The Basics of Poker
Poker is a card game where players compete for the highest possible hand. To start a game, players ante, or place bets, into a center pot. The highest-ranking hand wins. All players in a game should have at least 200 chips. Each chip has a value, with the lowest-valued being the white chip. Red chips are worth five whites, blue chips are worth ten or twenty, and dark-colored chips are worth two, four, or five reds. The betting process usually proceeds in clockwise order and continues until everyone calls or folds.
The final betting round determines whether a hand moves on to a showdown. The hand goes to showdown when there are no callers during the final betting round, or if someone has all-in prior to the last betting round. Players may also contribute to a side pot in addition to the main pot. If a player is all-in, he can only win the pot to which he contributed.
In addition to keeping track of winning hands, poker players must also be vigilant about their behavior in the game. A good strategy is to bluff a player who has a weak hand. If he/she shows a weak hand, a player may fold and get the top hand. Depending on the situation, a player may also decide to fold to avoid losing the pot to the player with a better hand.