How to Play Poker


Poker is a card game that involves chance and skill. There are a number of different games, but Texas Hold’Em is the one most people think of when they hear the word poker. It’s the game that you see on TV and it’s the most popular game played in casinos.

To play poker you need a standard 52-card deck, although some variants have more cards. The cards are ranked from high to low: Ace, King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2. A pair of matching cards is a straight and a flush is three of a kind. If your hand is higher ranked than your opponent’s then you win the pot.

The first step is to put money into the pot, called an ante. Some games also have forced bets like blinds or bring-ins. Players then receive their cards and bet again. Then the dealer deals a third card face-up on the board, called the flop. Again everyone gets the opportunity to bet/check/raise/fold. The final betting round takes place after the fourth card is dealt face up – the river.

During the betting rounds there are some hands that are easy to conceal. For example, if you have pocket fives and the flop is A-8-5 then most people are going to expect you to have three of a kind. But there are other hands that you can’t conceal. If you have a full house and your opponents are holding two fives then most people will assume you have a four of a kind.