Poker is a card game where players wager chips (representing money) on the outcome of a hand. The game can be played with 2, 3, 4, or 5 cards, and there are many variations of the rules. Players must ante (the amount varies by game) to get dealt cards, and then they place bets into the pot in the middle of the table. The player with the highest-ranked hand wins the pot.
After the ante and blind bets are placed the dealer shuffles the cards, and then deals them out to all the players one at a time beginning with the player to his/her left. The player on the right of the dealer is given a choice to cut, and they must do so before any other player cuts.
Once everyone has their two cards they check for a winning hand, and then they can decide whether to stay in or fold. The dealer then puts three more cards on the table that anyone can use – this is called the flop. Once this betting round is over the dealer puts a fifth card on the board that anyone can use – this is called ‘the river’.
As you play you’ll learn about the different hands, and how to make better decisions. You’ll also practice assessing relative hand strength, which means knowing the other players’ chances of having a strong hand, and then making the appropriate decision. You can also say things like ‘Check’ if you are unsure about your hand, and ‘Raise’ when you want to put more money in the pot than the previous player did.