The Basics of Poker


Poker is a game of skill and chance, where players try to win a pot by having the best hand. The game was popularised in the United States during the American Civil War, and spread throughout the world.

Basics of the game

A 52 card deck is used, usually of two different back colours. Cards are shuffled and dealt out face up, one at a time, to all the players in turn, beginning with the player to the left of the dealer button.

Players place bets in the form of chips into the central pot, and then each player in turn can call a bet or raise it to an amount he feels comfortable with. When all bets are placed, the highest bet wins the pot.

In a poker tournament, each player plays a number of matches or “seats” in a series, and the winner is the one who accumulates the most points by winning these matches. This is similar to the way most team sports are played, including racket sports, combat sports and many forms of competitive debating.


A major feature of the game is bluffing, in which a player uses a fake or dupe hand to deceive other players. For example, if you have a pair of 6’s and the board is ace-ace-7-4, you can bet that you have a “counterfeit hand.”

A player may also bet that he has a hand with “the nuts.” This is a hand that can stand on its own, regardless of the outcome of any other round. A player who bluffs has a much better chance of winning than a player who doesn’t.