The Basics of Poker


Poker is a card game that requires skill and strategy to win. The game has many variations, but all involve betting and a showdown in which players reveal their cards to evaluate their hand. The player with the best hand wins the pot.

When betting comes around to you, you can either call a bet or raise it. If you want to raise, you must say “I open” before your opponents call or raise. This way the dealer knows you are opening up to betting.

Each player starts with two personal cards that are hidden from the other players and five community cards on the table. The player with the best hand of five wins the pot.

Usually, a player must make a forced bet (the amount varies by game) to get dealt cards. The dealer shuffles the cards, and then the player on their left cuts. The dealer then deals each player a number of cards, face up or down. There may be multiple rounds of betting, and cards can be exchanged between hands or drawn from a discard pile.

There are several different types of hands in poker, but the most common is a pair. This is two matching cards of the same rank, and it beats all other hands in a tie except for four of a kind. In a case of two pairs, the highest one wins, and in the event of ties, high card rules break them.