The Basics of Poker


Poker is a family of card games played worldwide in which players wager over which hand is best according to the game’s rules. The games vary in deck configuration, the number of cards dealt to each player, and in some cases the amount of money that is wagered.

The Basics

During the initial deal, the dealer shuffles the cards and deals them one at a time to each player in clockwise order, beginning with the first player on the left of the dealer. The dealer then reveals the cards and begins the first of several betting rounds. After each round, all bets are gathered into the central pot and the players develop their hands in some way, such as by being dealt additional cards or replacing the cards previously dealt to them.


The betting round is the most important part of the game, as it determines who wins the pot and how much of it is paid out to winners. During the betting round, each player is required to place a bet, and the amount of the bets is recorded in the middle of the table.

If a player does not place a bet, they may fold their hand or call another bet by saying “call” or “I call.” A call is the same as a raise, and the first player to call must match the amount of the last bet.

After a player bets, the other players must also choose to call or fold their hands, and this process continues until all players have made a decision. When all players have either called or folded, the dealer then reveals the cards and begins a new betting round.

When the cards are revealed, each player is dealt a complete hand of five cards. The highest hand wins the pot.

There are many different hands that can be made from the 5 cards. These include:

Full House (FH)

A full house is made up of 3 matching cards of the same rank, and 2 matching cards of another rank. It is also possible to make a flush using any 5 cards of the same suit, or straight using 5 cards of consecutive ranks but from different suits.

Three of a Kind (TOK)

A three of a kind is made up of three matching cards of the same rank, and one unmatched card. It is also possible to make a pair of a kind, which is made up of two matching cards of the same rank and one unmatched card.

High Card

The highest card is used to break ties when nobody has a pair or better, or when there are multiple pairs that have the same highest card. It is also used to decide which players will be in the pot for the next round.

Improve Your Range

The better your starting hand, the more pots you will win in the long run. However, it is still important to play a wide range of hands to avoid getting too attached to certain hands that might not pay off at all.