The Basics of Poker


Poker is a card game in which players bet chips on the strength of their hand. The best ranked hand wins the pot – all of the bets made during that round. Players may also choose to fold if they believe their hand is beaten. Players must also pay attention to the order of cards, as some hands trump others.

The game is usually played with a standard 52-card English deck and two extra “joker” or wild cards are often added, although many tournaments do not use them. A maximum of seven players can play.

At the start of a hand, each player places an ante. Once everyone has placed their ante, betting begins. Each player can then either “call” the bet (put in the same amount as the player to their left) or “raise” it, putting in more money than the preceding player.

When you say “raise,” the other players must then decide whether to call or raise your new bet. If they call, they must then place their cards face down on the table and reveal them. If they fold, they must discard their cards and withdraw from the current hand.

One of the most important things to remember when playing poker is to always be patient and have fun. This is a mental intensive game, and you’re going to perform best when you feel happy. Never play poker if you’re feeling frustrated, tired or angry. That’s a surefire way to lose big money.