The Basics of Poker


Poker is a game played with cards and chips. There are many variations of the game, but they all have a similar objective: create the highest hand possible using the cards in your hand and those on the table.

Poker can be played with a single player or with more players. In most games, each player begins the hand with a “buy-in” or ante. This amount varies by game, but is usually a small sum, like $1 or $5.

Once everyone has their antes, the dealer deals two cards to each player and keeps them secret from the rest of the players. Then players take a look at their cards and decide whether to bet or fold.

The best hands are made up of two distinct pairs of cards and a fifth card, called a straight. If two players have the same pair, the high card breaks ties.

Straights are the highest standard poker hand, beaten only by five of a kind. Wild cards can take on any suit, but they must be ranked higher than other cards.


A tell is an unconscious habit of a poker player that reveals information about their hand. It can be as simple as eye contact, or as complex as a change in body language or gestures.


In poker, betting is an essential part of the game. Each time the betting gets around to you, you can choose to “fold,” which means not playing this round; “check,” which means matching their bet; or “raise,” which increases your bet. The highest hand wins the pot, which is the total of all bets in a round.

Previous post What Is a Casino?
Next post How to Win at Slots