The Basics of Poker


Poker is a card game in which players bet (place chips representing money) against one another in order to win the pot. In some versions of the game, players may also bluff, betting that they have a stronger hand than their opponents. The value of a poker hand is determined in inverse proportion to its mathematical frequency, or the number of other hands that have been played in the same situation.

The game is played with a fixed number of cards, typically six, and a limited amount of time per turn to act. During the first betting interval, the dealer deals each player two cards face down and then places one card face up for everyone to see. The player with the highest-ranking poker combination in his cards starts the betting. He and each player in turn must place a number of chips equal to the amount placed in the pot by the player before him.

After the first betting interval, the dealer puts three additional cards on the table that anyone can use (called the flop). The player with the best 5 card poker hand wins the pot.

During the second betting interval, the player who made the previous bet has the opportunity to raise it again. When a player makes a raise, all other players must either call the new bet or fold. A player can also check (pass on his turn) if he does not want to bet.