The Basics of Poker



Poker is a card game played by 2 to 14 players with the object being to win the pot (the sum of all bets in a given hand). It has become an international game that is enjoyed by many people around the world.

Some players play a style of poker that involves betting and bluffing to improve their chances of winning the pot. This often involves betting in a way that suggests you have a strong hand, while hoping to encourage your opponents to call your bets and make a showdown with you.

A full house contains 3 cards of one rank and two matching cards of another rank. A flush contains 5 cards of consecutive ranks, all from the same suit. A straight contains five cards that skip around in rank but are from different suits. A pair is made up of two matching cards of the same rank.

When it is your turn to bet, you may choose to raise, call or check. If you raise, the other players must either match or fold their hands. If you call, the other players must either raise or continue to call any later bets.

You may also choose to discard your cards and draw replacements if you wish. This must be done during or immediately after the betting round and is usually a part of the rules of your specific game. If you do this, then the previous players who had called your bets will drop out of any side pots and will no longer compete for the main pot.