The Basics of Poker


Poker is a card game played with a standard deck of cards. It is played in private homes, at poker clubs and in casinos.

The rules vary with each variant of the game. In the majority of variations, the highest hand is awarded the pot. However, some variants award the pot to the lowest hand. These are called high low split games.

First, the player is dealt a hand of five cards, face down. Then the first of several betting rounds begins.

In the second round, the player may discard one or more of his original cards and receive replacements from the undealt portion of the deck. The player may also choose to stand pat, thereby keeping all of his original cards.

When the dealer shows the flop, all players must make a bet or raise. The player to the left of the dealer (the last active player) makes the first bet, and each player in turn is required to place a specific number of chips in the pot.

After this, each active player must show his cards and fold if his hand is weak. If a player shows a strong hand, he can then call the first bet or raise by calling the next bet.

Every poker player has a tell, an unconscious habit that indicates information about their hand. A tell can be as simple as a change in posture, or as complex as a gesture or eye contact.