The Basics of Poker


Poker is a card game played by two or more players with “chips” (representing money) where the goal is to make the best 5 card hand using your own two cards and the five community cards on the table. Players act in turn, betting chips into the pot until one player has enough to win the hand and shows his cards. Each round of betting is called a “betting interval.”

When a player bets, each player must either call that amount by placing his chips into the pot, or raise it. A player may also simply drop (“fold”), in which case he forfeits any chips he has put into the pot thus far. If a player cannot call the last raise, but does not want to fold, he may stay in the pot without further betting by increasing his stake by the amount of the last raise.

There are many variants of Poker, but they all share some common features. In the betting interval, one player has the dealer position. The person to his left acts first, and the order of play is clockwise.

If a player has a good hand, he may bet, hoping to scare other players into calling his bet and losing their chips. Players may also bluff, in which case the player making the bluff must risk his own chips to win the pot. The higher the hand, the more it is worth. If a player has a pair, he is said to have a full house.