The Basics of Poker


Poker is a game of chance played with a deck of cards. The objective of the game is to obtain the highest-ranked hand of cards. Players bet chips, either voluntarily or involuntarily, on their hands. The winner takes the pot.

The first round of betting is called the ante. All but one player may fold during this round. The next round of betting, known as the draw, occurs after the ante.

The dealer deals five cards to each player. The first player receives the jack. The dealer has the last right to shuffle the deck. He must then offer the shuffled pack to the opponent for cut.

The cards are then dealt clockwise around the table. The person left of the dealer is the first person to bet. The first player to the left of the dealer has the right to deal.

A showdown occurs when all of the hands are revealed. The highest card, called the high card, determines the winner. If two or more people have the same high card, a tie is broken. If no players have the same high card, the second-highest card breaks the tie.

When a player has a pair, he can either call the bet or fold. If he folds, he is said to “drop.” He leaves the hand he has been playing.

If a player thinks that he has the best hand, he may call the bet. If he does not think that he has the best hand, a forced bet may be made. If the player calls, he wins the hand. If he folds, he discards the hand and loses the pot.