Using a deck of cards and chips, players attempt to create the highest poker hand possible. Each player will use one of their cards to create a hand and can choose to bet, fold, or match a bet. The goal is to create the highest hand that wins the pot.
There are many poker variations, but the most common is Texas Hold’em. The game has four betting rounds, including the flop, turn, and river. After each betting interval, the dealer resumes dealing. When the last betting interval is complete, the action returns to the player to the left of the button. This player is the first to bet and is said to be “active.”
During the flop, players can bet or fold. If they bet, they must bet enough to beat the previous bettor. If they fold, they discard their hand and leave the hand to their opponent. The player who bets the most is said to raise. Alternatively, they may choose to match the previous bet and stay in. When they match the previous bet, they are said to “call.” The player who bets less than the previous bettor is said to “drop.” Likewise, the player who raises less than the previous bettor is called “check.”
Poker players use different hands depending on whether they are aggressive or passive. Tight players will often cap their open-raising range at around 35% of their preflop range. On the other hand, looser players will often have a large number of hands in their range. They are more likely to fold to aggression or bluff. The best hand is called the “showdown,” and the player with the highest hand wins the pot.
The first hand that is dealt is the “starting hand” and is said to be “plus.” This means that all higher hands are included in the starting hand. Examples of starting hands include AK, AK+, AK+, JJ+, JJ+, and AQ+. The joker is counted as a fifth card in some special hands.
After the flop, the turn is the second betting round. After the turn, players can choose to bet, raise, or check. When the player to the left of the button posts a small blind, he or she is said to be “active.” Players will be required to contribute to the pot before the deal is completed. This is called the “ante.” Typically, the ante is a small bet, but it can also be a larger bet. After the turn, the dealer will offer the shuffled pack of cards to the player to the left of the button. If the dealer offers the pack to the opponent, the dealer is said to be “cut” and is not involved in the betting.
When all players have checked, the dealer is said to be “showdown.” The player with the best hand wins the pot. When two players have the same hand, the highest winning hand is called the “Royal Flush.” This is when a player has ten Jacks, Queens, Kings, and Aces.