The Basics of Poker
Poker is a card game in which players wager chips (representing money) on the outcome of a hand. The game has a significant element of chance, but skillful players can reduce the randomness of the game and improve their chances of winning.
The game is played by a group of players around a table. Each player places an ante before being dealt five cards. The highest hand wins the pot. Players may bet on the strength of their hand, and other players may call their bets or fold. Bluffing is a common strategy, and a well-timed bluff can make the opponent call your bet even when you have a weak hand.
A strong poker hand typically includes a pair of cards of the same rank and at least one card of a higher rank, along with two other cards. A full house is a strong poker hand consisting of three of a kind and two pairs. A straight is a poker hand that contains five consecutive cards of the same suit. The highest poker hands are the royal flush, four of a kind, and the straight flush. Ties are broken by the highest unmatched cards or secondary pairs in a full house. A player may also choose to make side bets, if permitted by the poker variant being played. In these situations, each player contributes a sum of money to the side pot equal to that contributed by the player before him.