The Basics of Poker


Poker is a card game in which players place bets and compete to form the highest value hand. Various poker games exist, but most are based on a common set of rules and the use of community cards. In most cases the player with the highest-ranked hand wins the pot. Players may also win by bluffing, betting that they have the best hand when they do not.

During a poker game each player receives a number of private cards, which are called hole cards or pocket cards, and a shared public set of cards, known as the board. The dealer shuffles the cards, and then deals each player a number of cards. Depending on the game, some or all of the cards may be face up or down. After the initial deal, a series of betting rounds begins with each player acting in turn.

The first three community cards are dealt, and the players then have a chance to check, call, raise or fold. The dealer then puts a fifth community card on the board, which is called the river. The final time everyone gets a chance to bet, check or raise before the cards are revealed and the highest ranked hand wins the pot.

It is important to understand how the different poker hands rank in order to be a good poker player. The best poker hand is a Royal Flush (10, Jack, Queen, King and Ace of the same suit), followed by a Straight Flush, Four of a Kind, Full House and Two Pairs.