During a hand of poker, the goal is to have the highest-ranked hand of cards. The best hand wins the pot, and the rest of the bets are split equally among the players. The best low hand is also awarded half the pot.
Poker is played with a standard 52-card deck. The number of players depends on the game’s stakes. If you’re playing for cash, you’ll have a chip budget of approximately $200. The amount of chips varies depending on the game, and they’re generally round and of good quality.
The game begins with antes and blinds. The ante is a chip equivalent to one dollar, and the blind is usually a small amount of money. The player to the left of the dealer begins the first betting round. If he/she raises, the other players must call. If he/she folds, all but the player to his/her left must continue. If he/she does not call, the player to his/her left starts the next round of betting.
Once the cards are dealt, the players reveal their hands. The winning hand is not revealed until all of the other players have folded. The winning hand is the best high or low hand. If a hand has an Ace or King, it is considered to be the strongest. If a hand is made up of a pair, it is considered to be the weakest. A pair of Queens or worse is an acceptable hand, but it is not the best.
After the draw phase, the cards are laid out face up. Each player has seven cards. The highest card, along with the lowest card, determines the winner. If all of the players Check, the betting phase continues straight to the next round. If a player raises, the bet is increased. If a player calls, the bet is the same as the previous open bet. If a player raises again, the bet is doubled. If a player goes all-in, the bet is the same as the amount of chips in front of him/her when the hand started.
A second betting phase begins with the player with the best face-up cards. If the first player makes a bet, the other players must bet as well. If the first player calls, the bet is the same amount of chips as the previous open bet. If he/she raises again, the bet is the same as the last raise. If a player goes all-in, all of the bets are placed in front of him/her.
The final betting phase begins with the player with the best card. If the player has a pair or worse, he/she can discard to improve the hand. If the player has a straight, the highest card is the one that starts the straight. If the hand is made up of aces, the aces can still be used to make the low and high end of the straight.
The final round of betting ends with a Showdown. If there are no contested hands, the pot is divided equally between the winners. If all of the remaining players call, the hand is concluded.