The Basics of Poker


Poker, a game of chance, is one of the oldest games in the world. Although it is believed to have originated in France, it has been played throughout the world for centuries.

The main objective of a poker game is to form the best hand possible. Players are dealt two cards that they keep secret from the rest of the table. They can then choose to fold, check, or raise during a betting round.

If they decide to raise, they must add more money to the pot. Once the last round of betting is over, all the cards are exposed and the player with the best hand wins the pot.

There are several variants of Poker, but all have a few key elements in common. These include a five-card hand, betting rounds, and a showdown.

In Texas Hold ’em, the most popular form of Poker, each player is dealt four cards, and all players can use any combination of their two hole cards and three community cards to make a hand. The five-card hand must consist of three of a kind or better.

Straights are also valid in poker. In hold’em, a straight completed from “inside” by one possible card on the flop or turn is called a gutshot.

There are several other types of poker including draw poker, stud poker (a five-card version), and lowball and split-pot poker. The latter are considered a sub-family of community card poker games.