The Basics of Poker


Poker is a game in which players compete by betting with poker chips. Almost every game requires at least 200 chips. The lowest-value chip is white. A red chip is worth five whites, a blue chip is worth ten or twenty or 25 whites, and a dark-colored chip is worth two, four, or five reds. Poker began in the Middle Ages, probably with the game of poque in France. Later it spread throughout Europe and the New World, where it was played by French settlers.

In the poker game, a player’s goal is to build a hand with the highest ranking number of cards. He must then continue to bet until the other players in the game have all bowed out. The player with the highest-ranking hand wins the pot. The pot is the sum of the money that was bet during the hand. If the game ends in a draw, the money is divided equally among all players.

There are hundreds of variations of poker. Each casino has its own rules for the game, but the basic principles are the same. In most games, players place an ante or blind bet before receiving their cards. This bet is a forced bet, and must be made before checking or raising.