The Basics of Poker
Poker is a game of betting in which players use cards to form five-card hands. The winning hand is the one that best matches the highest card in the dealer’s hand.
The player with the lowest hand starts the game and play proceeds clockwise until every player has had a chance to bet or fold. When all of the chips have been placed in the pot, a showdown occurs, when the players with the highest hands are determined.
Several different types of poker exist, but each has its basic features and rules. The most common is Texas Hold’em, which is played in casinos and at home.
A poker hand is ranked according to its odds (probability). The more unusual the combination of cards, the higher its rank.
If two or more identical hands are dealt, they tie. The tied players split the pot equally.
Two or more identical pairs are also tied, unless they have the same high card in their suits, which breaks the tie. Similarly, two hands that have the same high pair are tied if they contain the same unmatched cards or secondary pairs (a full house [a five-card hand made up of three of a kind and a pair] beats any straight flush).
A player can stay in the pot by increasing his stake to match the total of the last active player. He may also raise it further, if he so chooses.