The Basics of Poker


Poker is a card game where players try to make the best hand. It is played in hundreds of variants, but most games follow the following general rules.

Before the deal, each player puts an ante into the pot, which is a minimum amount of money based on the table stakes. This amount must be matched by every other player.

Once the ante is in place, a deal begins and each player receives one card face down. The dealer deals the cards in rotation to the left, until a jack appears.

Depending on the rules, the dealer may then shuffle the cards and offer them to each player to the right for a cut. If no player requests a cut, the dealer must continue shuffling cards until a cut is made or the cards are dealt out.

After each deal, a round of betting takes place in which each player can bet as much or as little as he wishes. A player can also discard a portion of his cards, draw replacements and place those cards in front of him until the betting round is completed.

Once the betting is complete, each player must show their cards. The player with the best hand wins the pot. The dealer is usually the last player to show their cards, but this is not always the case.