The Basics of Poker


Poker is a card game where players try to make the best hand of five cards. It is a family of games with many variants, but all have certain essential features.

The basic rules of most poker variants involve a betting round. During this round, players make a bet (called a “raise” in some games), and the other players call or fold to match it.

Betting is done in clockwise order, and starts with the player to the left of the dealer. This person is called the “ante”.

In most games, each player must ante a specific amount before receiving dealt cards. The ante is usually $1 in our games, but it can vary from game to game.

After the ante has been placed, players take turns opening action in the betting rounds, which are also called opening the pot or starting the action. After each player opens action, all other players call or raise that amount and continue until everyone has bet or folded.

To call is to say, “I match,” or “I call.” This means that you will also place a bet equal to the last bet.

During the betting rounds, players may discard and draw replacement cards to replace those in their hand. Depending on the rules, this can be done during or immediately after the betting round.

A player’s highest-ranking hand wins the pot. If two hands have the same rank, it is a tie and the prize, if any, is divided evenly.