The Basics of Poker


Poker is a card game where players bet on the value of their hand. It is played with a standard deck of cards (some variants use multiple packs or add a few jokers). The highest hand wins, which is called the pot.

The basic game is dealt to each player by the dealer, and is followed by several betting rounds (depending on the poker variant). Each round begins with one or more forced bets (usually an ante or a blind bet), followed by the dealer “burning” a single card from the top of the deck and then dealing the first three community cards face up to the table.

After the first round, all bets are gathered into a central pot. This pot is then split in the following round, and each player must place the number of chips required by the rules of the game for his contribution to the pot.

Players may call a bet, fold, or raise their bets. When a player raises the pot, each other player must call, or fold, to continue the betting round.

Some variants of the game also allow a player to “check” if they do not wish to make further bets, but this is rare. If a player checks, their bet is not counted towards the pot until the next betting round.

Some games of poker have “wild cards,” which take on any suit and rank their possessor wants. In some games, wild cards are called “jacks” or “dueces.” Typically, the rank of the card that is used as a wild card must match the suit of the ace of that hand.