Whether you’re playing online, in a poker room or at a live event, there are some basic rules to know. The game of poker shares many similarities with other games, like blackjack, but there are also some differences.

In most games, the dealer does not actually play. The casino employee is called the dealer, and he or she has the final right to shuffle the cards and cut them.

The best natural hand in Poker is a straight flush. This is five cards in the same suit, with a wild card – usually a spade – to take any suit. If more than one player has a straight flush, the highest one wins.

Poker is played with a deck of cards, which is ranked from Ace to Ace. The cards are dealt clockwise around the table.

After the first round of cards are dealt, players can begin betting. After each round of betting, the dealer cuts the cards and re-shuffles them. This is known as the “draw” phase.

The second round of betting begins after each player has received the same number of cards as their predecessors. A player must call or “drop” a bet. If the player does not call, he or she must drop the bet and put the same amount of chips into the pot as the previous player.

A betting interval is followed by a “showdown” when the highest ranking poker hand wins the pot. The pot is the sum of all the bets made by all the players during the betting interval.