How to Play Poker


When you play poker, you’ll be competing against other players to win money. To begin the game, you must make a forced bet (called an ante or blind bet), which varies from game to game. Once you’ve placed your ante, the dealer will shuffle and cut the cards. Players then deal cards to one another, one at a time, either face up or face down. The players then develop poker hands between rounds.

In poker, the amount of money that players have bet in a round is known as the pot. If one player wins the round, that person takes the entire pot. If the round ends in a draw, the pot is shared among the players. To avoid games that go on for too long, many variations of poker require each player to place a small amount of money prior to the beginning of each new round. This prevents the game from running too long and keeps each player somewhat invested in the outcome.

In poker, hands are composed of five cards. The higher the card in each hand, the better the hand. Typically, the highest hand is a flush or a straight flush, although some variations have different rules for hand rankings.