The Basics of Poker

Poker is a card game in which players bet against one another. The player with the best hand wins the pot.

Several cards are dealt to each player, face-down, before the betting begins. During the deal, players may discard up to three cards, then take more from the top of the deck.

A round of betting then takes place, followed by a showdown in which the hand is revealed. If no player has a winning hand, the players split the pot.

Rules for Poker vary, but the basic rules are as follows:

High card – The highest single card wins, regardless of suit. If more than one hand contains a high card, the higher one wins (Aces beat queens, for example).

Pair of cards – Two cards of the same rank or a pair of different ranks beats a single card, and so on.

Straight – A sequence of five cards, in any order, is a straight. A straight can contain an ace high or low, and it can have any number of other cards in sequence.

Flush – Five cards of the same suit and in consecutive order beats a straight.

Full House – This colorful hand consists of three cards of one rank and two of another, such as three 8s and two 4s.

During a betting interval, each player may make a bet, call a bet made by a previous bettor, or raise a bet made by a previous raiser. The player who raises a bet or calls a bet must put the amount of money required to cover the bet into the pot.