The Basics of Poker


Whether you are playing online or at a real-world table, you need to know the basic strategies of poker. Poker is played with a deck of cards, usually plastic or ceramic. Players place bets based on the value of their poker hand. The highest-ranking poker hand wins the pot.

A poker hand consists of five cards in a suit. Two pairs, a straight, or a flush are considered strong hands. One pair is a pair of two cards of the same suit, while two pairs are a pair of five cards. Wild cards allow players to make five of a kind.

Poker is played with any number of players. The ideal number is six or eight. When a player leaves the table, he forfeits his forced bet.

Players may shuffle their own cards or have others do it for them. The player who has the first card in the deck is called the “dealer”. He passes each player at the table.

The dealer button is moved one spot clockwise after each hand. If the dealer folds, the action begins with the player to his left.

After the last round of betting, players show their hands and turn them face up. This is called “showdown”. The player who has the highest-ranking hand wins the pot. If two or more players call an opening bet, the pot plays. If no one calls, the pot remains.

After a pot is won, the remaining players are split up into side pots. The side pots are created from the additional money bet by the remaining players.