The Basics of Poker


Poker is a card game in which players place bets into the pot, a pool of money in the center of the table. The highest hand wins the pot. Poker is played in private homes, card clubs, casinos and over the Internet. It is regarded as America’s national card game and has become a major part of the nation’s culture.

In casual play, cards are dealt in a clockwise direction from a disk called the dealer button (or buck). When betting gets around to you, you can either call, raise or fold. Saying “call” means that you want to bet the same amount as the last player. Saying “raise” means that you want to increase the previous bet by some amount. Saying “fold” means that you do not want to continue with your hand.

The first round of betting is known as the flop. After the flop is revealed, there is another betting round and once again you can raise or fold your hand.

Once the third and final round of betting is complete, the dealer will deal a fourth card face up on the board. This is the community card and anyone can use it to make a poker hand.

A poker hand consists of five cards of consecutive rank or sequence and all from the same suit. A full house consists of 3 matching cards of one rank and 2 matching cards of another rank. A flush consists of 5 consecutive cards of one suit. A straight consists of 5 cards in consecutive rank but of different suits. A high pair consists of two distinct pairs of cards and breaks ties.

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