Basics of Poker


Poker is a card game in which players wager against one another in an effort to win a pot, or collection of bets. The game is played with a standard 52-card deck. There are many variations of poker, but they all share certain fundamental principles.

In most games, each player makes a forced bet (an ante or blind) before being dealt cards. Then, the player to his or her left cuts and the dealer shuffles and deals the appropriate number of community cards (the “flop”). Then the first of what may be several betting rounds begins.

During the betting round, a player may choose to raise the amount of his or her bet by saying “raise.” If you say this, the other players must either call your new bet or fold their cards.

There are a number of different types of hands in poker, but the highest hand is a royal flush, which consists of an Ace, King, Queen, Jack and 10 of the same suit. Other high hands include a straight flush, four of a kind and three of a kind.

There are also some hands that are easy for opponents to identify, such as trip fives on the flop. As a result, they may be more likely to call your raise than they would for a less obvious hand like a pair of aces. Then there are hands that are broken by the highest card, such as a high pair.