The Basics of Poker



Playing poker involves a series of betting rounds. The first player in each round must make a forced bet (called an ante) and then another player can “raise” or “drop” their bet if they have more chips than the previous player. Once the ante and blind bets are placed, the dealer deals cards to each player one at a time. The cards may be dealt face up or face down. The betting rounds continue until a player has lost all the money they had put down as the buy-in.

The best hand in the game is called the nut hand. This is a combination of three of a kind or trip sevens. The best possible straight is an eight or nine. The best possible pair is a king. The “nut” hand can be either a straight or a flush. A player may also hold a pair of kings. However, this is not as easy as it sounds. As long as the player has the correct cards, they can win.

In a casual game, a player has the right to deal the cards. In this case, the dealer button is a white plastic disk that marks the nominal dealer. Players then bet according to this designation. Each hand is dealt clockwise around the poker table. In the event that there is no dealer, players may add more chips to the pot to make their hands higher. However, players are not allowed to cash out the chips until the game is over.