The Basics of Poker


Poker is a card game of chance and risk. The game has many variations, but the basic mechanics remain the same: each player puts in a forced bet (called a blind or an ante) before being dealt cards that they keep hidden from their opponents. Players can then choose to place more chips into the pot or fold. The winner of any hand is determined by a combination of luck, psychology, and strategy.

The player to the left of the dealer places a minimum bet, called the blind, into the pot before being dealt 2 cards. The other players must choose whether to call the blind or fold. If they decide to call, the next player in turn must match or raise the bet. This continues until every player has a decision to make and then the flop is dealt.

Once everyone has 2 cards in their hand, they can say hit if they think their hand has potential to win and want to see another card. If they have a pair already and are happy with their value, they can stay. Alternatively, they can double up by saying pair and then placing two more cards into their hand.

Other hands that can be made include flush (five consecutive cards of the same suit); straight (five cards in a sequence but not necessarily of the same suit); four of a kind (four cards of the same number/picture); and high card, which breaks ties.