The Basics of Poker


Poker is a popular card game played with a standard deck of playing cards. The game is governed by rules that are usually established before the cards are dealt.

The players’ hands develop over a series of betting rounds, after which a showdown takes place to determine the winner. The bettor with the best hand wins the pot.

During the initial deal, the dealer shuffles the cards and deals them face up, one at a time, to each player. The player on the left can cut the deck before dealing, but they must leave at least five cards.

When betting, a player can “fold” (remove their bet), “check” (match the bet), or “raise” (add more money to the pot). If no other players call the bet, it ends and the bettor is awarded the pot.

A bluff is when a bettor bets with the intent of catching other players off guard. Bluffing is a primary feature of poker.

How to Play

The first step in any poker game is to place an ante, which is a small bet. The ante is typically $1 or $5, and it’s decided by the table before the cards are dealt.

Once the ante is in place, the dealer deals the cards to each player, keeping them secret. Depending on the game rules, players may be required to place forced bets, called antes, blinds, or bring-ins.

In poker, players are dealt five cards face up and can bet before discarding to improve their hand. They can also bet after receiving new cards.