The Basics of Poker


Poker is a card game in which players place bets to win pots of money (or chips) by forming the highest ranked five-card hand. The rules of the game are relatively straightforward and a basic understanding of them is all you need to get started.

There are also some unwritten rules of etiquette that should be observed, including not confusing fellow players with your betting and not interfering with other players’ decisions. If you have any doubts about what is acceptable, ask the dealer or a more experienced player for help before you play.

When a new round of betting begins, each player has the option to check (pass on betting), call (put more money into the pot than your opponent) or raise (put more money into the pot than an existing bet). You will need to decide which strategy to follow depending on how strong or weak you think your opponents’ hands are.

After the betting round is over, each player will reveal their cards and the person with the highest ranked hand wins the pot. If no one has a high hand, the dealer wins.

A flush contains five consecutive cards of the same suit. A straight contains 5 cards that don’t necessarily match in rank or sequence but are all the same suit. A pair contains two cards of the same rank and three unmatched side cards. High card breaks ties in case of a tie.