Poker is a card game in which players place bets (representing money) into a central pot. Each player has five cards. The dealer shuffles the cards and deals them to the players one at a time, beginning with the player on their left. Then, in a series of betting rounds, the cards are revealed and bets continue to be placed into the pot.
The highest hand wins. Usually, this is a pair of distinct cards, but sometimes it’s three of a kind or even just one high card. In ties, the highest card breaks the tie.
A straight is a series of five consecutive cards from the same suit. Three of a kind is 3 matching cards of the same rank. A full house is a pair plus one additional card of the same rank. Two pair is two matching cards of the same rank plus one additional unmatched card. High card is any other card that doesn’t fit into a pair, full house, flush or straight.
Often, you’ll want to raise the amount of money in the pot by saying “raise.” This tells other players that you want to add more chips than the last player. If you say raise, they must either call your new bet or fold. This is how a game of poker gets exciting and fast-paced. The rules of poker vary slightly from one game to another, but most use the same basic hand ranking system and betting structure.