The Basics of Poker
Poker is a family of card games that are played worldwide. The rules vary, but most versions of the game involve one or more rounds of betting. The cards are dealt face up, and each player’s hand develops in some way, often by being replaced by new cards.
The players’ hands are ranked by value, in inverse proportion to the frequency of the combination of cards. The highest hand wins, but a hand that is higher in rank may be bluffed or called by players holding inferior hands.
Some poker variants do not follow this ranking, but instead award the pot to the lowest-ranked hand. These variations are sometimes called “high low split” games.
General poker hand rankings are high card, pair of cards, two pairs, three of a kind, four of a kind, straight, flush, and straight flush. When a hand ties on the ranks of any of these combinations, the cards outside break ties following the High Card rules.
Each player places a certain number of chips into the pot, according to the rules of the particular variant being played. Each player then has a certain amount of time to place bets, and the betting interval ends when all of the players have either placed as many chips as their predecessors or have dropped. The last round of betting is called the “showdown,” and the best hand wins the pot. In some fixed-limit games, no one may bet or raise by more than a designated limit.