The Basics of Poker


Poker is a card game with a complex history. Its rumored origins are in China, Persia and Germany, but it was probably first played in France. Its name likely derived from the French poque, which descended from a German game called pochen (to knock).

The game is contested by players who use cards to create the best possible hand. Typically, the player with the highest card in their hand wins.

A hand consists of five cards. These can be paired or of different rank, although two pairs are most common. The highest unpaired card wins in the event of a tie.

There are many variants of the game, but all have the same basic rules: Each player is dealt a hand of five cards face-down. This is followed by one or more betting intervals, each of which may be followed by a showdown.

During each betting interval, a player may “call” by putting in as many chips as those in the previous round; or “raise,” by putting in more than enough to call; or “drop,” by removing all of their chips from the pot and discarding their hand.

At the end of each betting interval, all the bets are gathered into a central pot. After the final betting interval, a showdown takes place, in which the hands are revealed, and the winner is determined.