The Basics of Poker


Poker is a card game where you place chips into the pot and try to make the best 5 card hand. There are many different types of poker and each has its own set of rules. The game has a number of betting rounds and if you have the best hand at the end you win the pot.

To begin the hand a player places a forced bet, usually called an ante or blind bet. The dealer then shuffles the cards and deals one at a time, starting with the player on their left. They then receive their hole cards which are the cards they keep hidden from other players. In some cases there are wild cards which can take on the rank of any other card in the hand, or they may be used as an entire suit (e.g. clubs).

When the first round of betting is over, the dealer puts three community cards face up on the table which anyone can use with their own two personal cards. This is called the flop. Depending on the rules you can then discard and draw replacement cards or “hold pat”.

The best poker hands are 3 of a kind, straight, flush or full house. A pair is made up of two distinct cards, a straight is five consecutive cards of the same rank and a flush is any four cards of the same suit. The high card wins ties if there are multiple hands with the same type of hand.