by their highest pair so 10, 10, 2, 2, x beat 9, 9, 8, 8 x. it’s possible for two players to both have the same hand, if they do then the 5th card will determine who wins. Suits do not matter.

One pair:  two cards of the same rank with the rest of the cards not matching. J, J, 4, 6, 8. They are judged by how high the pair. If two players have the same pair then the highest card from the remaining three are used to judge, etc….

High card: none of your cards are of the same rank, and they are all not the same suit. A, K, 8, 6, 4. If two players both only have high cards then the second card is used, etc….. This was the hand that won the stacked deck tournament. Keep in mind when it comes to poker all hands can win.

Couple of quick notes: with poker games that have community cards (like Hold-em, the primary game we play) its possible for two or more players to have identical hands. In these cases the pot is split as evenly as possible between the winning players with any extra chip going to the position closest to the front of the button.

I look forward to seeing some of you at the feast, and let’s learn to throw some cards around.

Sir Tao Ya Kang

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