The Basics of Poker

Poker is a game played between two or more players using cards and chips (representing money). It is considered a card game of skill and strategy. It has many variants and a wide range of betting options. It is a game of risk and reward, with the winner being the player with the highest ranked hand when all bets are placed.

The first round of betting begins after each player has received 2 cards. The bets are forced and come in the form of ante and blind bets that must be made by each player before a hand is dealt.

After the first round of betting, each player must decide whether to call, raise or fold his or her cards. The player with the lowest ranked hand must place his or her bet first. He or she may also choose to “raise” his or her bet after another player calls, which means he or she wishes to increase the amount of money he or she is betting.

The winner of a hand is the player who has the highest ranked combination of cards, excluding the joker. The highest ranking hand is the royal flush, which consists of a 10, Jack, Queen, King and Ace of the same suit. A straight flush consists of 5 consecutive cards of the same suit. Three of a kind consists of 3 matching cards of the same rank, while a pair consists of two matching cards and one unmatched card.