The Basics of Poker


Poker is a card game of skill where players bet against each other and place chips into the pot when it is their turn. The goal is to win the pot by having the highest ranked hand at the end of the betting round. Often times this is accomplished by using a combination of your own two personal cards and the five community cards on the table, called the flop.

Each player in turn places the number of chips they wish to wager into the pot. This action is called “calling” a bet. The other players in turn may choose to call the bet, raise it (put in more than the previous player) or drop (not play).

A winning poker hand consists of five cards with combinations of rank and suit. Each hand has a value in inverse proportion to its mathematical frequency. A high card or one pair beats a lower hand, while a straight is valued higher than a flush.

If you have a strong hand, you should bet in order to force weaker hands out of the game and increase the value of your own hand. However, be careful not to bluff too much because sometimes bad luck can even the strongest of hands.

After each betting interval there is a showdown where the highest ranked hand wins the pot. During this time the dealer will expose an additional card on the board that everyone can use, called the river.