The Basics of Poker


Poker is a game of chance, with players betting chips into a central pot. The object is to be the highest hand among all those that have not folded; the higher-ranking hand wins the pot.

The basic game of poker involves placing a forced bet (called an ante), receiving five cards, and making bets into the main pot and in side pots. The player to the left of the dealer acts first, and then everyone else moves clockwise until a player folds or calls.

When a player has an open bet, they may call it or raise it if they have more money than the previous bettor. If a player checks, they stay in the hand but do not make another bet until all other players have called or raised.

A bluff is an attempt to mislead other players. It is used for many reasons, including attempting to force other players out with weak hands or to make a higher-value bet.

Rules for standard poker hands: A pair of kings beats a pair of aces, three of a kind (three cards of the same rank) beats two pairs, etc. If there are more than two identical hands, the ties are broken by high card.

In many games, players stack the amount they have bet in the current round in front of them to aid in tracking bets. However, this practice is popular in film and television depictions of the game, and it can lead to confusion over the amount of a bet, and can be used to conceal the true amount of a raise.