The Basics of Poker


Poker is a card game played between two or more players. It has many variants, but most involve betting and a showdown. The objective is to win the pot, which is the sum of all bets placed during a hand. A player may win the pot by having a high-ranking poker hand, or by betting and raising enough that no other players call. In a showdown, each player’s hands are revealed.

A poker hand is a combination of your own cards and the community cards on the table. It can consist of one card, two, three or four cards. A winning poker hand is a high pair, three of a kind or a full house (three matching cards of one rank and two matching cards of another) or straight. Ties are broken by the highest unmatched cards or by secondary pairs (two pair).

The first round of betting in a poker game is called the flop. During this round, an additional card is dealt to the table. This card is known as the turn. The third betting round begins once this card is revealed.

In poker, you must make a forced bet—the ante or blind—before each hand starts. These bets add value to the pot and help create a level playing field for all players. In addition to these mandatory bets, you’ll also have to decide how much to raise or fold depending on the strength of your poker hand.