The Basics of Poker

The objective of poker is to win the pot, which is made up of bets placed by players throughout the course of a hand. Players wager in hopes of having the best hand or convincing opponents to fold. However, the money you save is just as valuable as the money you win, so it’s crucial to learn when to release a hand and when to bet. The best poker hands consist of five cards, the highest of which is called the “best” hand.


The game is played with poker chips, which are typically provided by the house. White chips are the lowest value; red chips are worth ten, twenty, or fifty whites; blue chips are worth two, four, or five reds. All players in the game “buy in” by purchasing chips, usually for the same amount. In addition to buying in, you must also buy cards to the pot, which is the most important part of the game.

Each player starts with a nickel, or ante, into the pot. A dealer deals the five cards to each player, based on their starting hand values. A fairly good hand is Ks-Kd-Jd-5c-3d. Pairs are better than a flush or a king. Betting begins after the deal, and the winner of each hand wins the pot. In poker, the house dealer handles the cards for every hand.