The Basics of Poker


Poker is a card game that involves betting and a lot of skill. It has many variants but all involve cards and chips. Like most competitive games there is a good deal of luck involved but the best players will win in the long run. Unlike other games of chance, Poker also requires a large amount of raw technical skill.

Each player is required to make a forced bet (usually an ante or blind bet) before they get their cards. The dealer then shuffles the deck and deals one card face down to each player, beginning with the player on their left. A number of betting rounds follow with each player placing bets into the pot. At the end of each round, the highest hand wins the pot.

After the first round of betting is complete the dealer deals a third card on the table that everyone can use (this is called the flop). If you have a strong hand you should bet at this point to force weaker hands out. You can also bluff here to try and improve your chances of winning.

If you don’t have a strong hand you should check or fold at this stage. This way you don’t waste any more money by putting your hand into the pot. If the person on your right raises, you can say “call” or “I call” to match their bet and stay in the hand. You can also say “raise” to increase the size of your bet and add more money to the pot.