The Basics of Poker


Poker is a gambling game played with five or more players. It is best played with a group of people who know how to play.

Cards are dealt to each player in turn. The dealer, who is a designated player, shuffles and cuts the cards. The player who wins the pot, or has the highest ranking hand of cards, collects the pot. In some variations, the pot is split between the highest and lowest hands.

When a player has the highest hand of cards, he or she is said to have a straight. A straight is composed of three distinct pairs of cards, plus a fifth card. If two or more players have the same straight, a tie is broken by the high card.

Some poker games require players to ante. An ante is a sum of money, which is contributed to the pot before the deal. This is usually a small amount, but can be a large amount depending on the stakes in the game.

Each player is dealt five cards. Each card can be face up or face down. Some variations of poker do not include straights.

Each player is then required to place a number of chips in the pot equal to the total contribution of the player before him. The player to the left of the button, or the small blind, is the first to put down chips. The second blind is normally the same as the first blind.