• Home
  • The Basics of Poker

The Basics of Poker


Poker is a card game in which players place chips (representing money) into a pot and then compete for the highest-ranking hand. The game can be played by two to 14 people. It is considered a game of chance, but there is also skill and psychology involved in the game.

In the beginning of a hand, each player puts in an initial bet called an ante (the amount of this bet varies by game). When betting comes around to you, you can choose whether to call or raise the previous player’s bet, or simply fold. The player with the highest-ranking hand wins the pot.

When betting comes to you, you can open a bet by saying “I open.” If no one has opened before you, you can take turns opening in clockwise order. If you aren’t comfortable opening a bet, you can check instead.

Poor poker etiquette includes talking while not in a hand, which gives information to opponents and can distract them. You should also never talk while a player is thinking, as it is rude and can affect their decision-making process.

If you win a hand, the dealer will put an additional card on the table that anyone can use to make a new best five-card poker hand. This is called the river. The final betting round ends when all players have a complete poker hand and the highest hand wins.