The Basics of Poker


In Poker players place bets (called “calls”) to stay in the game. If they do not have a good hand, they may fold. If they have a good hand, they may raise their bet. The highest bet wins the pot, or more. A raise can be made by any player, including the dealer.

The game is played from a standard pack of 52 cards, although some games use multiple packs or add jokers. The cards are ranked from high to low (Ace, King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2) and suits are spades, hearts, diamonds, and clubs.

Many forms of the game have a mandatory bet at the beginning of each hand called the ante or blind. This is put into the pot by 2 players to the left of the dealer. This creates an incentive to play and helps distribute the pot evenly among the active players.

After the antes and blind have been placed, a card is dealt face up in the center of the table (called the flop). This starts another round of betting. The player to the left of the dealer puts in a bet (called an “open”) and then the players act in turn.

The highest card wins the pot unless more than one hand has a full house, straight or flush. A full house is 3 matching cards of the same rank (such as three jacks or four of clubs). A straight is 5 cards in consecutive order of the same suit, such as 5-6-7-8-9. A flush is 5 cards of the same suit in sequence but not in order.