Top Categories

The Basics of Poker

The Basics of Poker


Poker is a card game in which players make bets on their poker hands. It is played with a standard deck of 52 cards, usually including one or more jokers.

Rules & Variations

In the basic version of poker, each player is dealt two cards face down and one card face up. The player with the lowest hand starts first, and play proceeds clockwise around the table until all players have had a chance to bet.

The cards are then shuffled and passed to the dealer. The dealer deals the shuffled pack to the player to their left, who then must offer it to any other player in turn for a cut (or fold).

A betting interval begins when a player to the left makes a bet of a specific number of chips. The player then has to decide whether to call the bet, which means putting in exactly as many chips as the previous player; raise, which requires more than enough chips to call; or drop, which means putting in no chips and dropping out of the betting.

After the betting interval has been completed, there is a showdown. The player who has the highest-ranking poker combination in their face-up cards wins the pot, which is the total of all the bets made during that interval.

The skill of the game is to minimize losses with poor hands and maximize winnings with good hands. Our simulations point out that this skill predominates after about 1,500 hands of poker.