The Basics of Poker


Poker is a card game that involves betting between players. There are a number of different forms of poker, but most involve two personal cards plus five community cards. Players compete to make the best five-card hand, called a “pot.” In some variations, players are required to place forced bets, or “ante,” before they are dealt. Other games may use blind bets in addition to or instead of ante.

After the antes have been placed, each player is dealt cards by the dealer, one at a time. Depending on the game, these cards can be face up or face down. After each round of betting, the players reveal their cards and a new pot is created.

If you have a strong hand and want to bet big, say “raise” when it is your turn. The other players will then decide whether to call your raise or fold. Saying “call” means you will put the same amount of money in the pot as the player to your left. If you are unsure about your strength, say “fold.” This will allow the other players to compete for the pot.

Some games have a special fund, called the kitty, that is used to pay for additional cards or other supplies. This is usually built up by a player “cutting” one low-denomination chip from each pot in which there has been more than one raise. The players then split this chip. In this way, the kitty is shared equally by all the players who remain in the game.

It is considered poor etiquette to talk with other players when not in your hand. This can distract other players, give away information unintentionally, and ruin the flow of the game for everyone. Moreover, it can ruin your chances of winning because other players will not have the full picture when making their decision.