The Basics of Poker


Poker is a game played between two or more players. The player who has the highest hand wins the pot.

There are many different variations of poker, but the basic rules are the same. Each player is dealt a hand of cards and must make bets until someone calls or folds.

The game is played with a standard deck of 52 cards (some games use multiple packs or add a few jokers). Card ranks are Ace, King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1. There are four suits – spades, hearts, diamonds and clubs.

Depending on the game, some players may be required to ante a certain amount of money before cards are dealt. This is called a forced bet and can come in the forms of antes, blinds and bring-ins.

Each betting round begins when a player to the left of the dealer makes a bet, called a “call.” Then, each player to the right of the first player in turn must either “call” that bet by putting into the pot as much of the same amount; or “raise,” which means putting in more chips than the caller.

The last betting round is called the “river” and reveals a fifth community card face up in the middle of the table. If all players but one fold during the river, that player wins the hand and takes the pot.