The Basics of Poker

Poker is a card game of skill, where the twin elements of luck and chance play a role. Over the long run, the application of skill overshadows the impact of chance.

The game is played with a number of chips, usually white and colored (or black). A chip worth one white is worth the minimum ante or bet; a chip worth five whites is worth an entire table’s bet; and so on. Players can raise and re-raise their bets.

After each player receives their two hole cards, a round of betting begins. The first bets are the mandatory “blind” bets made by the players to the left of the dealer. These bets force players to put money into the pot in order to compete for the winning hand.

Once the betting on the flop is complete, a fifth card is dealt face up. This is known as the river. The action continues with another round of betting, this time by all players who still have a hand.

If the person to your right just bet $10 and you have a pair of kings, then you would say “I call” to match their bet. By saying “I call” you are agreeing to match their bet and place the same amount of money into the pot as them. If you don’t want to call, you can always fold your hand at any point during a betting interval. These examples have been automatically compiled from various online sources, and may not represent the views of Merriam-Webster or its editors.