The Basics of Poker


The game of poker involves betting among players on the value of a hand of five cards. The player with the best hand wins the pot, which consists of all bets placed during the hand. Players must place an ante before they are dealt cards, and can raise or fold after each round of betting. The game can be played with any number of players from two to 14, although the ideal amount is six or more.

Each player starts by putting in an ante (the amount of money you put in to start the hand, it is usually small). Then they are dealt 2 cards face up. If their hand is bad they can fold, or if it has potential they will call. After the first round of betting is complete the dealer deals three more cards face up on the table. These are called community cards and anyone can use them. The next round of betting is called the flop and it usually begins with a bet from one of the players still in the hand.

After the flop is complete another card is dealt which is called the river. Then the final stage of betting is called the showdown and this is when the players show their hands. The best hand is a flush which contains 5 consecutive cards of the same suit, a full house which contains 3 matching cards of one rank and 2 matching cards of another rank, and two pair which are two separate pairs of the same kind plus 1 unmatched card. High card breaks ties in case of multiple players with the same type of hand.