The Basics of Poker


Poker is a card game in which players compete to form the best hand in a poker game. A hand consists of two distinct pairs of cards and a fifth card. The highest pair wins the game, and if two players have identical hands, the winnings are split equally. In poker, suits have no relative rank, but wild cards can help you create better hands. For example, five of a kind beats a straight flush. Generally, ties between identical hands are broken by the highest unmatched card and secondary pair.

Poker is almost always played with poker chips, and you should supply them to everyone if the game has more than seven players. The lowest-valued chip is the white chip, while the highest-valued chips are red or blue. The game has a distinct value system: a white chip is worth five whites, a red chip is worth ten or twenty-five whites, and a dark-colored chip is worth two, four, or five reds.

Players in a first-to-act position sit directly to the left of the button or big blind. They will then bet and raise at a rate equal to the number of chips in the pot.