The Basics of Poker

Poker is a card game that involves betting between players and the winning player has to have a superior hand compared to other players. It requires skill, psychology and game theory. There are a lot of different variants of the game but they all have the same basic rules.

To begin with a player must put in an amount of money into the pot, called the ante. They will then be dealt two cards which they must keep hidden from the other players. After this a round of betting takes place and the dealer will reveal three more cards in the center of the table, known as community cards. This leads to a second round of betting. During this stage players can either check (match the previous bet and stay in the round) or raise their bet.

Once the flop has been revealed a third round of betting begins. In this phase players can raise their bet again or fold if they think they don’t have a strong enough poker hand to continue playing.

If a player doesn’t have a pair or higher, they must fold their cards and the pot will be awarded to the person with the highest rank of poker hand. High hands include pairs, three of a kind, straights and flushes. Ties are broken by the highest card outside the poker hand, such as a high straight. There are also a number of side pots for the most impressive poker hands.