Poker is a game of strategy, skill and luck. It can be played for pennies or matchsticks or for thousands of dollars in a professional tournament. It is a highly social game with a high level of skill required for success, but is also fun to play.
Official Poker Rules
In most games, players start the game by ‘anteing’ something (amount varies by game), just to get dealt their first cards. They can then either check, bet, call, fold or raise the amount of their ante.
When betting is complete, all the players show their hole cards to determine a winning hand. The winner of the hand is determined according to the official poker hand rankings and wins the pot.
Betting is done clockwise and the betting stops when all the players have checked or folded. A player who has been called may raise the stake if they wish, but the other players are not allowed to raise their stake until after all of the other players have folded.
If a player has been able to muck his/her hand, the other players must be careful not to reveal that mucking was done and to read the hand before acting on it. Proper mucking is turning down all up cards and pushing them all forward face down to the table.
The dealer changes to the left each time a new hand is dealt. This helps to maintain the integrity of the game by preventing disordered stubs and premature cards from being dealt.