The Basics of Poker


Poker is a card game in which players try to make the best hand possible from a combination of their own cards and the cards in the pot. It is a highly popular game worldwide and has spawned many variations.

1. The game begins with the dealer dealing each player one card facedown and another faceup. The cards are dealt clockwise around the table, and betting begins once everyone has had a chance to bet or fold (see below).

2. A poker hand is a group of five cards that can be made up from the cards you were dealt and any other cards in the pot. The value of a poker hand is in inverse proportion to its frequency in the deck; this means that the more unusual a hand is, the higher it ranks.

3. A kill hand is a special poker hand that is triggered by winning a certain number of hands or by winning the pot over a predetermined amount. In this case, a kill blind, generally 1.5 times or double the amount of the big blind, is placed.

4. An ante is a forced bet all players must place before a hand starts. These bets give the pot a value right off the bat and provide players with an incentive to play the hand rather than fold.

5. A kicker is a high card that can break ties in a high-card poker hand, for example, when there are two wild cards and no other unmatched card to complete the hand.