Poker is generally thought of as an adult's game, but with a few simple modifications the various games of poker can easily be played by children. This can be a lifesaver for family game nights, babysitters, and others who need a game to teach children to occupy some time.
Stud poker is the easiest type of poker there is. The dealer deals out five cards to each player, starting on his left and moving to the right. Cards can be dealt one at a time, or all at once. The players then look at their hand and assess the strength of what they have (high card, pair, straight, and so forth). Each player is given a chance to make a bet (instead of chips, betting with candy works well for children). The player who makes the biggest bet wins, unless another player matches the bet. At that point all the players who match the bet lay down their cards, and the player with the best hand takes all the bets.
Draw poker is similar to stud, but a little more complicated. Cards are dealt in the same manner, but the players may each choose to trade up to three cards to the dealer for three new cards one time. Once all players have had this option, betting begins. Beginning at the left of the dealer each player may bet. Players have four options during betting; raise (a player may increase the bet required to keep playing), fold (a player who doesn't think he can win may opt out of the round and turn in his cards), call (this means the player meets the bet required to play), and check (which means that a player is passing to see what other players do before making his decision). At the end of the round all players who are still in the game must turn over their cards, and the best hand takes the pot.
Texas Hold Em
Hold em is similar to stud poker, but it's set up differently. Players are each dealt two cards (known as the "hole" cards) instead of five, and the dealer turns over five cards in front of him. These five cards are called the community cards. Each player must make a hand with his two cards and any combination of the five community cards. The rounds of betting begin after the hole cards are dealt. Then the dealer turns over the first three community cards, known as the "flop," and another round of betting takes place. The fourth community is then revealed (this is called the "turn) and players must again bet, check or fold. The final card--the river--is then revealed before a final round of bettng.
Neal Litherland is an author, blogger and occasional ghostwriter. His experience includes comics, role playing games and a variety of other projects as well. He holds a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Indiana University, and resides in Northwest Indiana.