The Basics of Poker


Poker is a card game played with betting. The players all place a wager on their hand and the highest hand wins the pot. Although poker is a game of chance, it also involves a fair amount of psychology and skill.

Before the cards are dealt each player must put in an initial stake, called an ante or blinds. These are required by the rules of the game and come in different forms depending on the game:

Once the cards have been dealt, the first player to the left begins the betting. When it is his turn to bet, he can call (put into the pot the same number of chips as the player before him), raise his stake (add more than the last player), or drop (“fold”) and discard his hand.

If a player drops, his share of the kitty (see below) is returned to the dealer. This money is used to pay for new decks of cards and food/drinks for the table.

Each player must hold five cards total to create their best poker hand: the two personal cards in your hand and the community cards on the table. There are many variations on the game of Poker, but all have certain similarities. Generally, a good poker hand includes at least one pair, two distinct suits and an unmatched card. A high card is used to break ties in the case of two equal pairs, or a straight, flush or full house.