Poker is a card game that involves betting, which adds skill and psychological aspects to the game. The rules of the game vary with each variant, but in general it is a game of chance where players try to make their best hand from a combination of their cards and the community cards.

Betting rounds

In each betting interval, one player has the right to make the first bet in the round, which is called opening. After that, players can “fold” if they want to drop out of the hand, lose any bets they’ve made and leave the hand; or “call” which matches the highest bet so far in the round; or “raise” which increases the previous high bet.


In standard poker, two or more identical hands are said to tie. The highest pair wins ties, but the high card breaks ties if no pairs exist.

Ties are broken by the second highest unmatched card in each hand, or a secondary pair (in a full house [a five-card hand made up of three of a kind and a pair]).

Pot limits

Each player is limited to a certain number of chips in the pot at any time. This may be a fixed amount, such as the buy-in limit for the game, or it can be based on how much each player has in his hand at the time of the next bet or raise.


The ante is a forced bet in which every player must put a certain amount of chips into the pot before the deal begins. Usually this is a single unit or some proportion such as a half or quarter of the minimum bet. It serves to keep players in the game and ensure that those who fold will lose money slowly over time.