The Basics of Poker

The game of poker involves players competing to form the highest ranked 5-card hand in order to win the pot. The pot is the sum of all bets placed during a hand and the player who wins it will receive all of the money in the pot. The highest ranked hand may be made up of any combination of cards including: a full house, flush, straight, or three of a kind.

The first round of betting starts after each player receives two personal cards. The player to the left of the dealer places 2 mandatory bets called blinds into the pot before any action takes place. These bets help to make sure that there is always some money in the pot and gives players an incentive to play.

After the first betting round is complete the dealer deals 3 community cards face up on the table, these are called the flop. After the flop there is another betting round and it’s possible to raise, call or fold your hand.

When a player has a strong hand they can bet to force other players to raise their hands, this is called raising the pot. If a player has a weak hand they can also check (which means that they don’t bet, but they haven’t folded either). When the final betting round is over, the players reveal their hands and the winner is declared. If no one has a winning hand the pot is split amongst all players who had called bets during the hand.