The Basics of Poker

Poker is a card game where players place bets into a pot. The player with the highest hand wins the pot. The cards are dealt from a standard deck of 52. The suits are spades, hearts, diamonds, and clubs. There are also a few wild cards called jokers in some games.

Each round begins when one player puts a bet into the pot. Each player to the left can either “call” (match the amount) or raise that bet. A player can also decide to fold their hand at any time, and this will result in them forfeiting any chips that they have placed into the pot.

After the bets have been made, the dealer shuffles the deck and deals each player five cards. Then the betting begins again. A player must put in at least the same amount as the last person to call, or they can say, “I call” or “I’m calling.”

If a player has two of the same cards, this is known as a pair. If more than one player has a pair, the higher of the two pairs wins. A straight is a five-card sequence of consecutive cards, regardless of suit. A high card is used to break ties.

When you have a strong hand, it is important to bet often. This will force weaker hands to fold and can increase the value of your pot. It is also important to mix up your bets. If opponents always know what you have, you will never be able to get paid off on your big hands or make your bluffs work.