How to Play Poker Like the Pros – Official Poker Hand Rankings

Poker is a game of chance and luck, but if you know how to play the game well there can be quite a bit of skill involved. The best players are able to minimize their losses with bad hands and maximize their winnings with good ones. This is one of the most important skills in Poker and is a major part of why Poker is a highly profitable game.

Before the cards are dealt players put an initial contribution into the pot, called the ante (amount varies by game). One player is designated as the dealer and rotates around the table after every hand. Depending on the game, the dealer button may be an actual disc or a token that determines the order of betting (i.e., the two players to the left of the button have a forced bet to make).

After the ante has been placed betting begins and each player is dealt two cards which are kept face down and can only be seen by that player. The remaining players then have the option to call, raise or fold.

Once the betting interval is over, the remaining players reveal their holdings and a winner is determined by comparing the ranks of each hand to the official poker hand rankings. Sometimes there are additional rules added to a game such as wild cards which can take on the rank of any suit. This is done to spice up the game.