The Basics of Poker


Poker is a game of chance in which the player who holds the best hand at the end of a betting interval wins the pot. The game can be played with any number of players from two to fourteen, though most games are played with six or eight players.

Before the cards are dealt, each player must make an initial contribution to the pot, called an ante. These may be placed in the form of a blind bet or bring-in, and come in different amounts.

Once the cards are dealt, there are usually several betting intervals in which the players can bet or fold. At the end of each interval, there is a “showdown,” where each remaining player shows their hand on the table and the winner is the person with the highest-ranking hand.

In order to win, you must have the best five-card hand. Ties are broken by the highest unmatched cards or by secondary pairs (in a full house, for example, a five-card hand made up of three of a kind and a pair).