The Basics of Poker

Poker is a game that involves betting and raising the stakes to win. The game has many variations, but all of them involve a standard set of rules.

Each player “buys in” by purchasing a certain number of chips. Typically, a white chip is worth the minimum ante or bet amount; a red chip is worth five whites; and a blue chip is worth twenty whites, among other values. Players then place these chips into the pot when it is their turn to act.

When the betting round begins, each player must either “call” the previous bet by putting the same number of chips into the pot; “raise” by adding more chips to the pot; or “drop” by not putting any chips into the pot and exiting the hand. When a player drops, they forfeit any chips they have put into the pot.

Once the first betting round is complete, the dealer deals three cards face up on the table that anyone can use. This is called the flop. Then another round of betting starts.

The highest hand is the royal flush, which consists of a 10, Jack, Queen, King, and Ace of the same suit. Then there is a straight flush, which is five consecutive cards of the same suit. A four of a kind is the next highest hand; if two hands have four of a kind, the higher-ranking hand wins. Ties are broken by the high card rule.