The Basics of Poker


Poker is a card game where players wager chips on the outcome of a hand. The game may be played in many different ways, but the rules are always the same: each player is dealt two cards, and he or she can call, raise, or drop the hand. The player with the best poker hand wins the pot.

During a betting interval (or “round”), each player places one or more chips into the pot, and can raise or re-raise if other players call the bet. When a player cannot call the bet, he must drop out of the round.

After each player has raised or dropped the first time, the dealer shuffles the deck and begins a new betting interval. The person to the left of the dealer becomes the button, or dealer, for that round.

Once everyone is ready to play again, the dealer deals three additional cards on the table. These are community cards that anyone can use to make a poker hand. This is called the flop.

A poker hand consists of five cards, and the value of each card is in inverse proportion to its mathematical frequency. The highest possible poker hand is a Royal Flush, which contains all the cards of one rank, plus the top card of another. The second highest poker hand is a Straight, which consists of five consecutive cards of the same suit. The lowest hand is a Pair, which consists of two cards of the same rank, plus three unrelated cards.