Whether you are playing poker for fun or for the big bucks, you should know the basics. Poker is a card game played around a circular table with a small group of players. Each player receives seven cards and is responsible for choosing five of them from the deck to form the best hand.

The first player to act is the dealer. The dealer begins the round by shuffling the deck. The first three cards are dealt face-up, followed by a single card. The dealer then offers the shuffled deck to the opponent for cut.

The second betting round occurs after the flop. The dealer “burns” the top card of the deck. This is not a standard poker hand. The dealer may also pass out cards in sets or sets of sets. The dealer may pass out the cards one at a time or in a continuous cycle.

The third and final round of betting occurs after the turn. The player to the left of the dealer has a small blind. This is usually the same amount as the double first blind. The player to the left of the dealer may either raise or check. If the player to the left of the dealer raises, he forfeits the right to the original pot.

A player may also bet on the draw. This allows a player to discard some of his cards to increase the value of his hand.

The most common poker hands include the aces, the pair of aces, and the straight. The straight is a combination of five cards from the player’s hand.