The Basics of Poker

Using one of the 52 cards in the deck, a player will form a hand. The highest card gives the value of the hand. The best hand wins the pot. The pot is the sum of all the bets made by all the players in one deal.

Depending on the game being played, a player may choose to bet or fold. Those who fold will not compete for the pot. Those who bet will bet more. Those who choose to bet are said to be “active” players.

One of the most important concepts to grasp in poker is the betting phase. This phase occurs between the draw and the flop. During this phase, each player will be dealt two cards. These cards are usually called pocket cards.

The best hand is a combination of two pairs of equal ranks. In poker, two pairs are compared to determine the winner. A pair is two cards of equal rank. If two pairs are equal, compare the lowest odd card in each pair.

A five-card straight is a sequence of five cards in sequential order. The ace can count high or low, but does not qualify for the straight. The joker can count as a fifth card in certain special hands. A joker does not qualify for the straight, but does count in the “high card” category.

Getting a “backdoor flush” is achieved by hitting certain cards on the turn and river. In poker, “backdoor” means that the opponent cannot add more hero cards to the pot.