Almost all poker games involve a blind or ante bet. The ante is usually a small bet, such as $1 or $5. Once the ante is in place, the dealer will deal two cards to each player. The dealer has the final authority to shuffle the cards. The player to the left of the dealer has the first opportunity to make a bet. If a player is all-in before the last betting round, the player has the right to win the pot.
If a player does not have the best hand, the player may choose to fold. The player may not have a chance to win the pot, though. In addition to folding, the player may also choose to check. Checking means reserving the right to bet later. Depending on the rules of the game, the player may be required to put in the same number of chips as the player before him.
Poker variants may also have several betting intervals. The first interval begins with an ante bet, and is followed by a series of bets during which players can choose to raise, call, or fold. If the player chooses to raise, he may be required to add up to 14 chips to the pot. If the player chooses to fold, he may lose all of the chips he has put in the pot so far.
The ante and betting intervals are generally clockwise in nature. After each round, the dealer will move the designated dealer button one spot clockwise. When the next round begins, the player to the left of the button must post the small blind, and the player to the left of the big blind must post the big blind. The player in first to act sits immediately to the left of the big blind.
The player who has the best hand wins the pot, which is an aggregate of all the bets made by all players in the deal. The ante is often used in conjunction with the blind to provide players with something to chase. The kitty is a special fund created by cutting a low-denomination chip from each pot in which more than one raise is made. The kitty is then distributed among players who remain in the game.
The high card breaks ties when two or more people have the same hand. For example, if the dealer has a pair of kings, and another player has a pair of jacks, the high card wins the tie. This is not the best hand off the deal, but it is not bad.
If two or more players have four of a kind, the high card outside the four of a kind breaks the tie. The best hand is a pair of kings with the high card outside the four of a kinds. The best straight is 8-9. The best straight is a straight made from the first three cards, and then the fiveth card.