The Basics of Poker

A game of poker involves a dealer and several players. The number of players is up to 10, but the ideal number is six to eight. Each round in a poker game is called a “deal” and the players place bets on the cards. The highest-ranking poker hand wins the pot. To win the pot, a player must have the highest poker hand. If he does not, he is considered to have won the pot.


The term “poke” comes from a family of card games. Players make bets by comparing their hands and determining which one has the best hand. The earliest version of poker used twenty cards, but nowadays, most games use a standard deck. In some countries, players use a smaller deck, such as a 32-card pack. Regardless of the number of cards in play or the number of cards shared by all players, all poker games involve one or more betting rounds.

There are many variations of the game. A standard 52-card deck is most commonly used. The cards are ranked A (high), K, Q, and J. In some versions, the joker serves as the wild card. Regardless of the variety of decks, the cards are always numbered from ace to nine. A straight flush, for example, is a suited pair of jacks. In all games, the first player to get to nine in a straight is referred to as a flush.

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