The Basics of Poker


The game of poker is a card game for players who place bets against one another. The highest ranked hand wins. The game is played from a standard pack of 52 cards (with some variant games adding more). There are four suits: spades, hearts, diamonds and clubs; no suit is higher than another. Some games also include wild cards that can take on any rank and suit the player wishes (dueces or one-eyed jacks, for example).

Players must first put up an amount of money, called the ante or blind bet, in order to receive their cards. Players then bet into the middle of the table, the pot. A player can win the pot by having a high ranked hand when the hands are shown or by continuing to bet that their hand is the best until other players drop out.

If the player to your right raises and you think you have an excellent hand, you can say “call” to make a bet of the same amount as the last person’s. You can also raise your own bet at any time.

The dealer deals the first betting round of three cards face up on the board, which are called the flop. Then everyone can bet on the strength of their hands. The best five-card hand wins the pot. Ties are broken by the highest pair (two distinct pairs of cards), then the highest single card, and so on.