How to Play Poker

Poker is a card game in which the twin elements of chance and skill are both required to win. It can be played as a cash game or in tournaments.

Players play in groups of two to seven. Each player has their own stack of chips. A standard 52-card English deck is used, with a choice of back colours. If jokers or wild cards are included in the game they are usually left shuffled beside the dealer.

After the players have each received their hole cards there is a round of betting starting with the player to the left of the dealer. The bets are called antes and blinds and must be placed before any cards are dealt.

If a player wants to raise the bet they must say “raise.” The other players can choose whether to call the new bet or fold. A player may also just check which means they pass their turn and don’t place a bet.

A “high hand” consists of three cards of equal rank in a suit. A “straight” is five consecutive number value cards of more than one suit. A “flush” is a five-card suit that does not include an ace.

The final cards are then dealt face up, this is called the river. There is a final round of betting and the highest hand wins the pot. A player can also bluff to gain the pot even when they don’t have a high hand.