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PARENTING / Family Fun

How to play family poker

Vicki Clinebell majored in journalism at the University of Colorado, and headed an advertising agency before beginning a long career in broadcasting, spanning production and copywriting to sales and management for an ABC affiliate statio...

Ante up and deal the cards!

Teach your kids how to bet and bluff with a fun family poker night.

50 Days of family fun

Teaching your kids to play a basic poker game means fun family game nights where they can sharpen counting skills without even being aware of it. Card games can be a terrific family activity that you can all enjoy!

Poker piecesThe rules

Poker has betting rules, an ante and the winner of the hand gets the pot. Teach kids the terms. For family night, give everyone a beginning stake of chocolate chips, squares of cereal or a handful of nuts to use for betting.

The right to deal the cards rotates among the players, so let everyone have a turn. Cards can be dealt up or down depending on the game. Draw poker is fairly simple for children to understand. A complete hand is dealt face-down to each player. Explain the value of each card.

Winning hands

A Royal Flush is the best poker hand: Ace, King, Queen, Jack, and 10 -- all in the same suite. A Straight Flush is sequential in the same suite, such as 9-8-7-6-5 of clubs. Four of a Kind is next, followed by a Full House: 3 Aces and 2 Kings. A flush is a hand all in one suite, like 5 hearts. Following that, a good hand could be a straight -- sequential cards, 3 of a kind or 2 pairs.

In a five-card draw, each person plays with a total of five cards. After everyone has done their discards, they bet on the hand that they hold. The players can fold (give up) and throw their cards away, or continue to bet. Teach the kids how to bet... and to bluff! Any player can call, and the other players then show their cards to determine who wins. The winner gets the pot in the center of the table.

More family fun ideas

How to play a neighborhood scavenger hunt
How to plan an educational game night
How to make silhouette pictures

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