The Basics of Poker


Poker is a card game that involves betting. Players have a chance to win a round by having the highest-ranking five-card hand at the end of a deal. There are several variations of the game, and some are more difficult than others to play well.

Generally, each player places chips into the pot in accordance with his or her strategy. Each round of betting is called a “deal.” Players may choose to call, raise, or drop. When a player calls, he or she puts into the pot the same number of chips as any preceding player; raises add more chips to the pot than the original amount; and dropping means that the player discards his or her cards and is out of the betting until the next deal.

Some forms of the game allow a player to place additional bets in addition to those made by other players. These are called side bets and can be placed by any player who wants to increase the size of his or her wager. A player who calls side bets must also call any subsequent raises if those are of equal size to the initial bet.

The earliest known version of the game was probably a 17th-century French game called poque. It was adapted by Germans and French settlers to North America, where it became a popular casino game. Today, poker is played around the world and has become a popular spectator sport.