The Basics of Poker



Poker is a family of card games where players wager over which hand is best according to a specific game’s rules. These games vary in deck configuration, number of cards in play, number of deals and the number shared by all players, but all have rules that involve one or more rounds of betting.

Almost all poker variants require players to place an ante (an amount that varies by game, we play nickel games) before they can see their cards. After placing the ante, players can discard up to three cards and take new ones from the top of the deck. Then they can make another round of betting and reveal their hand to the other players.

The first betting round occurs in a clockwise direction. After all betting has been completed, the player with the highest hand wins.

Players may call and raise, fold or sit out. They may also choose to bluff, which means they will show their hand in order to force other players to raise or call.

A hand can have a high card, two pairs of cards or a straight. A pair is two distinct cards, while a straight is a sequence of five cards, regardless of suit.

If a hand does not qualify for any of these, then the highest card breaks the tie. For example, if everyone has a pair of Kings and Brad has 3 Spades, he will bet with his King and Charley will bet with his Spade, because he has a higher hand.