The Basics of Poker


Poker is a card game that requires skill and strategy. There are many different versions of the game, but most involve betting between players and a showdown at the end of a hand. Poker can be played by any number of people, although the ideal number is six or seven. The game consists of a series of rounds and the object is to have the best five-card poker hand at the end of the hand. Players may raise their bets to convince other players that they have a strong hand or bluff by betting that they do not.

To begin a hand, the dealer passes out a set number of cards to each player. Depending on the type of poker game, the cards may be passed out face up or down. Once the first round of betting is over the dealer deals three cards to the table that everyone can use, called the flop. After the flop a round of betting again takes place.

To make a winning poker hand, you must have five matching cards of the same rank. The higher the ranking of a poker hand, the better it is. Ties are broken by the highest single card. A pair is two matching cards of any rank and a three card straight is five consecutive cards of the same suit. Three of a kind is three matching cards and a full house is three of a kind and two pairs.