The Basics of Poker

Poker is a card game where players bet against each other by placing chips in the pot. The object is to win the pot by revealing the best hand, or by having the highest bet in any given betting phase. The game can be played with any number of players, from two to 14, although the ideal number is six or seven. There are many variants of poker, but the basic rules are generally the same.

Each player begins by buying in for a certain amount of chips. These are called “poker chips,” and they are usually colored (white, for example, is worth a minimum of one white chip). A player who does not wish to place a bet can say “check,” meaning that they will pass on the possibility of a raise when it comes their turn to act. Players may also choose to call, meaning they will match the previous player’s bet.

When it is your turn to act, you must show your cards to the table. This is done by putting them face down on the table. You must reveal the rank and suit of your cards, as well as any pairs or other combinations. For example, a full house contains three matching cards of one rank and two matching cards of another rank; a flush is five consecutive cards in the same suit; and a pair is two cards of the same rank, such as two six’s.