Poker is a card game in which players place bets on the outcome of their hand. There are many different variations of the game, but most have the same basic rules.

The game begins with a dealer, who shuffles and deals a pack of cards in rotation to each player on the table. The first player to the left of the dealer is the first dealer and can take any number of shuffled cards and make a forced bet, either an ante or blind bet (sometimes both).

Betting rounds

After the initial deal, each active player may discard one or more of his original cards and receive replacements from the undealt portion of the deck. This process, called a draw, is followed by a betting round and a showdown in which the best hand wins.

Standard poker hands are ranked according to their odds and probability, and two or more identical hands tie and divide any winning equally. The highest possible hand is a flush, and the lowest is seven-five-four-three in two or more suits.


In a poker tournament, each player is dealt a set of five cards. They must use these to create a poker hand that beats all other hands.


The main strategy of poker is bluffing. A player may bluff by raising the amount of their open bet or by matching it, but only if no other players call. If the player bluffs too much, they lose all their bet and can no longer continue to bet or raise.