The Basics of Poker


Poker is a card game where players attempt to make the best hand from a standard set of cards. It can be played by two to seven people, although the ideal number is six or eight.

The player who shuffles the deck and deals the cards is called the dealer. There is a button (usually a plastic disk) to the right of the dealer that indicates the next player.

Each player is dealt five cards and a round of betting takes place. The player with the highest hand wins the pot.

An ante is a small bet that all players must contribute before a hand starts. It gives the pot a value right off the bat, and it can help players decide whether to fold before they lose their entire stack.

A raise is an increase in the amount of money a player must bet to continue playing. It is used to boost a player’s confidence in a hand, or to show that a player has a good hand.

When a player has a high card and two other cards of the same value, they are said to have a pair. When a player has a high card, three of a kind, and another pair of the same value, they are said to possess a full house.

A flush is a poker hand containing all five cards of the same suit, such as king-queen-6-6 or ace-king-deuce. A straight is a series of consecutive poker hands, such as a straight-flush-3-4-three.