The Basics of Poker


Poker is a card game in which players compete for chips. It requires a combination of skill, bluffing, and luck, and is one of the most popular gambling games in the world.

The rules and strategies of poker vary by variant. In most games, each player “buys in” by putting a predetermined number of chips into the pot. These chips are usually white, but other colors, such as red, may also be used.

To begin a hand, each player is dealt two cards. These are called the hole cards, and must be kept secret from the other players. The dealer then shuffles and deals the cards to the players in turn.

Once all the players have their hole cards, a betting round begins. Each player gets a chance to bet and raise, or fold their hand.

In some variants, a fifth card is dealt to the board, which is known as the flop. Once the flop has been completed, another betting round occurs and a final card is dealt to the board. This is called the river.

Once all of the betting rounds have ended, it is time to make a showdown with the hand that best fits each player’s betting strategy. The person with the best hand wins the pot, which is a sum of money that is shared by all the players in the hand.