The Basics of Poker


Poker is a card game played by two or more players and involves betting in some way, usually with the players raising the stakes as the game progresses. Players are dealt cards by the dealer, who shuffles them and then deals each player a number of cards face up or down, according to the specific game rules. Then the players act in turn, betting their chips into the pot (representing money) each time they have an action.

The basic objective is to have the highest hand when it is your turn. The higher your hand, the more you win. The top five to twenty percent of hands win in most games, depending on the number of players. The most common hands are three of a kind and a pair. The highest pair wins, but ties are broken by the highest unmatched cards or by a secondary pair. Some games include wild cards, which can take on the rank of any card.

A dealer is the person in charge of dealing cards to the players and collecting their bets and placing them in the pot. In addition to dealing the cards, he must keep an eye on the behavior of the players to make sure they are behaving in a responsible manner. He must also be knowledgeable about the game and its various variants, as well as about how different players think and act. It is not uncommon for players to tip dealers who deal them well.