The Basics of Poker



Poker is a card game in which players try to form the best hand possible from the cards they have been dealt. It can be played with a single deck of cards or with multiple decks.

Rules vary, but most variants of the game involve betting rounds between cards dealt to each player. The game begins with a dealer who deals the cards face-down to the players. The dealer may also require players to make forced bets, usually an ante or a blind.

When one or more players make a forced bet, the player to his left is called the ante, and other players are placed in the pot according to the rules of the specific game. After the ante has been paid, a round of betting begins and the cards are revealed.

The dealer then “burns” a card from the top of the deck and deals three community cards (the “flop”) face up to all the players. The first to act in this and subsequent rounds is the player to his left, who may fold or make a bet.

Some variants of the game are based on draw, which involves the complete concealment of a player’s cards until the end of the hand. Others are based on stud, which involves some but not all of a player’s cards being exposed.

The game is usually played with a fixed limit, which limits the amount of money that a player can bet or raise. This limit is usually doubled after the draw and before any stud bets are made.