How to Play Poker


Poker is a card game in which players try to make the best hand possible out of five cards. The highest hand wins the pot.

There are hundreds of different ways to play poker. However, in most games, each player is dealt a hand of five cards. Generally, the first player to make a bet is deemed the “active player”.

Unless the betting structure states otherwise, each player is required to put a fixed amount of chips into the pot. This is called the ante. If a player leaves the table before the ante is due, he forfeits the ante.

There are also side pots. These are won by different players, who may or may not be the ones who started the game. In addition, some poker variants use multiple packs. In these cases, the odd chip goes to the highest card by suit.

The ace is sometimes treated as the lowest card in some poker games. In these cases, the high card is the key to breaking ties. Similarly, the second pair breaks ties if two people have identical hands.

In some poker games, the highest possible hand is a pair of aces or sevens. In others, it is a pair of jacks. In either case, the ace is a good card to hold in a hand.

Aside from the main pot, each player is also expected to put a certain amount into a side pot. These are often called forced bets.