The Basics of Poker

Poker is a card game in which players place bets (or “chips”) on their hands. There are many different poker variants, but most involve betting between two or more people and a common goal: to make the best five-card hand.

Before cards are dealt, each player places an initial amount of money into the pot. These bets are called “blinds” and are made by the two players to the left of the dealer. These bets are mandatory and ensure that there is always a pot to win.

Each player is dealt 2 personal cards into their hand. These are sometimes called hole cards. In addition, there are 5 community cards revealed. Players use these cards in conjunction with their own two hole cards to form a poker hand, with the aim of winning the “pot” by making the best five-card hand.

After the first round of betting on the pre-flop and flop, an additional card is dealt face up. This is called the turn. Another round of betting then takes place, with the players having the option to call (match the previous bet), raise or fold their hands.

Once all players have acted on their hands, the fifth and final community card is revealed (the “river”). A final round of betting then takes place. If a player has a good poker hand, they can raise their bet, otherwise they must fold. The winner of the pot is then declared.