Typically, each player is given a card, which is either face up or down. The best possible hand is made up of five cards. However, some poker variations allow players to discard up to three cards.
In a typical game, the first player is obligated to make the first bet. This bet is called the “minimum ante,” and is based on the stakes of the game. After this bet, a betting interval is triggered. Each player is allowed to check, raise, or fold. The winner of the pot is the player with the highest-ranking poker combination.
Each player must then place the appropriate amount of chips into the pot. This amount is based on the total contribution of each player before him. Generally, a white chip is the lowest valued chip. A red chip is worth five whites, a dark-colored chip is worth two, four, or five reds, and a blue chip is worth 10 or 20 whites.
Once the initial bet is placed, the rest of the cards are dealt one at a time. The dealer, who is not a player, shuffles and cuts the cards. Usually, the cards are distributed clockwise around the table. The dealer is designated by a white plastic disk, or buck, which moves one spot clockwise after each hand.
Several rounds of betting are followed by a showdown. This is when the hands are revealed. If the cards are tied, the highest unmatched card breaks the tie.