The Basics of Poker


Poker is a card game where players compete for money. It is played in various forms throughout the world, but is most popular in North America.


The basic principle of most poker games is to place a blind bet before the cards are dealt. This amount is based on the stakes of the game and is usually the minimum bet.

In most games the player with the lowest hand is dealt first, followed by play clockwise until all players have had a chance to bet or fold. The highest hand wins the pot.


Each round of betting begins with a player to the left making a bet, and then the other players must call or raise it. If the bet is not called, it is “dropped” (folded), and the player loses any chips they have put into the pot.


In most poker games, a hand is a grouping of five cards. These can be the five cards the player was dealt, or a combination of the player’s own cards with those of the community.

Highcards and Pairs

The value of a hand is determined by the one card of highest rank and two matching cards, known as pairs. For example, two six’s are considered a low pair, while a pair of aces is considered a high pair.

There are many different variants of poker, including stud and draw. The simplest form is straight poker, in which each active player is dealt a set of five cards facedown and one faceup. The player may then discard one or more of his original cards and receive replacements from the undealt portion of the deck. The player can also choose to stand pat.