The Basics of Poker

Poker is a card game that can be played by two or more people and involves betting between players. The object of the game is to win the pot, which is the sum of all bets made in a deal. This can be accomplished by either making the highest hand or by bluffing and calling other players’ bets. There are many different types of poker games, each with its own rules, but all share some basic principles. These include the rank of hands and betting structures such as no-limit, pot-limit, and fixed limit.

Players place bets into a pot in the center of the table. These bets can be raised or folded as the players see fit. If a player calls a bet and holds a superior hand, they win the pot. If they fold, they forfeit the hand. Players may also bluff, by betting that they have the best hand when in reality they do not.

In most cases, a player must put in the minimum amount to stay in the pot (the amount varies by game). This is called “calling” or “matching.” The other players then have the option to raise the bet.

In most poker games, the highest hand wins the pot. However, ties can occur when multiple hands have the same rank. If this happens, the highest card outside the hand wins the tie. This is a general rule, but it does not always hold true. For example, in some poker games a four of a kind beats a straight, but in others the higher pair wins the tie.