The Basics of Poker


Poker is a card game where players compete with one another to make the best 5-card hand using their own two cards and five community cards. Players bet chips (representing money) on their chance to make a good hand. The player with the highest hand wins the pot. The game is played in rounds, with each round consisting of a betting phase and a showdown phase.

To be a great poker player requires not only skill and strategy but also the ability to control bankroll and emotions. It is very difficult to be a long term successful pro in a game where upswings can be sudden and short lived. There are many 21 year old “pros” today that will be doing something else in 5 years.

The rules of poker are similar to those of most card games, with the main differences being that a dealer is designated to deal the cards and each player is required to make forced bets. These bets are known as the ante and blind bets, which vary according to the particular poker variant being played.

After the ante bets are placed, the dealer shuffles the cards and the player on his right cuts. He then deals the cards to each player, face up or down depending on the poker variant. The first of what may be several betting intervals then begins. During this time, each player develops their hand by adding or replacing cards in it.