The Basics of Poker

The Basics of Poker


Poker is a card game that involves betting. It can be played by 2 to 14 players and the object is to win a pot which contains all of the bets placed in a single hand. A high-ranking poker hand will usually win the pot but bluffing can also be used to win.

Each player must place a small bet (the amount varies by game) into the pot before they are dealt cards. This bet is called an ante. This bet helps create a sense of competition among players and gives the pot some value right off the bat.

After the first betting round is complete the dealer deals three more cards face-up on the board that anyone can use. This is known as the flop. After the flop is dealt the third and final betting round takes place. Then the dealer puts a fifth community card on the table that everyone can use, this is called the river.

At the end of the last betting round the players with the highest poker hand are declared the winners of the pot. Players can also improve their hands by hitting needed cards on the turn and river. A flush for instance consists of five consecutive cards of the same suit. A full house consists of three matching cards of one rank and two matching cards of another rank. And a straight consists of five consecutive cards that skip around in rank but are all from the same suit.