The Basics of Poker

Poker is a gambling game played with a deck of cards. Each player starts with two cards, which they must decide to keep or fold. The dealer deals the cards in turn to the players, starting with the player to their left.

The player who has the highest hand wins the pot. If there are two or more hands with the same high card, the suit of the cards is used as a tiebreaker.

After the first deal, a betting round begins, followed by several rounds of betting between each deal. The players’ hands develop in various ways, often by being dealt additional cards or replacing the cards previously dealt.

If no other player calls the bet or raise, then the betting round ends and all bets are gathered into the central pot. If the bet or raise is called, then the player must match that amount.

Alternatively, the player may ‘check’, which means that they don’t owe anything to the pot, and wait until their turn to act comes around again. If the player’s hand is not good enough to call, then they may choose to fold.

Basic strategy dictates that you should not fold a low hand, particularly an unsuited, disconnected low card both below seven (such as 2-7 or 3-6). It is also advisable to avoid folding a pair of aces or 8s; identical ten-cards should be split, as a total of 10 can be drawn to more effectively than a pair of sixes.