Poker is a game of chance in which players bet on the cards that are dealt to them. The first player to make a bet on the hand “antes” a certain amount into the center of the table, called the pot. If that bet is higher than the other players’ bet, that player wins the pot. This betting process takes place clockwise and players have three betting options – call, raise, and fold.
In poker, the best hand consists of five cards of the same suit, referred to as a hand. A player can also fold his or her hand, which means he or she is laying the cards face down on the table, losing all of his or her bets to date. Players generally fold when they have a weak hand. Four of a kind, three of a kind, or two of a kind are considered strong hands.
After the final betting round, the hands are turned over. The final showdown happens when a player’s bets match the amount in the pot, or when someone all-ins before the final betting round. During the betting process, a side pot is created, a pot separate from the main pot, and it can have many players. A player who calls all-in, however, is only entitled to win the pot that he contributed to.
Players can also go for a “gutshot,” or a straight. A gutshot, or a straight completed from the inside, means the player will need a pair of sevens on the river and the turn, compared to an open-ended straight, which requires two cards from the outside. A gutshot, however, is significantly less likely to hit than an open-ended straight.