The Basics of Poker
Poker is a card game played with one or more players and where the highest hand wins. It can be played socially for pennies or matchsticks or professionally in famous Casino Poker Rooms for thousands of dollars. There is a lot of luck involved in poker, but the game also requires a great deal of raw technical skill.
When playing poker, each player must first ‘ante’ up some amount of chips (varies by game, our games are usually a nickel). The dealer then shuffles the cards and deals each player one card face up in turn, starting with the person to their immediate left. Depending on the game, there may be multiple betting rounds. Between rounds players may add or replace cards in their hands. At the end of the final betting round, a showdown takes place and the player with the best poker hand wins the pot.
In most games, a pair of matching cards is a high hand, three of a kind is a middle hand, and a straight contains five consecutive cards of the same rank. Some games allow wild cards, which can take on the suit and rank of any other card.
Each player has the option to open their betting, or raise a previous bet, in turn. The players to the left of the opening player can either call, raise or fold their cards. If no one else raises on a given hand, the player can ‘check’, meaning they will not put any money into the pot.