The Basics of Poker


A game of chance and skill played with cards, called chips. The object of the game is to win a pot, or the sum total of all bets in one round.

Poker is a card game that can be played between two to 14 players. The game is divided into betting intervals (as determined by the rules of the specific poker variant being played). The player with the highest-ranking hand at the end of the last betting interval wins the pot.

Each player is dealt two cards face down and one card face up. The player to his left begins betting. Players may raise or fold in response to the other players’ bets. When a player calls, he puts in money into the pot equal to the amount raised by the person before him.

A full house is three matching cards of one rank and two matching cards of another. A flush is five cards of consecutive ranks, all in the same suit. A straight is five cards of different ranks, but in the same sequence. A pair is two distinct cards of one rank, with a fifth card that breaks ties.

In many games, players can also draw replacement cards for the ones they hold in their hands, depending on the rules. The highest hand wins the pot. If no player has a high hand at the end of a betting round, a showdown is held in which all of the players reveal their hands.