The Basics of Poker

Poker is a card game of skill and chance. Over time, it is possible to reduce the amount of luck that is involved in the game by learning and practicing the rules.

The game is played between two to seven players and requires a minimum of four cards for each player. The best hand wins the pot. It can be played with one or more jokers/wild cards, but it is generally a good idea to not use them. The game is shuffled before each deal and players place bets into the pot (a communal pot for all players) prior to seeing their cards.

When it is your turn to bet, you can either “call” the bet made by the person to your left or raise it. You must bet at least as many chips as the person to your left if you call, and you must put in more if you raise the bet. If you do not wish to bet, you can “drop” or fold your hand.

After the players have two cards, called hole cards, a third card is dealt face up. This is known as the flop. There is another round of betting and then an additional single card is dealt face up, which is called the river. After all cards have been dealt, a showdown occurs and the winner is determined. The highest five-card poker hand wins the pot. If there is a tie, the winnings are shared.