The Basics of Poker

Poker is a card game where players compete against one another to win chips. It is played in private homes, casinos, and on the Internet. The game is a mix of skill, odds, and bluffing.


Each player is dealt a complete hand of cards, face down. The player with the highest hand wins all the chips in the pot.

The hand is comprised of two personal cards and five community cards. Each of these community cards may be discarded and replaced by a new card.

When players discard cards they are said to “check.” During this phase, a player can not bet.

Players take turns in clockwise order revealing their hands. The player that begins this process depends on the variant of poker being played.

In some variations, a player must make a blind bet before the first hand is dealt. These bets can replace the ante or be in addition to the ante, depending on the variation.

After the betting round, the hands are revealed and the winner is the player with the best hand. Sometimes there is a tie among the best hands, but the winning hand always has the most money in the pot.

The best hand is a royal flush, which contains the highest-ranking cards in a deck. The other standard hands are a straight, three of a kind (two cards of the same rank), and two pair.