The Basics of Poker


Poker is a game of betting and card dealing that can be played in casinos, card rooms, or online. It is a popular game that has been played around the world since the sixteenth century.

Rules vary among games, but the fundamentals of poker remain the same. Players are dealt a hand of cards, and a betting round begins between each hand. A showdown is held when all but one player folds, and if more than one remains in contention, the players’ hands are revealed, and the player with the best hand takes the pot.

The basic hand of poker is a five-card hand, though many variants of the game are played with more complex hands. These include full houses, flushes, straights, and three of a kind.

Full house is a combination of three cards of the same rank and two of another rank; a flush is a combination of five cards of the same suit, but not all in sequence. A straight is a running sequence of cards, regardless of suit.

Draw is a variation on poker that allows each active player, beginning at the dealer’s left, to discard one or more of his cards and receive replacements from the undealt portion of the deck. The player then bets a predetermined amount, which may or may not be re-raiseable.

The players can establish a special fund called the “kitty,” which is used to pay for new decks of cards or for food and drinks during the game. Any chips that are left in the kitty at the end of the game are split equally between those still playing.