The Basics of Poker

Poker is a card game played by two or more players. In all its forms, the object is to win the pot, the total of all bets made during a hand. A player wins the pot by having a high-ranking poker hand or by making a bet that no other players call. In some games, the winner is determined by a showdown, where all of the cards are revealed.

In the game of poker, the five cards in a poker hand are ranked according to their odds (probability). A high-ranking poker hand beats a low-ranking one. Ties are broken by the highest unmatched cards and secondary pairs (three of a kind or two pair).

There are many different variations of the game of poker. Despite the wide range of games, they all share certain basic features. In most games, all players must place a forced bet (usually the blind or ante) before they are dealt cards. After the bets are placed, the dealer shuffles and deals cards to each player, starting with the person to his or her left. The cards may be dealt face up or face down, depending on the variant of poker being played.

After the first betting round is complete, the dealer puts three additional cards on the table that anyone can use. These are called the flop. In the third betting round, also known as the turn, an additional community card is added. Then, in the fourth and final betting round (the river), a fifth card is revealed.