In a poker game, the best high hand wins half the pot, while the best low hand takes half. To qualify for low hand, a player needs to have five cards that are less than eight. These hands are known as lowball hands. The hand ranking for low hands is A-to-five. Straights do not count against the low hand, but a pair of aces does.

When comparing pairs in poker, the higher pair wins. If the two pairs are equal, the pair with the highest rank wins. However, in some cases, lower pairs are better than higher pairs. For example, a pair of jacks beats an unsuited king or a pair of tens.

Likewise, poker players should understand postflop ranges, which can vary depending on position and the type of pot. This skill can be developed over time, if a player practices it between sessions. For example, a player might use a different set of hands in a heads-up game versus a multiway pot, or even depending on the percentages of opponents in the pot.

Players who play poker can be as few as two to eight players. The optimal number of players is six or eight. Players place bets based on the value of their poker hands. These bets are collected in a “pot”, which is the sum of all the bets made by all players in a particular deal. Players can win the pot by having the best poker hand or by betting enough that no other player calls.