During a poker game, the goal is to create the best hand possible. The player with the highest-ranking hand wins the pot. The highest possible hand is called a trip. A straight is five cards in sequential order, while a flush is five cards of the same suit. A full house is three of a kind and a pair.
The players may choose to check, raise, or fold. If they fold, their hand is discarded and no longer competes for the pot. On the other hand, if they raise or call, they match the previous bet and take a share of the pot.
Before the start of the hand, all players contribute an ante, which is a small bet. This ante gives the pot an immediate value. The ante is usually one dollar, but it can be as little as $5 in a fixed-limit game.
The dealer cuts the deck and passes out a set of cards. The player to the left of the big blind is the first to act. In a draw poker game, the player with the highest card is the initial dealer. The dealer also has the last right to shuffle.
The player with the best hand wins the pot, which is the aggregate of all bets made by all players during a deal. The dealer may also add cards to the community pile.
The pot is only won if no other player calls. A player is said to raise if he raises the bet, which is a larger amount than the previous bet.