The game of poker is a game that requires both skill and luck. Over time, the application of skill will remove the element of chance. However, luck is still important as it can make or break a hand. There are many different variants of the game, each with its own rules and strategies.
Each player is required to put up a forced bet (the ante or blind) before they can see their cards. Once this is done the dealer shuffles the cards and deals 2 cards to each player face down, which are called their hole or pocket cards. After this the first of several betting phases begins.
During this phase players decide how much money they want to put into the pot and can call, raise or fold their hands. Saying “raise” adds more money to the pool and is an indication that you think your hand is strong enough to beat other players’.
Once the betting rounds are over the fifth and final community card is dealt. This is known as the flop. Then there is another betting round and the player with the best 5 card poker hand wins the pot with all of the bets made in each of the previous betting rounds. In poker, as in life, it is not always the strongest poker hand that wins, but rather the one who shows tenacity and does not fold. This is the essence of the game of poker.