How to Play Poker

Poker is a card game in which players bet into a central pot, with the goal of winning it. Depending on the rules of the particular game, the winner is awarded the entire pot or a portion of it.

The first step in playing poker is to buy chips. White chips are worth one unit; red and blue chips are valued at different amounts, depending on their color.

After buying in, each player is dealt a hand of cards. These are placed face-down on the table.

In typical poker games, the highest-ranked hand wins. However, in some variants, the best hand may be the lowest-ranked hand.

The best hand is determined by combining the cards in it with the cards in the hands of the other players. The highest-ranking hand is the “high card,” and a hand with no high cards is called a “low card.”

A poker hand is made up of five cards, one of which is dealt to each player. The cards are ranked: spades, hearts, diamonds, and clubs (from highest to lowest).

When a betting interval begins, each player in turn places a bet into the pot, placing chips equal to the amount of that bet. The player to the left of them, in turn, must either call that bet by putting into the pot the same number of chips as they had put into their own bet; or raise, which means putting into the pot more than enough chips to call; or drop (“fold”), which means putting no chips into the pot and discarding their hand.