The Basics of Poker


Almost all poker games are played with a pack of 52 cards. Some variant games have additional wild cards. Some also have jokers.

A hand containing five cards of the same suit is called a flush. Other poker hands contain pairs. The best natural hand is a straight flush. If you’re playing in a game with fixed limits, you can put an ante into the pot.

The most common form of poker is Texas Hold’Em. The rules vary, but the main goal is to make the best possible hand.

After the initial dealer shuffles the deck, each player receives two cards. The first betting round begins with the player to the left of the button. A player can raise, call or check.

The next round of betting begins with the player with the best face-up card. A player can raise or call the bet, but must do so in the same number of chips as the previous player. The highest hand wins the pot.

A high card breaks ties when two or more people have the same card. The ace is usually the highest card, but some games have specific wild cards.

The flop is the first set of three face-up cards that is dealt after the first round of betting. A pair of kings isn’t bad off the deal, but it’s not good.

The kitty is a special fund that is used to pay for new cards. When a player leaves the game, he or she doesn’t get any of the kitty chips.