The Basics of Poker


Poker is a card game with a large element of chance, but also involves elements of skill and psychology. Players place bets based on expected value and other factors, and may bluff at times. In the end, whoever has the best hand wins the pot.

Cards are dealt in rotation to each player, starting with the player to the left of the dealer. Then, each player has the option to draw replacement cards for the ones in their hand. This is usually done during or right after the betting round and is called a ‘re-deal’.

A hand must contain at least five cards to win the pot. A full house consists of three matching cards of one rank, plus two matching cards of another rank. A flush consists of five consecutive cards of the same suit. A straight consists of five consecutive cards that skip around in rank but are all from the same suit. A pair is two cards of the same rank.

After the cards are dealt, the first player to act places a bet. Each player must call this bet, or fold their cards if they don’t have a good hand. If no one calls the bet, then the last remaining player collects the pot. In the case of a tie, a high card break is used to decide who wins. If a player has an exceptional hand, they can bet more than others and potentially double the size of the pot.