Before the game begins, the players should collectively decide on a betting limit.

1. First, each player places an ante or "token bet" into the pot before the cards are even dealt.

2. Once everyone has coughed up his or her ante, the dealer deals the cards face down around the table, starting at the player to his left and continuing clockwise. The dealer (if he's playing) always deals to himself last.

3. Each player looks at his or her cards, and then the first player places a bet. While there are several ways of deciding who bets first, poker novices are best off letting the player directly to the left of the dealer make the first bet. Then on the next hand, the person to his left will bet first, and so on around the table for each new hand.

4. Players have several options as far as the first round of betting goes. If no one has made a bet yet, you have two choices:

  • Open: If no betting has begun when your turn comes, you may make the first bet.
  • Check: When a player checks, it means that he or she doesn't want to open the betting, but doesn't want to quit either

Now let's say that someone opens the betting (at some point, it will occur). You now have three choices:

  • See: When you "see" another player, it means that you match their bet.
  • Raise: When you "raise," it requires you to first "see" the previous bet, and then increase the bet.
  • Fold: When someone else opens, you can always jump ship and cut your losses.

5. At this point, all the players who haven't folded are allowed to get rid of the cards they don't want and take some new cards. A player is permitted to get rid of up to 3 unwanted cards and receive up to 3 new ones from the deck (as long as the player always has 5 cards total).

6. After every player draws 0 to 3 new cards, the betting begins again. You have the option of opening or checking, and once someone opens, you can see, raise, or fold. The game ends when there are no more raises (everyone saw everyone else's bet), or everybody folds (except for the winner, of course).

7. Now it's time for everyone to turn their cards over and see how they fared. The player with the highest hand wins the pot.

SoYouWanna know more? Check out our full-length article SYW learn how to play poker?