The Basics of Poker

Poker is a game of cards in which the highest ranked hand wins the pot – all money that has been bet during that hand. A player antes something (amount varies by game) and then is dealt two cards. After that, players can call, raise or fold. The player who has the highest ranked hand when all players show their hands wins the pot.

The best poker players possess several similar traits – they are patient, read their opponents well and can adjust their strategy based on the circumstances. They also understand the importance of balancing their bankroll and limiting how much they bet each time.

Having a good position at the table is important, because it helps you to put more pressure on your opponent. If you are EP, you should generally play tight and only open with strong hands. If you are MP or BB, you can open with a wider range of hands.

There are many different versions of poker, including straight, 5-Card Stud, Omaha, Lowball, Cincinnati and Pineapple. The rules of these games vary slightly, but the basics are all the same.

A pair is two cards of the same rank, and a high card breaks ties. A full house is three matching cards of one rank and two matching cards of another. A flush is five consecutive cards of the same suit. A straight is five cards in order of rank but from more than one suit.