The Basics of Poker


Poker is a card game where players make bets on their hands. At the end of the round, all bets are gathered into a central pot. The player with the highest hand wins the pot. Otherwise, the players share the pot. Split pot poker is considered one of the easiest poker games to learn.

To start a round, players make an ante, which is the initial amount of money they put into the pot. The dealer then deals two cards face up or face down to each player. Players may raise their bet or fold. They may also check their hands or call the initial bet, depending on the poker variant.

The rules of poker vary slightly between games, but in general, the game is a game of skill, where chance plays a much smaller role than in other games. Poker is about assessing the odds of each hand, balancing bluffs and ranges, and using those factors to your advantage. To get the best poker hand, you must analyze your opponents’ hands and their strategy.

The player with the best hand in the final betting phase wins the pot. In 7-card stud, the best hand is a five-card combination.