Basically, poker is a game of betting and trying to get the best hand possible. There are hundreds of variations of this game, but the basic rules stay the same. Each round of poker is played in a clockwise fashion, and the player with the highest ranking hand at the end of the round wins the pot. The amount of money in the pot depends on the number of players. Most poker games use chips. These make it easier to keep track of the money and they also are a lot easier to change than cash.
The first thing that happens is that the dealer shuffles the cards. Each player gets two cards. Each player can choose to discard a few cards. They can also choose to use all of their cards. If a player does not want to discard cards, they can bet into the pot. This is called “checking.” If a player is unsure of what to do, he can raise. This is called “checking as well.”
After the cards have been shuffled, the cards are dealt to each player one at a time. Each card is ranked from Ace high to Ace low. The rank of each hand is determined by the odds of the hands and the odds of the ties. If multiple people tie for the highest card, a high card breaks the ties.
Then, another round of betting begins. Each player must match the bets of the players to the left of them. If no one calls the bet, then the round is over. However, if anyone calls the bet, then the hand is a showdown. During the showdown, the hand that is showing is the winner. The winning hand can be a straight, flush, or “nuts.” This is the best possible hand at the moment.
If no one has a straight, a flush, or a “nuts,” then the hand is considered a trip. A straight is five cards in sequential order. A flush is five cards of the same suit in any order. A “trip” is seven cards. A hand of trip 7s is the best possible hand.
When the hand is revealed, the player can either bet, check, or fold. If a player folds, he loses the chance to compete for the pot. If a player bets and no other player calls, then the pot is won. If a player calls and no other player calls, then the player is all-in.
A player is all-in when they are the only one in the pot who does not have to bet. This is usually a small bet, but it can be anything from a nickel to a dollar. When a player is all-in, he is only eligible to win the pot if he contributed to it.
A “side pot” is a separate pot created from the additional bets that other players make. The players in the side pot are the same as the players in the main pot, but they have different winnings.