Typically, the first player makes the initial bet in each round of betting. This may or may not be a mandatory bet, depending on the variation of the game. The next player in turn can check or raise, or may choose to fold. If no one calls the bet, the pot is won.

In some poker variations, the pot is divided between the highest and lowest hand. If two identical hands tie, the winnings are split evenly between the winners. In some games, the ace is treated as the lowest card, even if it is not the lowest card in the hand. The best hand in poker is a five-card straight, which includes three or more cards of the same suit. The lowest possible hand is 7-5-4-3-2 in two or more suits.

In some versions of poker, the lowest cards are treated as wild cards, which can make a straight or a five-card hand. In other variations, the rank of a hand is determined by its odds. For example, a pair of aces beats a pair of jacks.

During a drawing, the player in the center of the table may or may not be the nominal dealer. The button, which is normally a white plastic disk, indicates the nominal dealer. The player with the highest ranking poker hand (called the “first bettor”) is the one who is required to make the first bet in the betting interval. The player who subsequently reveals the hole cards is called the dealer. During the draw, the players are allowed to discard up to three cards. When the first player discards, he becomes the new dealer, but the second and third players are still allowed to draw.

In stud and pot-limit games, each player is required to place a certain number of chips in the pot. The pot is a combination of all the bets made by all the players in the same deal. In stud poker, the limit is usually twice as much in the final betting interval as it is in the first.

In a game of five-card draw, each player must ante up a fixed amount of money before they are allowed to draw. The ante is placed before the first draw, and the bet is made with the ante in mind. The second draw is followed by a second betting interval, and the player who wins is awarded the main pot. This is sometimes referred to as a showdown. The player who has the highest hand (including the ante) is the winner of the pot.

In a game of three-card brag, a player who is not the nominal dealer can raise a bet. This is done by placing an ante into the pot and then raising by the number of chips that are required to call the previous bet. Alternatively, the player can opt to bluff and bet that he has the best hand. The other players must match the bet.