The Basics of Poker

Poker is a card game where players bet against each other using chips that form part of the pot. To begin a round, players must ante, or put in a fixed amount, which varies from casino to casino. Players then bet into the pot in the middle, with the highest hand winning the pot. Betting occurs in clockwise fashion, and the player to the left of the button is called the “small blind” and the player to the right of the button is called the “big blind”. The players are then dealt two cards, known as the hole cards.

In casual play, the dealer rotates among the players, and the dealer button (also called the buck) marks the dealer. In games with seven or more players, the dealer will supply chips to each player. The white chip is the lowest-valued chip, while the red chip is worth five whites. Each player “buys in” to a hand by purchasing poker chips. The dealer will also determine the order of betting, as each player must buy in for the same amount of chips as the previous player.

A winning hand in poker is a combination of three cards and at least one wild card. The highest-card hand wins, and ties are broken by a high card. A pair is the highest pair if there are no ties between two players with the same pair.