The Basics of Poker
Poker is a card game in which players try to make the best hand out of a standard deck of cards. The game is played in private homes, in poker clubs and casinos, and over the Internet.
The game begins with an ante, which is a small bet that must be paid before the cards are dealt. The player with the highest hand after the antes is the winner of the pot.
After the ante, the dealer deals two cards to each player. These are not revealed to any other player until everyone has finished betting.
Betting rounds occur in clockwise order until one player folds, or all but one player calls a raise. Then, the next round of betting starts.
In most variations of poker, the best hand wins the pot. However, some games award the pot to the lowest-ranked hand instead; these are called “high low split” games.
Bluffing is a major part of the game. A bluff occurs when a bettor makes an assumption about the hand of other players, or when he bets that he has a higher hand than he actually does.
When a bluff is successful, the bettor wins the pot without being required to show his hand. This is a major advantage to a bluffing player; other players are less likely to call the bet, and he can increase his chances of winning by accumulating more money in the pot before his opponents see their hands.