The Basics of Poker

Poker is a card game that requires a fair amount of raw technical skill to win. It’s also a game of psychology and reading your opponents. This involves paying attention to subtle physical tells such as how a player holds their chips, or how much they raise on each betting street.

In most games players must ‘ante’ (amount varies by game, ours is a nickel) in order to be dealt cards. Then each player places bets into the middle of the table (the ‘pot’). The player with the highest hand wins the pot.

After each round of betting, each player may discard up to 3 cards and receive replacements from the deck. This happens during or after the betting round (depending on your game’s rules). After this you will be dealt a new hand. You have a pair of kings off the deal, which isn’t good but not bad either.

If your kings are spades, you might get a straight (three consecutive cards of the same suit) or three of a kind. If your kings are hearts you might get a full house (3 matching cards of one rank plus two matching cards of another rank) or a flush (any five consecutive cards of the same suit). If your kings are diamonds you might get 2 pair, which is made up of two matching cards of the same rank and two unmatched cards. These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word ‘Poker.’ Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors.