The Basics of Poker


Poker is a card game where players place bets into a pot based on their cards and the community cards. There are many different versions of the game, but most have some sort of standard hand rankings and a few basic strategy tips to help you win.

The first player to act puts up an amount of chips, which represents money, into the betting pot. This is known as an “ante.” Players must also put in the same amount of chips as the player before them if they want to continue playing (the ante is often a minimum bet).

When the dealer deals two cards to each player, betting begins. Each player has the option to fold, call, or raise. If you raise, the other players must choose to call your new bet or fold.

A poker hand is comprised of five cards that form a ranking combination such as two pair, three of a kind, straight, or a full house. The highest hand wins the pot, and in the event of a tie the winnings are shared.

One mistake many beginner players make is thinking of each hand in isolation. It is more effective to think about your opponent’s range of hands and play accordingly. For example, if you have pocket kings and the flop comes A-8-5 then the chances of winning are slim. It might be better to call the flop and try to hit your draw.