The Basics of Poker


Poker is a card game in which players wager chips on the likelihood of having a winning hand. The highest-ranking hand is five of a kind; other hands are made up of pairs, threes, fours, or straights. A poker player can also win by bluffing.

A standard pack of 52 cards is used for the game; each card has a rank (from high to low) and suits. A poker game may include wild cards, which take on the rank and suit of their possessors. A poker player can also use wild cards to form certain poker hands, such as a flush or straight.

When a dealer passes out the cards, a round of betting occurs. Each player may choose to Check, Call, or Raise the amount of the previous bet. If a player has a good poker hand, they can raise the bet to increase their chances of winning. If they do not have a good poker hand, they can Fold their cards and forfeit the round.

Depending on the game, there may be a special fund called a “kitty” to pay for new decks of cards or other expenses. The kitty is built up by “cutting” (taking one low-denomination chip from each pot in which there are more than one raise). Any remaining chips in the kitty belong to the players who remain in the game, and may be split among them according to an agreed upon formula.