The Basics of Poker

Poker is a card game that involves betting and the ability to read an opponent. The game starts with everyone putting money into the pot (called an ante) to get dealt cards. Then there is a round of betting and the highest hand wins the pot.

Players can choose to “call” a bet made by the person to their left, raise a bet or fold. Saying ‘call’ means you want to make a bet equal to the last person, and then you place that amount in chips or cash into the pot. Saying ‘raise’ means you want to put more into the pot than the last person did. You can also bet ‘all-in’, which means you want to put all of your remaining chips into the pot.

After the first round of betting, three cards are dealt face up in the middle of the table. These are called community cards and anyone can use them to create a poker hand. There is a second round of betting, and then the fourth and final card is revealed in a process called the ‘river’.

To win a hand, you need at least one pair of cards of the same rank. If you have two distinct pairs, it’s considered a flush. If you have three of the same cards, it’s a straight. If you have five cards of consecutive rank, it’s a full house. The high card breaks ties if no one has a pair.