The Basics of Poker

Poker is a game of cards in which players bet and sometimes bluff to win money. It has many variations and is played by millions of people around the world. It is a card game with rules that differ slightly from one variation to another, but the principles are the same. The object is to win the pot, which is the aggregate of all bets placed in a single deal. This is usually done by having the best hand, but it may also be accomplished by making a bet that no other player calls. The betting is done with chips (representing money), which are gathered into a central pot for each deal. Players must either “call” (put into the pot at least as many chips as the player to his left) or “raise” (put in more than that amount).

Each player is dealt two cards. The dealer shuffles the deck and then cuts. The player to the right of the dealer then places a bet called the small blind, or the big blind. The button then passes to the next player to his left after each hand.

After the first betting round is complete the dealer deals three more cards face up on the board, called the flop. These are community cards that anyone can use to make a hand. The second round of betting then takes place.