The Basics of Poker


Poker is a card game in which players wager chips on the outcome of a hand. The game has many variations and is played worldwide. Some games have fewer cards than others, but most involve betting rounds and a showdown.

The game has a long history, with speculation about its origins. It may have evolved from the 17th-century French game poque, or from a Spanish game known as primero. It eventually reached North America, where it became a popular game among colonials.

A hand consists of five cards that are dealt to each player in turn. Each player can then choose to call, raise, or drop their hand. The player with the best hand wins the pot.

Poker hands break down into pairs, three of a kind, and high cards. If more than one person has a pair, the highest rank wins. If there are no pairs, the highest single card wins. High cards break ties in cases where two hands have the same rank of pair or three of a kind.

During a betting round, each player must put in an amount of chips equal to the bet made by the player to their left. This is called a “call.” When the betting round ends, the remaining players must show their cards and the player with the best hand wins the pot. If a player has no winning hand, they must “drop” (drop out). This means that they put in no chips and forfeit the opportunity to participate in any future betting rounds.