The Basics of Poker


The game of poker is played with four different types of cards and many variations of the same hand. The first two types of hands are called a full house and a straight. A full house has three matching cards of one rank, two of the same rank, and a flush contains five of the same suit in any sequence. Straights are made up of five consecutive cards of the same rank. They may be from one or more suits. Three of a kind and 2 pair both contain two cards of the same rank. A pair, on the other hand, comprises two cards of the same rank plus three unmatched cards.

Players can bet on any combination of hands, from two to eight, on any round of betting. However, the ideal number of players is between six and eight. The sum of all bets placed by all players in one round of betting is called the pot. The highest ranking poker hand or bet placed by an active player wins the pot. The dealer is the last person to shuffle the cards. The dealer has the right to cut, but he must offer the shuffled pack to his opponent.

If a player has a pair, he can fold his hand. If he has a pair of kings, he can fold. If, however, he has three of a kind, he can also fold his hand and collect the pot. When more than one player is still in the pot, the final betting round is called the showdown, where each player reveals his hand and the winner takes the pot. There are many variations of poker, so it is important to know the rules before playing.