The Basics of Poker


Poker is a card game in which players place chips into a pot and then, according to the rules of the game, decide whether or not to call, raise, or fold. The best hand wins. The game is played against other people, so a player’s skill level can have a large impact on the outcome of a hand.

A hand consists of five cards: the two cards dealt to the player, plus the five community cards revealed on the table. The best hand is a pair of aces (A-K), followed by four of a kind (K-Q-J-10), three of a kind (A-K-A), straight, or flush. A full house is made up of three matching cards of one rank and two matching cards of another rank, while a straight consists of five consecutive cards that skip around in rank or suit.

Each betting interval, called a round, begins when the first player, in turn, either calls a bet by putting into the pot the same number of chips that the previous player did or raises it. The other players must then choose to call the new bet, raise it even more, or fold their hand.

When the dealer burns a card and deals a new one face up in the center of the table, this is known as the “flop.” Players may now show their cards, and the person with the best combination of their two personal cards and the five community cards will win.