The Basics of Poker

A card game played between two or more players, Poker requires skill, strategy, and chance. It can also be a form of gambling and should be played responsibly. While it does involve chance, the long-run expectations of the players are determined by actions they choose on the basis of probability theory, psychology, and game theory. Unlike in many other games of chance, no player has a monopoly on the pot; each is free to place bets which he believes have positive expected value.

A standard game of Poker consists of multiple betting intervals. One or more cards are dealt to each player, face up (except for the hole card), and the players then compete to have the highest-ranking hand. There is a showdown after the final betting interval. The players with the highest-ranking hands share the pot. Depending on the game, the highest-ranking hand may be decided by suit, or the cards in a hand must be of the same rank.

The game can be played with a variety of chips, although a supply of white chips is typical. Each chip represents an amount of money that the player has put into the pot. In most cases, a white chip is worth the minimum ante or bet; a red chip is worth five whites; and blue chips are typically worth ten whites. Players must use these chips to make bets; they cannot raise or call a bet with other chips.