Basically, poker is a game of betting with a deck of cards. The goal is to build the best possible hand using only the cards in your hand. The player who makes the best hand wins the pot. The pot is the aggregate of all bets made by all players in one deal. This can be achieved by either bluffing or betting the right way.
There are a variety of different types of poker, including Omaha, draw, Omaha Hi-Low, Texas Hold’Em, Omaha Lowball and Seven Card Stud. Each type has its own rules and variations. In general, each type has three major branches. The first, called the ante, is the buy-in or “buy-in” bet, usually in the form of a small chip. Typically, this is between $1 and $5. In most cases, the player must place this chip in the pot before he can begin the game.
The second, called the rake, is a contribution to the pot. Generally, the maximum rake in a pot-limit game is two times the bet, although the limit may be higher if the player has exposed pairs. In some cases, a player is forced to make a bet before the cards are dealt.
The third, called the check, is a voluntary bet. The player who makes this bet will reveal his or her cards in turn. The player who does not check is said to fold. If the player chooses to check, the bettor must bet the same amount of chips that he or she would have if the bet were a real bet.
The fourth, called the raise, is a bet that is larger than the previous bet. The bettor must put in chips equal to the total amount of chips in the pot. The bettor then has the choice of raising, calling, or folding.
The fifth, and final, phase, called the showdown, is the culmination of the betting phase. In this phase, the player with the best card face up is given the opportunity to show off his or her best hand. If the bettor does not show, the other players may decide to re-raise or fold. If a player shows, the other players must match or re-raise the bettor’s bet. If the bettor does not raise, the hand is said to be a tie.
The sixth, and final, phase, called the draw, is the same as the previous phase, but it involves the addition of an additional card. This card is known as the jack. If the jack is shown, the player who got it becomes the dealer. During the draw, the player can choose to draw another card or fold. If the bettor chooses to draw a card, the player must offer a shuffled pack to the other players, who must re-shuffle their own pack. The player who receives the jack is the first dealer.
The seventh, and final, phase, called the flop, is the same as the previous phase, with the exception that the flop is not face up. In the flop, the player must use one of his or her cards, and any of the other four cards, to make the best hand.