How to Play Poker
Typically, poker is played with a minimum of six to eight players, but it is also possible to play with fewer players. During the first round, each player is dealt a card. The cards may be face down or face up. The goal of the hand is to make the best possible five-card combination.
The highest-ranking hand wins the pot. The lowest possible hand is 7-5-4-3-2 in two or more suits. In some variants, straights and flushes may not be considered.
During each round of the game, all but one player can fold. If this happens, the betting phase ends, and the player with the highest-ranking hand takes the pot. Afterwards, any player who wishes can take new cards from the top of the deck.
Each round has a designated betting interval. When the last player raises, the betting period ends. If no player raises, the round ends with a showdown, when each player’s cards are revealed. If more than one player remains in contention, the pot is divided among them.
When a player wants to raise a bet, they call or raise the previous bet. If they do not, they call or fold. When a bet is called, the bet is placed in front of the player. The other players then match the bet.
The first bettor in each betting interval is required to bet at least the minimum amount. This is called a forced bet. Some versions of the game allow players to bluff by betting their hand. These bets are often called ante bets. The ante is usually a blind bet.