The Basics of Poker


Whether you’re an expert poker player or a beginner, it’s important to understand how the game works. You’ll need to know what cards you’re holding and what your odds are. The goal of the game is to make the best hand possible. If you have a hand with the highest odds, you’ll win the pot.

To begin, the player to the left of the button must post a small blind bet. This is half of the minimum bet. Once the player has posted the small blind, the dealer deals the cards to all the players in turn. The dealer also has the final right to shuffle the cards.

Once the cards are dealt, the players must evaluate their hands and decide whether they want to bet or fold. If a player chooses to fold, he’ll place his cards face down on the table. If he decides to bet, he’ll be the first player to put chips in the pot.

When all players have folded, the round of betting is over. All bets are gathered into a central pot. When the last bet is made, the player who made the bet wins the pot. The pot can also be won by making a bet that no other player has called.

In some games, players can shuffle their own cards. These are called wild cards. The wild cards can make a five-of-a-kind hand. They’re also useful in creating a “backdoor flush” – a flush made with needed cards in the turn and river.