The Basics of Poker
Poker is one of the most popular card games in the world. It is played in casinos, at home, and in various other social settings.
The game starts with players making a small ante (a “buy in” bet) and the dealer dealing two cards to each player. The cards are then kept secret until the next round of betting.
In Texas Hold’Em, the first betting interval begins when the first player to the left of the button makes a bet, and each player to the right must either “call” their bet by putting into the pot the same number of chips; or “raise,” which means adding more than the amount of chips called for; or “drop,” which means discarding all chips put into the pot.
When all players have called or raised, the betting interval ends. Each player who remains has their hand revealed, and the best Poker hand takes the pot.
There are many variants of Poker, all of which have a similar format. In each variant, the player’s hand is evaluated by ranking their cards in order of odds (probability).
Rank and Odds
The standard poker hands are made up of five cards: two in your hand, and three on the table. The highest possible hand is a full house, which consists of three cards of one rank and two cards of another, such as three 8s and two 4s or three aces and two 6s.
Other common Poker hands are a flush (five cards, all of the same suit), straight (five cards in sequence, but not all in the same suit), and three of a kind. A wild card is a special card that can be used to make any of the standard poker hands.