The Basics of Poker

Poker is a game of cards where players compete to win the pot, or total amount of money raised during one hand. Each player “buys in” with chips, each chip representing a specific amount of money that the player is willing to bet. A white chip is usually worth one unit, or whatever the minimum ante or bet is; a red chip represents five units, and so on.

A good poker player knows that they must play the table, not just their own hands. That means studying the other players and learning their tells, or tics. Studying their eye movements, idiosyncrasies and betting behavior can help you figure out what they are holding.

Once all the players have 2 of their own cards they are dealt into the pot, and a round of betting begins. Each player can either call (put in the same amount as the previous players) or raise (put in more than the other players did).

After a round of betting, 3 more community cards are dealt face up on the flop, this is called the turn. Another betting round then takes place based on the value of the best hands.

The highest ranked hand wins the pot, or else whoever continues to bet that their hand is the highest until all other players drop out of the pot. Some of the most popular hands are full houses, made up of 3 matching cards of one rank and two matching cards of another; flushes, which are 5 consecutive cards of the same suit; and straights, which are 5 cards in order but from different suits.