The Basics of Poker


The game of poker is played with a deck of cards that consists of 52 cards. Two decks with different back colors are usually used. The game’s goal is to win by forming the highest poker hand. During a hand, players can supplement one or more of their cards with wild cards. Poker is best played with at least five players.

The dealer, or house dealer, is responsible for dealing the cards for each hand. In casual play, this responsibility rotates among the players. The dealer button is usually a white plastic disk, which designates the nominal dealer. Cards are dealt around the table clockwise. The player who opens the pot is considered an “active player” if he contributes chips to the pot.

The player whose cards are not in the pot folds. If a player folds, he loses his rights to the main pot. If this happens, the pot changes hands. A player may win the main pot, but lose the side pots. However, it is more likely that a player who loses the side pots will win the main pot.

As the game progresses, players raise their bets and play hands. Several players may have the same number of cards, but the winner of the game is the one who has the best hand at the end of all the betting rounds. This is called a showdown, and the player with the highest hand wins the pot.