The Basics of Poker

Poker is a card game in which players try to win by holding the best possible hand. There are a number of poker variations and rules. Players can choose to make forced bets or to bluff.

The basic game is played with 52 cards, usually two decks of different back colours. Each player puts in an ante before being dealt the cards. These bets are made in a clockwise order, and the turn passes from one player to the next.

After the initial bet, each player may either check, raise, or fold. If a player folds, he forfeits his right to the original pot.

Once all the players have been dealt, the player with the highest card wins the pot. In the case of a tie, the highest unmatched card breaks the tie.

Aside from the main pot, there may be side pots. These are separate pots that are won by different players. Some poker games require players to place an ante for each draw.

During the first round of betting, the player to the left of the big blind is the first to act. He must bet at least the minimum amount in the first betting interval. However, in later betting intervals, he can either check or raise.

All other players, except the player to the left of the big blind, can fold during the betting rounds. This means that the pot will be divided between all the players.