How to Play Poker


Poker is a card game in which players try to make the best hand possible from a combination of their cards and the community cards. It is played in many variations, and there are also several forms of online poker.

The first step in playing Poker is to place a bet (called an ante) before the deal begins. Then, each player is dealt an initial hand. After the initial deal, the first of what may be several betting rounds begins.

Each round of betting begins with the first player to the left making a bet, and each player to the right in turn must either call that bet by placing into the pot the same number of chips; raise the bet by placing more than the previous bettor has put in; or drop out of the game (called folding). If the player drops, they lose any chips they have put into the pot.

Once all the chips in the pot are equalized, there is a “showdown” or final betting interval. Then, the players show their hands and the player with the highest hand wins the pot.

There are several types of poker, but the most popular are cash games and tournament play. In cash games, each player is given a stack of chips to start the game.

In tournament play, a fixed limit is often placed on the amount that can be bet or raised during each betting interval. This limit varies with the stage of the game and usually is twice as much in draw poker than in stud poker.