The Basics of Poker


Poker is a card game in which players wager chips (representing money) against one another for the right to win the pot. While poker involves a significant amount of chance, it also requires skill and psychology in order to win. The game is played in rounds with each player betting in turn. Each player must place an amount into the pot equal to or greater than the bet of the player before him, or else fold his cards. The first player to place his bet is said to “open”.

After the antes and blind are placed, the dealer shuffles and deals each player five cards. Then the betting begins, usually in the clockwise direction. During each round of betting, the players’ hands develop by discarding and drawing cards from the draw stack. At the end of the final betting round, the best hand wins the pot.

The highest hand possible at a given time is the best combination of five cards. If multiple players have a high hand, the one with the highest card breaks the tie.

If a duplicate card on the board significantly devalues your hand, you’re said to have been counterfeited. For example, if you have a pair of 6’s and the flop is ace-ace-7-4, your pair becomes a single 6. The other hand now beats you.