The Basics of Poker


Poker is a card game that is played by two or more people. The objective is to have a higher ranked hand of cards than the others at your table. The player who has the highest ranked hand when the cards are revealed wins the pot, which is all of the money that has been bet during that hand.

Each player starts with a pair of cards (or “hole cards”) that they keep hidden from the rest of the table. Then five community cards are dealt in three stages, known as the flop, the turn and the river. Each player can use these community cards in conjunction with their own hole cards to form a poker hand.

During betting rounds players can choose to check, call or raise. Checking means that you don’t want to bet and so don’t contribute any chips into the pot. If someone calls you, then you must match their bet to stay in the round. If you raise the stakes of the betting, your opponents must call your raise or fold their hand.

There are many different poker hands, but the most common include high pairs, straights and flushes. A high pair consists of two matching cards, for example a pair of sixes. A straight consists of 5 consecutive cards of the same rank. A flush consists of three or more matching cards, including one of the same suit as the two matching cards in your hand.