The Basics of Poker

Poker is a card game where players compete to win the pot (the total amount of bets made during a hand). Players are placed into a round when they place their buy-in. The player with the best 5-card hand wins the pot. Sometimes there will be a tie between the best hands, and the players share the pot equally.

Players reveal their cards one at a time, starting with the player to the left of the button. Depending on the variant of poker, there may be betting before each deal. Typically, this is triggered by 2 mandatory bets called blinds that the player to the left of the button puts into the pot before they get their cards. These blind bets are designed to give players something to chase after and help make the game more competitive.

When it’s your turn to bet, you say “call” if you want to raise the previous player’s bet. This means that you are committing to match the bet of the person to your right, which is usually $10.

The highest-ranking hand is the royal flush, which consists of a 10 Jack, Queen, King and Ace of the same suit (clubs, diamonds, hearts or spades). Other high hands include straights, three of a kind and high cards, which break ties. To make a straight, you must have 5 consecutive cards of the same rank. To make three of a kind, you must have 3 distinct cards of the same rank (like 4 aces) and a high card.