The Basics of Poker


Poker is a card game that involves betting on the strength of your hand. It can be played by two or more people and it is a fun and social way to pass the time. There are many different games of poker, and they all have their own rules. However, there are some basic rules that all players should know.

The objective of poker is to win the pot, which is the total amount of bets made by all players in any one deal. This can be done by making the highest-ranking hand or by raising bets to force other players to call. Almost all poker games are played with chips, which represent money. Typically, a white chip is worth the minimum ante or bet; a red chip is worth five whites; and a blue chip is worth 10 or 20 whites.

Each player must “buy in” to the game for a certain number of chips at the beginning. Then, during each betting interval (which depends on the particular poker variant being played), a player may make a bet. The players to his left must either call that bet by putting in the same number of chips, raise it (put in more than the minimum bet) or drop out of the betting.

Players may also establish a special fund, called the kitty, to pay for new decks of cards or other expenses. Any chips in the kitty at the end of the game belong to the players who still are in the game.