The Basics of Poker

Poker is a family of card games that is played throughout the world. It involves betting and bluffing, and is known for its complex strategy.

The Game

At the start of a poker game, the dealer deals a pack of cards to each player, one face up and one face down. The player with the lowest hand begins play, then proceeds clockwise around the table until everyone has had a chance to bet or fold.

The Rules

In a standard game of poker, the highest-ranking hand wins the pot, but there are also variations where the best hand is the lowest-ranked hand, and even where the pot is divided between the highest and lowest hands. For example, in lowball poker the lowest hand is the first to be dealt a card, while in high low split poker the highest and lowest hands are dealt a card each.

The Ranking of Cards

In standard poker, the rank of the cards in a hand is determined by their odds (probability). For example, two kings are better than a pair of eights.

The Cards

A deck of 52 playing cards is typically used in standard poker, but some games use a shorter pack of cards. In these cases, a player may have one or more extra cards. A player may also have more than one ace. When a hand contains two aces, it is called a flush. When a hand contains three aces, it is called a straight.