The Basics of Poker


Poker is a card game in which players independently try to assemble the best hand possible from a combination of their own cards and those of the other players. The best hand wins the pot.

Poker can be played in a variety of forms, and the rules vary widely by region. However, the basic rules are the same.

Dealing the Cards

The cards are dealt clockwise around a table, one at a time. Typically, the right to deal is marked by a token called a dealer button (also known as a buck or bucky).

Betting Rounds

After the initial deal, each player begins betting with the minimum amount necessary for the betting to continue. Once all the betting is done, a showdown takes place, where everyone’s hands are revealed and the highest hand wins.

A Hand

In poker, a hand is a grouping of five cards. A hand can be made up of the five cards a player is dealt or from the cards a player draws during a betting round.

Four of a Kind

The most common type of hand in poker is four of a kind, which is simply a pair of any rank, matched with two cards that are not a pair.

Straights and Flushses

A straight is 5 cards in order, such as 4-5-6-7-8 or 5-4-3-2-1. A flush is a five-card hand of the same suit, such as AKQJT beats KQJT9 down to 5432A.