The Basics of Poker


Poker is a card game in which players try to make the best hand possible. The game has a balance of luck and skill that makes it appealing to players at all skill levels.

In a standard game, the dealer deals cards to each player in turn one at a time face up, until a jack appears. The player to the left of the dealer, or the player in position with the button, must post (pay) a small blind and the player two positions to the left must post a big blind.

Blinds are forced bets that give players something to chase. The blinds are also called “antes” and give the pot a value before the cards are dealt.


Each round of betting begins with the person in the small blind acting first, by folding or making a bet. The small blind can check if he does not want to bet any more, or raise if someone else calls.


There are 52 cards in a standard deck, with a different back color for each suit. In some games, players may use jokers or wild cards.

Players can meld a hand higher in value than that of opponents, which is known as bluffing. They can also raise the bet when they have a good hand, which is known as raising.