The Basics of Poker

Poker is a card game in which each player places an ante into a pot and then receives cards. The highest ranking hand wins the pot. The game can be played with any number of players but it is most often played with 6, 7, or 8 players. In most games the game is not over until all players have revealed their hands and the highest hand wins. A few games have wild cards (usually jokers) which can take the place of any card.

Most forms of poker require one or more players to make forced bets before the deal, called blinds. These are usually placed into the pot by two players to the left of the dealer. These bets give the players an incentive to play.

After the blinds are placed there is a round of betting. The dealer then deals each player 2 cards face up, starting with the player to his immediate left.

The player to his immediate left may now choose to ‘cut’ the cards. This allows the player to select which cards he wishes to keep in his hand. He then offers the discarded cards to his opponent for a ‘cut’, or may pass the offer.

After the cards have been dealt there is a further round of betting, and then another card, known as the turn is dealt. At this point the final round of betting begins. The winning hand is the highest pair, or a straight, or a flush.