Poker is a family of card games played worldwide in which players wager over which hand is best according to that specific game’s rules. The games differ in deck configuration, number of cards dealt face up or face down, and number shared by all players, but all have rules that involve one or more rounds of betting.

Basics of Poker

In poker, each player is dealt two cards face up that must be kept secret from other players. Then, betting begins around the table in clockwise order and each player must choose to call (match), raise, or fold their bet.

Ties are broken by high cards. Ties are broken by the highest card in a pair of a kind, the highest unmatched cards, or a secondary pair (in a full house).

Rank of standard poker hands is determined by their odds (probability), not suit. When two identical hands tie, the higher ranked hand wins.

Straights and Three-Card Royal Flush

A straight is five cards in order, such as 4-5-6-7-8. An ace may be either high or low, but not “wraparound.” When two straights have the same value, they split the pot.

High cards break ties when there are multiple people with a high card, such as Q-K-A-2-3. The high card is also used to break ties in other types of hands, such as a flush or straight flush.

The player with the highest-ranking poker combination is first to bet, followed by those who have matched their bet. The action then proceeds clockwise until everyone has had a chance to call, raise, or fold.