How to Play Poker



Poker is a game of chance, skill and strategy in which players bet to make the best possible poker hand. There are many variations of the game, but most follow a basic set of rules.

How to Play

In a standard game of poker, each player receives five cards and places an ante to the pot before the deal begins. The cards are then dealt to all players face down. After the initial deal, the first of what may be several betting rounds begins.

Betting rounds take place until the hand reaches a showdown. A showdown is when all the cards are shown and the player who has the best hand wins.

The best hand is awarded the pot, which is a sum of money bet by all players in the deal. Some variations of the game award the pot to the lowest-ranked hand rather than the highest.

Aces are treated as the lowest card in most games, but this can be optionally changed by agreement between the players at a given hand. The ace may also be considered a kicker, which can greatly devalue a hand.

Poker can be played with two to seven players, although the best games are usually played with a minimum of five or six. The game is played with a standard 52-card deck, and some variants allow use of jokers or wild cards to enhance the hand.

There are many different variations of the game, but the most common variants are Texas hold ’em and Omaha. The rules of each variation are similar, but the cards are dealt differently and bets and folds are adjusted to match the rules.