How to Play Poker



Poker is a card game that can be played by two or more people. The object of the game is to win the pot, which is the sum of all bets made during a hand. Players place bets either by calling (matching the amount of the last player to act) or raising it. The highest-ranked hand wins the pot. A pair, three of a kind, four of a kind, and a straight are common hands that can be made. Ties are broken by the high card.

The cards are dealt from a standard pack of 52 (with some variant games using multiple packs and adding wild cards) into the center of the table face up. A player can reshuffle the cards once or twice and offer them to his or her opponent to the right of him for a cut. The cut player has the option of drawing replacement cards.

After the initial betting is completed, the dealer places a third and sometimes a fourth card on the board for everyone to use. This is called the flop. A high-card hand is the best at this point, and you should be cautious about holding pocket kings or queens.

The final betting round is called the river. The final card is placed on the board and again everyone has a chance to bet, check, raise or fold. If more than one player is still in the hand, the highest-ranked card is revealed and that person wins the pot.