Basics of Poker


Poker is a card game played in which players compete to win money. There are many different forms of poker, but most of them share some basic rules.

Table setup and order of play

In a regular poker game, the players are seated in a circular row around a table. The table layout varies depending on the number of people and size of the table.

The first player to act is the dealer, who deals the cards one at a time face up until a jack appears. After the cards are dealt, the dealer shuffles the deck and offers it to each remaining player.

Betting intervals (rounds)

Each betting interval begins with a player placing a bet of a set number of chips into the pot. In turn, each player to the left may call that bet by putting in the same amount of chips; raise that bet by putting in more than the previous player had called; or drop out of the game altogether.

Bets and raises are often made with some definable percentage of each player’s worst hand, based on the number of bets and raises that have occurred since the last hand.


In some forms of poker, there are player positions that require forced bets before the cards are dealt. These are called “blinds.” The player to the left of the dealer has a small blind; the player two positions to the left of that player has a big blind.

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