The Basics of Poker


Poker is a card game in which players bet money to try and win a pot of chips. It is usually played with a small group of people and is very fast-paced.

Rules of the game

Before the deal begins, each player may be required to make a contribution called an ante. Often this is a single unit (a one-value or the smallest value in play) or some other small amount; a proportion such as half or a quarter of the minimum bet is also common.

Ante betting

Once the ante has been paid, the first round of cards is dealt to each player. It is then up to the player to decide whether they want to bet, fold or check.

A player who wishes to bet may place a number of small chips in front of them, or place a single large chip in front of them. The oversized chip may be exchanged for its full equivalent value out of the pot before the bet is made, or it can be removed from the hand if over-calling occurs.

Folding and checking

A player can fold their hand by placing their hands behind their heads, or they may check by tapping the table with a fist, knuckles, an open hand or the index finger(s). If all players check, the betting round is over with no additional money placed in the pot (often called a free round or free card).