The Basics of Poker


In poker players place chips (representing money) into the pot to compete for a high-ranking hand. Though the outcome of any particular poker hand is largely determined by chance, it also involves skill and psychology. In addition, players often choose to bluff for various strategic reasons.

The game is played from a standard pack of 52 cards. The card rankings are: Ace, King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 7, 6, 4, 3, 2, and 1. There are four suits — spades, hearts, diamonds, and clubs — but in some games there may be other suits or wild cards.

Once all the players have their 2 hole cards there is a round of betting (the amount varies by poker variant). After the first player places his/her bet into the pot, the player to his/her left must either “call” the bet and add his/her own chip(s) to the pot or raise.

In Pot Limit the player has an additional rule that says he/she cannot go all-in unless his/her total contribution to the pot is at least equal to the bet made by the player before him. When a player is not willing to call this bet, he/she must say “drop” and discard his/her hand. The highest hand wins the pot.

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