Basics of Poker


Poker is a card game played by two or more players. The game is a betting contest in which the player with the highest hand wins the pot (all the money that has been bet during that round).

In most poker games players use chips instead of cash. This is because chips are easier to stack, count, make change with, and keep track of. Each color of chip represents a different dollar amount. There are many variants of poker, but all of them share the same fundamental rules.

The game starts with each player putting in some money before they see their cards (the small blind and the big blind). This creates a pot right away and encourages competition.

When it is your turn to act you have four options: check, call, raise, or fold. If you have a strong hand and want to force weaker hands out, it is best to bet. This will put more pressure on your opponents and increase the value of your hand.

Once the first betting round is complete, the dealer puts three cards face-up on the table that everyone can use. This is called the flop. After another betting round is completed the dealer puts a fifth card on the table that anyone can use. This is called the river. After the last betting round is complete the dealer exposes all the cards and the player with the highest ranked hand wins the pot.