The Basics of Poker


Poker is a card game played with a standard deck of 52 cards (although some games use multiple packs, add jokers or other wild cards, or change the rank of the cards). The highest hand wins. The ranked cards are Ace, King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1; the suits are spades, hearts, diamonds, and clubs. When two hands have the same ranking, they tie and any winnings are divided evenly.

The dealer is responsible for shuffling the deck and dealing cards to each player. Often this is a non-player, but players take turns being the dealer. A special chip is passed to each new dealer for the purpose of determining betting rules.

In the first round each player receives two cards face down. The player to the left of the big blind acts first and may fold, call, or raise; the other players then act in turn.

When all players are done acting, the dealer puts down a fourth card on the board that everyone can use. Then another round of betting takes place.

Bluffing is an important aspect of poker, and there is a good deal of skill involved in making the best bets. But even the most skilled players can make mistakes, so don’t be afraid to admit that you have a bad day!