The Basics of Poker


In the game of poker, players make forced bets to begin the game, such as an ante or a blind bet. After the ante has been paid, the dealer shuffles the deck and deals each player a hand of cards. The cards may be dealt face up or face down, depending on the poker variant. Between rounds, players develop poker hands. When one player is eliminated, the other player receives a new hand.

The best hand is the one with the best hand after each betting round. A player with the best hand can call an all-in bet, but only if no one else has bet before. Alternatively, he can fold a pair of kings and win the pot. However, a player who raises a dime is not eligible to win the pot until after the blinds are eliminated. Similarly, a player with a pair of aces may fold if he is not among the two all-in players.

In live poker, the player to the left of the dealer posts a $1 small blind and a $2 big blind. These blind bets are mandatory and any player who refuses to post one must sit out of the hand. Depending on the type of game, poker players may play tournaments or cash games. Cash games usually have different rules. In tournaments, players are required to post their blinds before beginning the game. Then, they can choose to play poker hands against other players in a certain number of rounds.