The Basics of Poker


Poker is a game of chance, where players compete for a pot of money. The winner is the player with the best hand. Unlike some other games, poker is played with only a set number of cards. The standard pack of 52 cards is used. A variety of poker games exist, with variants using more or less cards and different card dealing methods.

Each player starts the round by placing an ante, which is a small bet. The ante usually ranges from $1 to $5. Once the ante is placed, the cards are dealt to each player, one at a time. The dealer then shuffles the cards. The dealer cuts one card from the top of the deck. The card may be face up or down.

After the cards are dealt, each player decides whether to bet or fold. If the player chooses to fold, the player loses his bet. If the player chooses to bet, he makes a forced bet, a blind bet or a check bet.

In the event that there are two identical poker hands, they tie and the winnings are divided equally. The high card breaks the tie. When nobody has a pair, a secondary pair breaks the tie.

During the deal, a player is allowed to discard up to three cards. A player who doesn’t fold is called “dropping”. A player who drops out of the side pot forfeits his rights to the original pot.