The Basics of Poker

The game of poker is played with chips that represent money. Players place these in a “pot” for the opportunity to win the hand and all bets made during the hand. Players are able to call, raise and fold as they see fit. The player with the highest ranked hand of cards at the end of the hand wins the pot.

The first betting round is started by 2 mandatory bets called blinds placed into the pot by the two players to the left of the dealer. This is done before a single card is dealt to all players. The dealer then deals 3 more cards on the table that everyone can use – this is called the flop. Usually pocket kings and queens do not hold up on the flop as there are often a lot of straight and flush cards to beat them.

A fifth card is then dealt face up – this is called the river. This is the last chance for players to make a final decision before the showdown. The best 5 card poker hand is then revealed and the winner takes the entire pot of all bets that were placed during the hand.

It’s important to remember that poker is a game of strategy and not chance. If you want to be a good poker player it’s crucial that you learn how to bet properly. This includes being clear with fellow players as to how much you are betting and not hiding your chip stacks, or interfering with their play.