The Basics of Poker


Poker is a card game of betting, strategy and luck. It is usually played in pairs, with each player betting on their hand according to the rules of the game. It is sometimes played with wild cards or jokers, depending on the type of poker being played. There are many different variations of poker, but they all share some common elements.

All players must buy in for a certain amount of chips to be dealt cards (the amount varies by game). Each player must also place an initial bet, called an ante, into the pot before it is their turn to act. When it is a player’s turn to act, they can choose to call the previous player’s bet, raise their own bet or fold.

There are a variety of hands in poker, and the highest hand wins the pot. A full house contains 3 matching cards of the same rank, a flush contains 5 consecutive cards from the same suit, and a straight contains 5 consecutive cards that skip around in rank but are all the same suits. Other hands include two pair, three of a kind, and one pair.

The players in a poker game may agree to create a fund, called the “kitty,” which is used to pay for things like new decks of cards or food and drinks for the table. Any money left in the kitty when the poker game ends is divided equally among the players who were still in the hand.