The Basics of Poker


Poker is a card game in which players place chips (representing money) into a pot before the cards are dealt. The goal is to win the pot by having a high-ranking poker hand. Players may also bluff by betting that they have a good hand when they don’t, hoping to fool other players into calling their bets.

The game can be played with any number of people, although the ideal amount is six to eight players. Before the cards are dealt, one player must put a certain amount of money into the pot, called an ante, blind or bring-in, depending on the rules of the game being played. This player and every player after him must then place at least enough of their own chips into the pot to make up for the amount placed in by the player before them.

Once the cards are dealt, each player must decide whether to open betting by saying “raise” or to check (pass on their turn). If they raise, other players can choose to either call the bet or fold. Alternatively, they can raise their own stake, which is known as raising the pot.

The cards used in poker are from a standard 53-card pack with a joker, which counts as a wild card. There are four suits in a poker deck, and each suit has ranks from 1 to 10. A five-card poker hand comprises a combination of the two cards in a player’s hand with the community cards on the table.