The Basics of Poker

Poker is a card game where players wager chips (representing money) against one another. The aim is to make the best 5-card “hand” using your own two cards and the five community cards. The best hand wins the pot. Players bet in turn, with the player to their left making the first bet. Players can choose to raise a bet, call it, or fold their cards. In addition to the usual betting street, there is often a showdown (where the player showing their hand declares whether they have won the pot).

At the start of each poker deal a pack of 52 cards is shuffled and dealt in rotation to each player. The first player to receive a card becomes the dealer. The turn to deal and the turn to bet continue in rotation around the table.

After the initial round of betting (the amount of money in the pot that a player can place) a fifth card is revealed, known as the ‘river’. This is the final card in the community cards and gives players a new chance to form a winning hand.

Typically, the highest card wins the pot. The best hand is a royal flush, which consists of four matching cards of the same rank and five consecutive cards of the same suit. Other good hands include a straight, which contains 5 cards in order (such as 5-6-7-8-9), and a pair, which consists of two matching cards of the same rank plus three unmatched cards.