The Basics of Poker
A game of cards in which players wager chips — or money — that they hold the best hand. It has been played for centuries and continues to flourish worldwide, whether in glitzy casinos or seedy dives. It is considered the most popular card game in the world.
A complete poker hand comprises five cards. Players may call (match) the bet of any player, raise it, or concede. They can also bluff by betting that they have the best hand when they do not. Players with superior hands can win a pot by revealing their cards and then beating other players’ hands in a showdown.
Before each deal, the players place a number of chips in a fund called a “pot,” which represents money that all players are competing for. The player who is first to make a bet in a betting interval is said to bet. A player who puts in the same amount as the person before him is said to call, and a player who bets more than the previous bettor is said to raise.
Poker can be very competitive, and players often establish a special fund, or “kitty,” that pays for new decks of cards and food and drinks. The kitty is built by each player contributing a low-denomination chip each time someone else raises their bet. Any funds left in the kitty at the end of the game are distributed equally to the players still in play.