How to Play Poker

Poker is a card game played by two to seven players. A standard 52 card English deck is used, along with either one or two jokers/wild cards (optional). The game can be played without betting, but in most games there is some element of chance and psychology involved. In order to start a hand, each player must ‘ante’ (the amount varies from game to game, ours is usually a nickel). Then, when it is their turn, they place chips into the middle of the table called the pot. The highest hand wins the pot.

After each player has received their 2 cards they then start a round of betting, which is started by mandatory bets placed in the middle by the players to the left of the dealer, these are known as blinds. Once this betting has completed the dealer deals 3 more cards face up on the table that anyone can use, these are known as the flop.

There is another round of betting after this. If you have a strong hand it is usually better to raise than to call, as this will help to price out all of the worse hands from the pot. However, if you think your hand isn’t worth raising it is best to just fold. The player with the strongest 5 card poker hand wins the pot. Ties are broken by the highest pair of cards, then the high card, and so on.