The Basics of Poker


Poker is a card game that can be played with two or more players. There are many different forms of poker, varying in the number of cards dealt, whether they are face up or down, and in the rules for betting. Some forms of poker require one or more players to make forced bets, called an ante or blind bet. The dealer then shuffles the cards and deals them to each player, beginning with the seat on their right. The player may decide to raise, call, or fold their hand. In addition, they may put all of their chips into the pot, or “all-in,” depending on the rules of the poker variant being played.

A standard poker game uses 52 cards, with the ace ranking higher than all other cards. Most games also use suits, though the type of suit is not important in the game. Some games allow for wild cards or special cards called jokers.

When playing poker, the goal is to have the highest-ranking five-card hand. If a player has a high hand, they win the pot. If a player has an equal high hand, then it is a tie and the pot is split.

The way a player acts during each round of betting is very important. Saying “call” means they want to keep the same action as the previous player, and they can only do this if their own hand is better than their opponent’s. Saying “raise” adds more money to the betting pool, and the other players can choose to either call or fold their hand.