The Basics of Poker


Poker is a card game, played on a table with other players. It is usually played with a standard 52-card deck, though variants exist in which fewer or more cards are used.

A standard poker game begins with a player posting an initial amount of money, called a blind bet, into a pot. This bet usually is the minimum amount required for play.

After the blind bet is posted, the dealer deals a number of cards to each player one at a time, beginning with the player to their left. The cards are dealt face up or face down depending on the variant of the game being played.

When there are several hands that qualify, the highest one wins. Normally, three of a kind (such as two kings or two queens) is the highest hand, followed by pairs.

The next highest hand is a straight, five cards in order, such as 4-5-6-7-8. The ace may be high (A-K-Q-J-T) or low (5-4-3-2-1).

A flush is a straight, but with all the cards of the same suit. This hand is the best natural hand and is sometimes known as a Royal Flush.

There are many different types of poker games, but most involve a number of betting rounds. The player with the best hand at the end of the last round wins the pot.