The Basics of Poker


The game of Poker involves betting with chips (representing money) against other players. The player with the best 5-card hand wins all the money that was bet by his or her opponents. Poker can be played in cash or tournament format. In most cases, the number of players is limited to six or eight.

Before the cards are dealt, some forms of Poker require an initial contribution to the pot called an ante. In addition, some poker variants allow players to “cut” a low-denomination chip from the pot in every round where there is more than one raise. These chips are then placed into a special fund called the “kitty.” The kitty is used for paying for new decks of cards and other supplies. When the game ends, any remaining chips in the kitty are distributed equally among the players who remain in the game.

Once each player has 2 hole cards, there is a round of betting. Each player must put in the pot at least as many chips as the player to his or her left (these are called the blinds). Then, 1 more card is dealt face up. This is called the turn.

When it is your turn to act, you must either call or raise the last bet. If you call, then you must place the same amount of chips or cash in the pot as the player to your right. If you raise, then you must increase the amount that was raised by the person to your right. If you don’t want to bet, then you can say “check” and pass your turn to the next player.