The Basics of Poker


Poker is a family of card games that are played around the world. The game rules vary among different variants but they all share essential features.

During a hand, players compete to make the best five-card poker hand using their two cards and three community cards. The highest ranking hand wins the pot.

The most common form of poker is called Texas hold ’em, and it involves several rounds of betting in which players can choose to fold, check or raise their bet. After each round, all bets are gathered into the central pot and the player with the best hand wins.

Some poker variants require forced bets, such as an ante or blind bet. Typically, these are small bets that the players must place into the pot before they can view their cards.

In other poker variants, the dealer shuffles and deals cards to the players one at a time, beginning with the player on the left. The dealer’s cards may be dealt face up or face down, depending on the poker variant.

The first betting round begins with the player to their left putting in an initial bet into the pot. The rest of the players follow suit, placing in turn into the pot an amount of money equal to their total contribution to the pot. Once all players have made their bets, the dealer reveals all of the cards and another round of betting begins.