The Basics of Poker


Poker is a card game where each player holds a hand of cards and bets money on it. Various variants of poker have been developed, each of which has its own rules and strategies.

Play begins with the dealer dealing the first five cards to each player. The players then act in clockwise rotation.

Generally speaking, a player must place in the pot the number of chips equal to at least as much as the amount of the previous bet or raise. The next player to act must then place in the pot the same number of chips as the player before him, and so on until the final player places all of his or her chips in the pot.

When it is a player’s turn to act, that player must verbally declare the action they want to take. Often, the first player to verbally say “call” will announce their intention to match the most recent bet or raise.

The player may also verbally exchange a large chip for its full equivalent value out of the pot before placing a bet, or they may over-call, making a bet or raising a lower amount than the most recent bet or raise without actually voicing an intention to do so.

A player with a strong hand can win the pot by betting high and calling or folding the most recently made bets from other players. However, a novice poker player frequently gives herself away by betting too high and losing the pot to other players.