How to Play Poker


Poker is played with a standard deck of 52 cards plus one joker (although some variant games use multiple packs or add extra cards called wilds). A poker hand comprises five cards, and the highest hand wins. A single card can have a major impact on the outcome of the hand, so players must be careful to assess all possible outcomes.

Before the hand starts, all players place their chips in the pot (a pool of money representing the stakes) – this is called making a bet. The player to his left, called the button, acts first, then each player in turn has the option to fold, call or raise.

After the bets are made the dealer deals three community cards face up to the table, this is known as the flop. At this point, the player with the best poker hand will act. If he has a good poker hand, such as pocket kings, he will call or raise the betting on his turn.

In the second phase of the betting round, called the Turn, a fourth community card is dealt face up to the table. A poker player will now reveal his or her hand and must decide whether to continue on towards the Showdown or fold.

If he or she wants to stay in the hand, a player must match the amount raised by the previous player and may raise that amount further. He or she must also fold if he is unwilling to equalize the pot.