The Basics of Poker


In the game of poker, each player’s money, or chips, goes into the pot. Players who ante up, or place some money into the pot, win all of the money in the pot. If a hand is a draw, all of the remaining chips are split between the remaining players. In this way, players can bet as much as they want, but if there are not enough chips, players can go “all-in” and show their hand.

The player on the left of the big blind is called the “big blind” and is the first to act. He may bet, check, or raise his bet. The cards are dealt in a clockwise manner around the table. The dealer “burns” one card from the top of the deck before each hand. The dealer deals out the first three community cards face up. The dealer must then offer the shuffled pack to his opponent to bet on.

There are five standard poker hands. When two people have the same hand, the winners are the ones with the highest-value cards. The odds between two identical hands are equal, and any two hands that are identical are tied and divided equally. The suit of the cards does not matter in poker, but wild cards can make a five-of-a-kind, which is the highest-ranking hand. This hand also beats a straight flush. Secondary pairs and high-ranking unmatched cards break ties, and a wild card will make a five-of-a-kind.