The Basics of Poker

Poker is a card game, played with a standard pack of cards (some variant games use more than one deck or add a few extra cards called jokers). There are four suits and each hand consists of five cards. The highest hand wins.

The Basics of Poker

Before the cards are dealt, each player must put an initial contribution into the pot, known as an ante. This amount is determined by the rules of the game and is usually a small bet like $1 or $5.

The cards are dealt in turn, clockwise around the table. The dealer deals two cards face down and one card face up to each active player, who then decides whether to call or fold.

A betting interval follows each round, in which each active player may bet or not. After the final betting interval, a showdown is held to determine the winner.

Ties are broken by high cards and pairs, which are two distinct cards that have the same number. Ties are also broken by a single pair with three distinct cards.

The best natural hand in poker is a straight flush, which is five cards in the same suit. Aces can be high (A-K-Q-J-T) or low (5-7-4-2-1). A straight flush with an ace high is known as a royal flush and beats any other natural hand.