Poker is a family of card games where players compete against each other for the highest hand. Each game has its own rules and deck configuration, but most involve one or more rounds of betting before the final showdown.
Several variations exist, including five-card draw and seven-card stud. In a standard five-card draw game, each player is dealt a complete hand of cards face down and must place an ante to the pot. The ante is then increased or decreased by each player during the initial betting round and after the first round of betting is over, the total bet amount is gathered into the central pot.
When a betting round is finished, the dealer deals the first three community cards (the “flop”) to the players. The player on the left of the small blind is the first to act in this and every succeeding round by folding, calling the small blind, or raising.
Then, each player in turn bets according to the rank of his hand as compared to that of all other players. The action then proceeds clockwise until each player either matches the maximum previous bet, calls the amount of the previous bet, or folds, losing all involved bets and further involvement in the hand.
The best hands in poker are a high card, two distinct pairs of cards, one pair with three cards, a flush, or straight. Ties are broken by the high card. A straight is a straight of five cards in sequential order, and a flush is a straight of five cards of the same suit.