The Basics of Poker


Poker is a gambling game played by players with five cards. The player with the best hand wins the pot. Some variant games may use Wild Cards.

Poker can be played with a single pack of cards, or with several packs. In most cases, the house dealer is the one to deal the cards. Often, the button will move one position clockwise after each hand.

To start a round, each player has to place a small blind, or ante. These are usually one dollar or five dollars. Players can raise their bet, or choose to fold.

After the first bet, each player can discard up to three cards. When all but one player has folded, the showdown is reached.

The highest hand wins half of the pot, and the rest is divided between the two players with the lowest hands. The highest pair of a kind breaks ties, while the highest straight wins if both players have straights.

A straight is five cards in sequential order. A flush is a five card hand with the same suit. Straights and flushes do not count against a low hand.

Poker games vary, but most involve an ante. Most players only put money into the pot voluntarily, and only if they are trying to bluff the other players.

The rules of poker differ from casino to casino. Generally, the limit is fixed, and no more than that is permitted. However, there are many limit games that allow smaller bets, and limit bets can increase to a larger bet later in the game.