The Basics of Poker


Using cards from a standard 52 card deck, poker is played by a group of 5-7 players. The object is to make the highest hand possible.

Each player begins the game by placing a bet in the pot. The amount of the bet varies by game. If no one raises, the betting phase ends. The player with the highest hand wins the pot.

The first betting round begins with the player to the left of the button. He must post the small blind and the big blind. He must also put in the ante, which is usually $1 or $5.

Each player is dealt five cards. These cards are face up. A player may use one card from his hand, but may also check, raise, or fold. A player may also shuffle his cards.

Each round of betting ends when everyone folds. The last round is known as the showdown. The highest unmatched fifth card wins.

Two pairs of equal rank should be compared by the lowest odd card. In a tie, the pair with the highest rank wins. A player can have a pair of kings off the deal, but it is not good.

All players can also use four cards from the table. A pair of kings is not good, but a higher pair is better. A flush is made up of five cards of the same suit. A flush is better than a lower flush.

A flush is also better than a straight. A straight is made up of five cards in sequential order.