How to Play Poker
During a typical game of poker, the dealer deals one card at a time to each player, then shuffles the deck and passes it to the next player. Cards are usually dealt clockwise around the table.
A card may be dealt face-up or face-down. The best hand is considered the hand with the lowest cards. In some variations, the pot is divided between the best and lowest hands. If there are four or five cards of the same suit, they are considered flush. If the cards are of different suits, they are considered a straight.
A card can break a tie when several people tie for the highest card. If there are two four of a kind with the same rank, the high card outside the four of a kind wins.
The player who raises a bet may raise the previous bet by the full amount of the pot. If a player raises and another player matches, the raiser must drop his bet.
A forced bet, also known as an ante, is an option to bet before the hand. This is done in most modern poker games. Typically, the ante is a small bet, like $1 or $5. In a game with more than seven players, the ante may be increased to include more chips.
Poker may be played socially for pennies or professionally for thousands of dollars. Poker rooms in famous casinos feature professional players.
Poker may also be played in private homes. A standard 52-card pack is used in most games. Occasionally, a wild card is added. Wild cards may take any suit.