The Basics of Poker


Poker is a card game of chance played by more than one player. Each player puts into the pot (representing money) the amount of chips he chooses to risk in order to compete for the best hand. During the betting intervals of a hand, each player bets that his cards constitute the best combination, while players with superior hands call (match) the bet or concede. Players may also bluff, placing bets that they do not actually have in order to lure players into calling their bluff.

The standard 52-card pack is usually used in Poker, with or without the joker, which counts as a fifth ace (or other card of higher value) and makes some poker combinations more valuable than others. Some games also use a special deck that contains all four deuces as wild cards.

Before the cards are dealt, each player must place an ante (an amount of money he wants to risk in the hope of winning the best hand). The dealer then deals each player five cards. Players may then discard up to three cards or “hold” them. The remaining cards are called the “community” cards and are available to all players for a final showdown.

If the player to your left raises the betting, you can say “I open” and raise your own bet by the same amount. You can also say “call” if you want to make a bet equal to the last player’s raise.