The Basics of Poker


Poker is a betting card game that requires skills to read opponents, determine their odds, and make big bluffs. The object of the game is to win the pot (the sum total of all bets placed in a single hand).

In the majority of poker games, there are six or eight players and two mandatory bets made by the player to his left, called blinds. After each player receives his 2 cards, a round of betting begins with one additional card being dealt face up in the middle. During each betting interval, players may raise or call. They can also drop a hand, or fold, if they don’t like their cards.

A pair of distinct cards wins ties. Three of a kind is another winning hand. A straight is four cards of the same rank, including the Ace. Flush is five cards of the same suit, including the Ace. Ties in poker are broken by the highest card outside of a pair or three of a kind.

Alex received a pair of kings off the deal. He checked (a player may check provided no one before them in that betting interval has raised). Charley kept 2 cards and he was probably trying for a straight or flush, but he didn’t have one. Dennis raised, and he probably had a better hand than either of them. If he hadn’t, he could have folded.