The Basics of Poker


Poker is a card game in which players wager money (or chips, which represent money) on the outcome of a hand. It is a game of chance, but with significant elements of skill and psychology.

The game of poker can be played with any number of players. Each player contributes a forced bet (either an ante or blind bet) before the dealer shuffles and deals each a hand of cards. Depending on the particular game, these cards are either face up or down. A round of betting then takes place in which players may raise or call the bets of other players.

At the end of the betting rounds, if one player remains in contention then a showdown takes place. The player with the highest hand according to the rules of the game wins the pot.

A hand of cards has a rank (Ace, King, Queen, Jack), and suits (spades, hearts, diamonds and clubs). There are 10 different types of poker hands. A pair of aces is the highest hand, while a flush is the lowest. Poker also allows players to use a wild card, known as a joker, but this only increases the strength of a high or low pair.