The game of Poker is an exciting and challenging card game in which the twin elements of luck and skill play an important role. Over time, the application of skill will virtually eliminate any element of chance in a given hand.

To begin a hand, players must “ante” something (the amount varies by game, our games typically require a nickel). Cards are then dealt to each player. Each player may choose to raise a bet, call a bet or fold. The player with the highest hand at the end of a betting interval (determined by the rules of the specific game being played) wins the pot.

A winning poker hand consists of five cards. The highest-ranking hand is a royal flush, which contains a 10, Jack, Queen, King and Ace of the same suit. This is a very rare and powerful hand. The next highest hand is a straight flush, which contains 5 consecutive cards of the same suit, such as four aces and a 10. Finally, a three-of-a-kind is a strong hand consisting of three distinct cards. Ties in poker are broken by high card, which is the highest of any non-pair hand.

Most Poker games use a special fund, called a “kitty,” to pay for new decks of cards and other expenses. Players may establish a policy of “cutting” one low-denomination chip from each pot in which there is more than one raise, and this money goes into the kitty. This kitty is used by all the players in the game. If a player leaves the game, they are not entitled to any of the chips in the kitty.