The Basics of Poker

Poker is a card game in which players make wagers against each other and try to win the pot by having the best hand. There are several variants of the game, all with a common set of rules.

The Game

Each player starts the game by buying in with a set of poker chips. These are usually white or light-colored and worth a certain amount, based on the ante or bet.


The cards are dealt in front of each player and are face-down. A betting round begins and players can choose to call, fold or raise any existing bets.


A player can bluff by telling other players that he has a better hand than he does, or by making a bet that is higher than the previous highest bet. The opponent must either call or fold, if the bluff was successful.


The game is played in multiple rounds of betting, with each betting interval ending when the bets have been equalized. At the end of each round, a showdown takes place where the best hand wins.

In some games, a special fund called the kitty is established. This fund is used to pay for new decks of cards or food and drinks during the game.

It is also used to pay for the tournament fee and for prizes awarded to winners. A kitty can be built up by cutting one low-denomination chip from each pot in which there is more than one raise, and any chips left in the kitty when the game ends are distributed amongst the players who are still in the game.

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