The Basics of Poker


Poker is a card game in which players bet on the value of their hands of five cards. The bets form a pot that is won by the player who has the highest hand. There are many variants of the game, but they all share some common elements.

The game starts with each player placing an ante or blind bet. The dealer then shuffles the cards and deals them to each player one at a time, starting with the player to their left. The player may choose to discard and draw replacement cards in order to improve their hand. Depending on the game rules, this can take place during or just after the betting round.

Each player has two personal cards in their hand and the community cards on the table. The aim is to create a winning poker hand by using the combination of your own cards and the community cards.

The highest ranking poker hand is a royal flush (a 10 Jack, Queen, King and Ace of the same suit). A straight contains 5 consecutive cards of the same rank (such as 2 hearts, 3 clubs, 4 diamonds) and a flush includes any five matching cards (such as 3 aces and a pair of 9s). Ties are broken by high card, which is a general rule that can be modified by game specific rules.