The Basics of Poker


In poker, the goal is to build the highest possible hand. The game can be played with any number of players, but the ideal number is six to eight. Each player makes bets on the cards that are dealt to them. These bets are then accumulated to form the “pot.” The player with the highest hand wins the pot.

A player starts the game by being dealt two cards face down. These are his pocket and hole cards. The player to his left of the big blind bets first. When the first person to his or her left makes a bet, the dealer then deals three cards face up in the center of the table. These cards are called the “flop.” Players use the flop to build a 5-card hand.

A dealer is involved in every round of poker. This person is responsible for shuffling the deck and dealing the cards to players. In some games, the dealer can be a non-player. During each round, a player takes turns being the dealer. After each round, the dealer passes the dealer’s chip to another player. Depending on where the dealer sits, some betting rules are different.

A player who declines to place a bet is said to fold. When a player folds, they throw their hand away and will not compete for the pot. When a player folds, it means that the hand they’re holding is no longer good enough to win.