The Basics of Poker



A game of poker involves betting between players and winning by having a high ranking hand. It has quite a bit of skill when the player is bluffing or taking advantage of opponents’ mistakes.

A standard 52-card pack is used for most poker games, with one or two jokers added in some instances. Before the game starts the cards are shuffled and passed clockwise to each player for cutting. Generally, the player receiving the highest card is the first dealer. Ties are broken by a repeat deal.

Once the players have their five cards, they form a hand. There are several different types of hands in poker: a flush, four of a kind, three of a kind, two pair, and a straight. Each type of hand has a different value and is ranked according to its mathematical frequency.

The highest rank is a royal flush which is a 10 through Ace of the same suit. Three of a kind is three cards of the same rank, four of a kind is 4 cards of the same rank, and a straight contains 5 consecutive cards of the same suit but skip around in rank or sequence.

Advanced players look at an opponent’s entire range of possible hands when playing the game. They try to figure out what kind of hands their opponents will raise with, which ones they will fold and which ones to call. This is called range analysis.