The Basics of Poker


Whether you play stud, draw or a game of Texas Hold’em, poker is a game of chance. The aim is to have the best hand at the moment. You only need five cards to do this.

The highest card in a hand gives the value of the hand. The next highest card determines the winner. In a tie, the high card is used to break the tie.

The dealer cuts the cards and deals them to the players one at a time. This is done clockwise around the table. Each player is dealt a hand of five cards.

Three of a kind, or three cards of the same rank, is considered a strong hand. Two of a kind is also a strong hand. In a tie, the player with the highest three of a kind wins.

A hand containing five cards of the same suit is called a flush. A straight is a sequence of five cards of different suits. A “backdoor flush” is achieved by hitting needed cards on the turn and river.

The best possible hand, however, is a trip sevens. The best straight is 8-9. It is also a good idea to fold a pair of kings.

When all the cards have been dealt, the players are ready to start betting. The players take turns wagering. The house dealer deals the cards for each hand.

The dealer button is a white plastic disk that indicates the nominal dealer. It moves one position clockwise after each hand. The first player to the left of the button is in the first-to-act position. This player must post the big blind and the small blind.