Menu Close

How to Play Poker


Poker is a popular card game in which players compete against one another to make the best hand possible. It can be played with a single deck of cards or with multiple cards. The game is played with chips and the cards are usually dealt face up or face down, depending on the variant of the game.

How to Play

In most games, the dealer shuffles the deck of cards and deals them one at a time to each player, beginning with the player on the left. This process is called a deal and usually is repeated several times before the end of each round.

When a hand is dealt, each player may choose to call (put more money in the pot), raise or fold. When a player folds, the player is out of the round.

The game begins with each player putting down a fixed amount of money, which is typically called a buy-in. This amount is used to pay for the cards that are dealt and for food or drinks during the game.

Some versions of the game allow you to discard some or all of your cards and replace them with new ones before the next round of betting starts. In these cases, you can bet or raise as much as the total of your original bet plus any extra that you have added to it.

A player can also raise or fold without showing his or her cards. This is called bluffing, and it can be a very effective strategy in poker.

Ties between hands are broken by the highest card that does not qualify as a pair, flush, straight or a full house. The rank of each of these hands is determined by their odds, which are given by the probability that a hand with that particular ranking will win at the next betting phase.

For example, a five-card straight beats any hand with three of a kind, and a flush beats any hand with two pairs.

Some games allow a player to place an all-in bet, which means that the player puts in as much money as is in the pot, no matter how small. This type of bet is not recommended, but it does occur occasionally and is an option if you are confident that you have the highest hand possible at the table.

If a player makes an all-in bet, the other players at the table are required to call or raise before the next round of betting can begin. After the betting period, the players take turns revealing their hands and the winner of the round wins the pot.

When a player wins the pot, he or she collects all of the chips in the pot, including the ante and any extras that were placed by other players during the betting. The winning player may keep any extras, or they can divide them among the other players.

A tournament is a series of poker games held at one location and concentrated into a relatively short time interval. They may be televised, or the games can be streamed online.