The Basics of Poker


Poker is a card game in which players try to make the best hand out of five cards. The player with the best hand wins the pot, which is the sum of all bets made by all players in a single deal.

There are many different variations of poker. The basic rules of the game remain the same, however.

A round of poker begins with a player making a bet called the ante, which is based on the amount of money that is in the pot. If the player bets all their chips (called an all-in) they win the entire pot.

Next, the dealer “burns” one card from the top of the deck and deals the first three community cards (called the flop) faceup to the table. The player to the left of the dealer is the first to act, either folding or raising their bet; if no players raise their bets, the dealer acts last in each subsequent round.

The smallest bets that work in most situations are tiny, sometimes one-fifth the size of the pot or even a fraction of a cent; larger bets are ideal in certain scenarios, such as when a player has a strong hand and suspects their opponent may be bluffing.

The game can be played with any number of players, but it is often a 6–8-player game. There are also games with higher stakes that are played with more than eight players.