The Basics of Poker

Poker is a card game played with chips (representing money, for which poker is almost invariably played). The cards are dealt and there is a round of betting. The player with the best five card hand wins all the chips bet so far – the pot. Each player is dealt two cards and has the aim of making a winning “hand” using those two and the 5 community cards.

Before the cards are dealt there may be one or more compulsory bets put into the pot by players to the left of the dealer – called blinds. Each player may then raise his stake in the pot by the amount required to match or equal the total contribution of the player before him – he is said to be in.

Once all the players have received their 2 hole cards a 3rd and 4th card are dealt face up – the turn and the river. There is another round of betting. The player with the best 5 card poker hand wins the pot, which includes all the raises made so far in each of the betting intervals.

When the game is over the players usually build up a sum of low denomination chips in a fund called the kitty. This is for the purchase of new decks of cards, and it is also used to pay for drinks and food. Any chips remaining in the kitty when the game ends are returned to the players who participated in it.

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