The Basics of Poker


Poker is a family of card games in which players compete to form the best hand. Poker games are typically played with a standard deck of 52 cards, with some variations adding jokers. The cards are ranked Ace high to Ace low, and from left to right, 10 to Jack. In most cases, all players have five cards, which make up a hand. In many games, Wild Cards (Wilds) are used to supplement the regular cards. Some variants have specific wild cards that may take any suit.

In many variants of Poker, forced bets must be made by players. These bets come in three forms: antes, blinds, and bring-ins. Generally, players must bet a certain amount of money before they are allowed to make a decision. The forced bets, however, are not based on skill, but rather on psychology and game theory. The player must place a bet before he can move on to the next round.

A straight, or high hand, is any combination of five cards in sequence. This hand may contain an ace of any suit, but it must not wrap around. When two straights tie, the higher one wins. For example, AKQJT beats KQJT9 down to 5432A. In the event of two identical straights, the higher one wins the pot. If both straights have the same rank, the highest three of a kind wins.