The Basics of Poker


Poker is a card game that is played with five players. After each betting period, dealing resumes. Eventually, the game reaches a “showdown,” where the highest-ranking hand wins the pot. There are a few different betting positions and strategies that are used in poker. Here’s a look at some of the more common types of poker hands.

First-to-act position

The first-act position is a key aspect of poker strategy. It allows a player to obtain vital information about an opponent’s cards. This is especially helpful in no-limit games. However, a player should be wary of taking this position when they have a weak hand.

Big blind

Big blind poker is a type of poker that requires players to post blinds. The blinds are the forced bets posted by players to the left of the dealer button. The blinds are usually two but can range from none to three.

Five-card draw

The most basic poker variation is the five-card draw. It is the foundation of video poker and the first game a new player will learn. Although it is widely played in home games, five-card draw is rarely played in casinos and in tournament play.

Straight flush

A straight flush in poker is a winning hand that consists of five identical cards of the same suit. As the name suggests, it is better than any other hand in poker. Typically, it beats four of a kind, but there are other types of winning hands.


Straight poker is a variation of poker in which players use a 52-card deck to make hands. The game can be played with two to fourteen players, though the optimal number is seven. Straight poker is a low-stakes game that does not involve any special tricks. The goal of the game is to build a structure consisting of combinations of cards of the same rank or suit.

High-card draw

In high-card draw poker, the highest card wins. Usually, a hand with two pairs will win a hand. The high card will break a tie if someone has a pair but doesn’t have a high card. The high card also breaks a tie if more than one person has a high hand of the same kind.