The Basics of Poker
Poker is a card game in which players wager and compare hands in rounds of betting. Different games have slightly varying rules, but most involve a standard deck of 52 cards with the addition of jokers or wild cards (dueces, one-eye jacks) as specified by the game’s variant.
Each player places chips representing money in a central pot (the pot is often called a kitty). Players can either call a bet or raise it when it is their turn, or they can fold. If they call, they must place chips equal to the amount bet by the person before them. This is also known as “checking.”
In casual play, the right to deal a hand rotates among the players and is marked by a token called a button. In casinos, a house dealer handles the cards for each hand. The button is usually a white plastic disk that passes clockwise around the table, but in home games the player who gets the button has the choice to cut the cards and deal them to his or her opponents.
After the cards are shuffled and cut, the dealer deals them to the players in the order of their seats. They may be dealt face up or face down, depending on the game. The first round of betting starts with the player to the left of the dealer.