In poker, the players are dealt two cards face-down, called the hole and pocket, and must use those cards to build a 5-card hand. The player with the highest-ranking hand wins the pot, which is the amount of money bet by all players during the hand. In case of a draw, the pot is divided equally between the players.

Poker is a game of chance, but it has a great deal of psychology and skill involved. This primer will help you understand the basic rules, but you can read more about poker in books or play with a group. However, reading a book will cost you more money than playing with other players. In addition, a book won’t explain the ins and outs of the game.

Poker’s house rules limit the amount a player can raise. In theoretical games, the stakes double after a certain number of raises. In historical poker, this number is capped at three or four. After that, the stakes tend to be very large and doubling them further could force the player to quit because of lack of funds.

In other games, players must make forced bets to get started. This may be through an ante or blind bet. After the players have placed their bets, the dealer will deal the cards to each player one by one. The cards may be dealt face-up or face-down, depending on the game. Between rounds, a poker hand will develop.