The Basics of Poker

Poker is a card game with rounds of betting in which players can pass, call, raise or fold. The highest hand wins the pot of chips.

The first round of betting in a poker hand starts when one player, in turn, makes a bet of one or more chips. Then each player to his left must either call the bet (put into the pot the same number of chips as the last player) or raise it (put in more than the previous player). If a player chooses to raise, the next player in turn must do the same.

After the first betting round is complete the dealer puts three cards face up on the table that anyone can use – these are called the flop. Players may continue to call, raise or fold until all players have folded.

Once the final round of betting is over the dealer announces which hand is highest and pushes the pot of chips to the winner. Some players may want to talk about their hands with other players afterwards but this is optional.

It’s important to know about the different kinds of poker hands. This will help you to understand the strengths and weaknesses of different hands, and also to spot bluffs.