The Basics of Poker
Poker is a card game in which players wager on the outcome of a hand. The game can be played with two or more players, and the object of the game is to win a pot, or the sum of all bets made during one deal. The pot may be won by either having the highest-ranking hand or by making a bet that no other player calls.
In most forms of poker, the cards are dealt in a rotation among players, starting with the player to the dealer’s left. Each deal is interrupted for a betting interval. After each deal, the reshuffled cards are passed to the player to the dealer’s right for a cut. The player who cuts receives the first card dealt to him, and is then required to bet if he does not fold.
Each player must put an amount into the pot (the amount varies by game). This is called the “ante” or “blind bet.” These forced bets help give the players something to chase, and prevent them from folding before the deal.
In addition to the antes and blinds, most poker games also use a special fund called a “kitty.” The kitty is built up by each player contributing a low-denomination chip when there is more than one raise in the pot. When the kitty becomes full, it is divided equally among players who are still in the game. This money is used to pay for new decks of cards, drinks, etc.