The Basics of Poker


Poker is a card game in which players wager money, or chips, on the outcome of a hand. It can be played with any number of players, although it is most often played in a group of two to six people. The objective is to win the pot, which is the total amount of bets made during one deal. This may be done by either having the best poker hand or by betting so that no other player calls your bet.

There are several different ways to play poker, and the rules vary slightly depending on the variant being played. However, most games involve one or more betting intervals, during which a player must place in the pot enough chips (representing money) to match the total contribution of the player before him. Players may also raise their bets, which increases the amount they put into the pot. Alternatively, a player may choose to check, in which case they pass their turn until it comes back around to them.

In most forms of poker, a player can win with any hand consisting of three matching cards of one rank and a pair. A full house is a set of three matching cards and a pair. A flush is five cards in sequence, all of the same suit. A straight is five cards in order but from more than one suit. A pair is two cards of the same rank. During the final betting phase, each player reveals his cards and the highest hand wins the pot.