The Basics of Poker


Poker is a card game that can be played by two or more players. It is a game in which the object is to have the best five-card hand. Each player has two personal cards that are hidden from the other players and five community cards that are revealed by the dealer. The player with the highest ranked hand wins the pot. The game may have one or more betting intervals. At the end of each betting interval a showdown occurs, during which each player displays his or her hand.

There are many different variations of poker, but the rules of the game are very similar. Typically, a player must make a forced bet, called an ante or blind bet, before being dealt cards. A dealer shuffles the cards and then deals them to the players, starting with the person to their left. Players then have the option to either “call” the bet (put in the same number of chips as the player before them) or “raise” the bet.

If a player says “raise,” the other players can choose to call the new bet or to fold their cards. Players should be careful not to let other players know how much they are betting by obscuring their chips or making gestures, as this is considered poor poker etiquette.

Beginner players often think of a poker hand in terms of its specific value, but this can be misleading. It is better to think in ranges.