The Basics of Poker

Unlike most card games, poker is a game of skill where the quality of your cards isn’t as important as making other players fold. In order to be a good poker player you must learn how to read the other players and their behavior. This is what separates amateur players from professionals.

Before dealing any cards a forced amount of money is placed into the pot, this is called an ante. This money is used to make sure there is a pot to win and players have incentive to play.

When everyone has their two personal cards in their hand there is a round of betting where each player can either call the previous bet (call) or raise it. If they raise it the other players must call it or fold their cards into the dealer face down.

Once the betting round is over another 3 cards are dealt to the table and these are known as community cards. Players can use these to make a 5 card poker hand along with their two personal cards.

After the third round of betting is over a fifth card is revealed, this is known as the river. This is the final chance to bet and the highest ranked poker hand wins the pot. To get a winning poker hand you must have at least three of a kind which is three matching cards of the same rank, a straight which has 5 consecutive cards in rank but different suits or a flush which has five of the same suit all the way through.