The Basics of Poker

Poker is a card game that involves betting. Each player is dealt a complete hand of cards and then a round of betting takes place. The player with the best hand wins the pot. The players may also discard up to three of their cards and draw new ones. Depending on the game, some of the players may be required to place an initial amount of money into the pot before the cards are dealt (called antes, blinds or bring-ins).

The highest ranking hand in poker is a Royal Flush which is a straight of five consecutive cards of the same suit (like all hearts, spades, diamonds, and clubs). A Full House is 3 matching cards of one rank plus two matching cards of another rank. A Straight is 5 consecutive cards in a row, but they can be from different suits. Two pair is two pairs of cards that are the same rank, such as two sixes.

When it is a player’s turn, they can choose to “call” the amount raised since their last bet or to raise the bet themselves. A player can also fold their hand and drop out of the round without betting any more money. It is common for the players to agree before the game begins about how any remaining money in the pot will be divided after the final showdown. This prevents the winner from simply taking all of the chips at the table.