The Basics of Poker


Poker is a card game played by two or more players against each other. The aim of the game is to create a five-card hand that ranks higher than the other players’ hands, either by having the highest ranked cards or by continuing to bet that your hand is the best until everyone else drops out and you are left with the high ranking card in your hand (known as “showdown”). The player who has the highest ranked hand wins the pot – all the money that people have bet during that particular round of poker.

Before the cards are dealt, players must put an initial amount of money into the pot (known as antes or blinds). These are forced bets that are placed by the players to the left of the dealer.

After the players have been given their two cards, they can choose whether to call, raise or fold their cards. Saying “raise” means that you want to add more money to the betting pool. The other players can then call your new bet or fold.

It is important to pay attention to the other players at the table in poker. A lot of the game is reading the other players and making decisions based on what they may have and how likely it is that they will bluff with their strong hands. It is also important to remember that poker involves a large degree of chance and you are unlikely to win every hand you play. For this reason, you should always play only with money that you are willing to lose.