The Basics of Poker


Poker is a card game that requires skill and strategy. It is a popular form of gambling, and the game may be played with two to seven players.

The game is played by shuffled 52-card decks of English cards, usually two of each color. Jokers and wild cards are sometimes added.

A hand of five cards is called a “poker hand.” There are 10 basic ways to win, in order of highest to lowest: High card; Pair of cards, like two 2s; Two pairs of cards, like two 5s and two 9s; Straight; Flush; Three of a kind; and Four of a kind.

In some variants of Poker, a player can choose to bet all the chips in the pot at once. If the player does this, each player to the left of him must call or raise that bet.

If a player does not wish to do this, they may “drop” (“fold”) the bet. Alternatively, they can bet all the chips in the pot but must call every subsequent raise or fold.

There are also side pots, called “side bets.” A side bet can be made by any player, regardless of their position in the main pot. A player can only take the stakes in the side bet if he holds a better hand than the others in that side pot.