The Basics of Poker


In a standard game of poker, each player has a deck of 52 cards. The two “hole” cards are hidden from the other players. Players choose five cards from these to form a hand. If all players check or raise their bet, play proceeds to the next round. If not, players can call or fold. The final round is called the Showdown.

The highest hand wins. A high hand is any hand in which a player has more than one pair of cards of the same suit. Several people may tie for the high hand in a game of poker. Often, a pair of cards is enough to win. However, a pair of aces, a flush, or two of a kind may win.

In Texas Hold’em, the player to the left of the dealer button is known as the ‘dealer’. The dealer then pitches cards clockwise around the table. Each player gets two starting cards. Before the action starts, two players are required to post a small blind and a big blind. The blinds are forced bets that the players in the hand must place into the pot. This is done to ensure that there is some sort of ‘action’ in each hand.

When playing poker, players take turns being the dealer. The dealer is responsible for shuffling the deck and dealing the cards to the players. A non-player may also be designated as the dealer for the entire game. The dealer is not required to be the same person during a round of poker, but it is important to note that the dealer will influence the betting rules.