The Basics of Poker


Typical poker games award the pot to the hand with the highest value. However, some games may split the pot between the two highest hands.

Usually, each player gets a certain amount of chips to start. Depending on the game, the first player to act may be the dealer. The dealer is not a player, but a nominal dealer, who deals the cards.

Cards are dealt clockwise around the table. The first card of each hand is face up. The jack is the highest card. Players then check, raise, or fold. Generally, the small blind is the first to act.

The player who acts first, in any round, has the responsibility of making the first bet. If no one calls, the betting interval ends. If more than one person remains, a showdown occurs. The winner of the showdown takes the pot. In no-limit and limit games, the winner takes home the entire pot.

Players are allowed to bluff, which means they may bet their best hand. They can also fold, which means they will not compete in the final round.

Each player is entitled to a certain number of bets. The minimum bet is typically the second blind. These bets are added to the pot. The second blind is normally equal to the double first blind. During a betting round, the amount of chips each player has available will determine the maximum amount of bets he or she can make.