The Basics of Poker

Poker is a card game where players have two cards dealt and five community cards on the table. Each player aims to make the best hand of five cards using the combination of their own cards and the community ones. The higher the hand, the more chips (money) you can win.

You start the game by placing a bet (called an ante). This is placed into a pot in the middle of the table. When betting gets around to you, you can choose to call a previous bet or raise the stakes by increasing your own bet. If you raise the stakes, your opponents must either call or fold their cards. If they call, your hand becomes the highest and you win the pot.

If you have a bad hand, you can “fold” and leave the game. This is important because it allows you to avoid losing all your money if you aren’t making a good hand.

There are many different versions of poker, with some having wild cards or other special characteristics. Most games are played from a standard 52-card pack (although some use multiple packs or add cards called jokers). The cards are ranked in four suits, high to low: Ace, King, Queen, Jack and 10.