The Basics of Poker
In Poker, the object of the game is to win the pot (amount of chips in play) by forming the highest ranking hand. This involves a combination of luck, psychology and knowledge of game theory. The exact rules of the game vary between different games, but the underlying skill in Poker is minimising losses with weak hands and maximizing wins with strong ones.
In most Poker variants, players place a contribution into the pot before cards are dealt; this is called the ante. Then, during the betting interval of each deal, one player, as determined by the rules of the variant being played, has the privilege or obligation to make a bet of at least equal value to the previous player’s bet. Players may “call” the bet, raise it or drop out of the betting.
Each betting interval, or round, ends when all players either have called a bet or dropped. After all betting is complete, the remaining players show their hands and the player with the best hand takes the pot.
To help pay for new decks of cards, the players in a Poker game often establish a special fund, known as a kitty, to which they contribute. When the game ends, any chips in this fund are split evenly among those players who are still competing for the pot.