The Basics of Poker

Poker is a card game where players compete against each other for a prize, called a pot. It is a highly popular form of gambling that can be played in homes, in casinos, and at online poker sites.


Poker can be played with any number of players from 2 to 14, but in most games the ideal number is 6 or 7. The goal of the game is to win a pot by having the best 5-card hand. The highest possible hand is five cards in a row (called a flush), but it is also possible to have a straight, three of a kind with a pair, or two pair.


A standard deck of 52 cards is used, but some games have multiple packs or use jokers. The deck is ranked from high to low, with Ace, King, Queen, Jack and 10, and each suit (spades, hearts, diamonds, and clubs) has a unique rank.


A player starts the game by putting down “ante” money, which is usually a small amount of chips. This ante is typically a nickel, but can vary depending on the game. After the ante is paid, each player is dealt two cards face down and can then choose to either fold, call, or raise their bet.

After all the betting has been done, a player who has the best 5-card hand wins the pot and receives all the money in the pot. If a tie is reached, the pot is shared among all players with hands that match or beat the tied hand.