The Basics of Poker


Poker is a card game that involves betting between players and the accumulation of bets in a central pot. There are a number of different forms of poker, but most share certain core features. The aim of the game is to win the pot by having a high-ranking poker hand or making a bet that no other player calls. Players may also bluff in order to achieve this goal, although it is difficult to conceal the strength of one’s hand.

The game of poker requires a special deck of cards and a set of chips with specific values. Each player “buys in” for a specified amount of chips. These chips can be worth any value, but are usually valued in relation to the size of the ante or blind bet: a white chip is typically worth the minimum ante or bet, while a red chip is worth five whites.

After each player has a set number of cards, the dealer shuffles the cards and deals them out, beginning with the player to his or her immediate left. During the course of a hand, players will be required to make bets and may discard their cards at various points in the process.

The dealer will put a fifth card on the board for everyone to use, which is called the river. After the final round of betting each player will have a chance to check, call, raise, or fold their cards, and the highest-ranked hand wins the pot.