Poker is a card game played worldwide. Its rules vary from country to country, but all games involve betting. The player who holds the best hand wins.
Poker has been around for over a century, and is the most popular game in North America. It is commonly played in casinos, private homes and poker clubs.
The game is based on a standard pack of 52 cards, which are ranked from Ace to Jack and have four suits (spades, hearts, diamonds and clubs). No suit is higher than another.
Each hand is made up of five cards, and the highest hand wins. A straight flush is the best natural hand, and a royal flush is the highest possible non-wild card hand.
Players must place a predetermined amount of money into the pot, called an ante. This ante is usually small.
After placing an ante, each player is dealt two cards, which they keep secret from other players. During the next round of betting, each player can choose to ‘fold’ (not play this round), ‘check’ (match their bet) or ‘raise’.
A player can also bluff by ‘raising’ the bet by a specified amount, and can ‘check’ or ‘raise’ again later in the same betting round. A bluff is a false statement that is designed to deceive other players into thinking they have a superior hand.
In a poker tournament, players are divided into groups or brackets that compete to raise or lower their overall skill ranking. The winning players in a group or bracket win the main pot, and any side pots that occur.