The Basics of Poker


Poker is a game of skill and strategy that’s played by millions of people every day. It’s also a great way to pass the time, whether you’re at a table with your friends or by yourself in your living room.

Poker begins with a small bet called an ante. This is placed by all players before the draw of cards takes place.

The ante gives the pot a value before any hand is dealt, but it does not determine the winner of the hand. Generally, the player with the highest hand wins.

Standard poker hands are ranked by their odds (probability). A straight, for example, beats two straights and a flush beats a full house.

A flush is a five-card hand that consists of any consecutive card. Similarly, a straight is a run of cards regardless of suit.

In poker, each player has two pocket cards and four community cards, or face-up cards on the table. Each player in turn has a chance to bet or raise before the dealer deals three cards on the board, called the flop.

Once the flop is complete, everyone has another chance to bet/raise/fold on the turn. The dealer then deals a fifth card on the table, called the river.

After all the betting rounds have completed, a showdown takes place where the hands are exposed. The best five-card poker hand wins the pot.