The Basics of Poker


Poker is a card game where individuals compete for an amount of money or chips contributed by each player (the pot). Each player has the opportunity to call, raise, or fold based on their cards and their prediction of what their opponents may have. The objective is to make the best 5-card hand possible in order to win the pot.

There are many different variants of poker, but the basic rules are the same. Each player is dealt five cards and then bets over a series of rounds. The winner is the last player with a winning hand, or the player who wins the showdown.

The first step is to put up a small amount of money, called the ante. This is the minimum amount that a player must put up in order to be dealt into a hand. The next step is to call, raise or fold a hand. Generally, it is good to play only with money that you are willing to lose. This way if you do happen to lose all your money, you won’t feel as bad.

The most common poker hands are: Straight – 5 cards in consecutive rank, but not from the same suit. Full house – 3 matching cards of one rank and two unmatched cards. Flush – 5 matching cards of the same suit. Three of a kind – three cards of the same rank, such as three jacks or three sixes. Two pair – two pairs of matching cards, such as two kings and two queens.