The Basics of Poker


Poker is a card game for 2 to 14 players with the goal of winning the pot (all the bets made in one deal). While it involves some luck, a player’s long-run expectations are determined by decisions they make based on probability, psychology and game theory.

Depending on the rules of the game, each player must place an amount of money into the pot before cards are dealt. This is called a forced bet and comes in the form of antes, blinds or bring-ins.

Once the initial betting round is complete, the dealer deals three community cards face up on the table. These are the flop. Then a second betting round takes place.

After the second betting round, another community card is dealt, the turn. Then a third betting round takes place. At this point you can choose to raise your bet or fold your hand.

Say “call” if you want to match the previous player’s raise and stay in the hand. You can also “raise” to add more money into the pot and try to out-bet your opponent. Say “check” if you don’t want to raise and want to keep your hand safe. In the end, the player with the highest ranked poker hand wins the pot (all bets placed during that deal). Usually a high pair beats a higher flush or straight. Sometimes you can win with a lower hand but it’s rare! Always know how strong your hand is.