The Basics of Poker


Poker is a card game where players place chips (representing money) into a pot and then compete to have the highest ranking hand. There are different types of poker games, but they all use the same basic rules. In most cases a player must make at least one bet per round and he can raise or re-raise his bet during certain parts of the game.

Before dealing each player puts in an amount of money into the pot (called the ante) as determined by the rules of the game being played. Some poker variants also require a blind bet. A player can check his cards during a betting round. When it is his turn he can say “call” to match the previous player’s bet or raise (called raising). He must place his chips into the pot if he calls.

During the second stage of the game called the flop two community cards are revealed and everyone has the chance to call, raise or fold. After this is the third and final betting round.

During the fourth and final betting round (the river) a fifth community card is dealt and all the players can bet once again. At this point a showdown takes place and the player with the highest rank wins the pot. If no player has a high enough hand the cards are exposed and no one collects the pot.