How to Play Poker


Poker is a card game that involves betting between two or more players. Each player bets based on the strength of his hand, and the highest ranking hand wins the pot. A poker hand may consist of a single card, three cards, four cards or five cards. The cards are dealt either face up or face down depending on the variant of poker being played. The rules of poker vary by region and even among individual games within the same genre.

The first step in playing poker is to ante up or place a blind bet. Then the initial dealer is chosen from the seated players by giving one of them a card from a shuffled deck. The person receiving the highest card becomes the first dealer. Ties are broken by a repetition of the process. The initial dealer shuffles the deck and then passes it to the player on their left who cuts. The dealer then deals each player a number of cards, beginning with the player on their left. The players then begin the first of what will be several betting intervals.

As you play poker you will want to study the other players and look for tells. A lot of these tells are subtle, but some of them can be very reliable. For example, a player whose hands shake a lot is usually showing that they have a good hand. The short tells are usually the most reliable, whereas long tells can often be faked.